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Energy briefing


The bre, cibse, bsria and brecsu are the main publishers of design information in the form of handbooks, technical notes, best-practice guides and the like. Here are a few useful ones relating to energy and materials selection:

Building Research Establishment, tel 01923 664000, website All publications are available from crc, tel 020 7505 6622:

Design Guide for Naturally Ventilated Offices. Provides a tabular method for assessing naturally ventilated office buildings and allows the user to quickly assess the viability of various strategies in terms of predicted temperatures and daylighting. Watch out for all of the correction factors. The guide should be viewed as a Scheme Design stage tool.

BREEAM - Environmental assessment method for offices. Well-established method for targeting construction decisions using environmental issues. Recently revised for offices. The equivalent guides for dwellings and industrial units are now rather long in the tooth and are due for revision.

The Green Guide to Specification - Nigel Howard et al. An environmental assessment method for material types for most building and external-works applications. Cross referenced to BREEAM, above.

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, tel 020 8675 5211. cibse publishes numerous guides and handbooks. Most are aimed at m&e designers but some provide useful cross-disciplinary information, including:

Natural Ventilation of Non-Domestic Buildings - includes design techniques, simple and less simple calculation methods for wind and buoyancy driven natural ventilation and also many case-studies with commentaries on efficacy of designs.

Passive Solar Design Guide for Schools - already looking a little dated but contains useful case studies that are clear in assessing what works and what does not. Tabulates the recorded energy usage of more than 20 different schools, giving a useful insight into the effectiveness of different design strategies for school buildings.

Building Services Research & Information Association, tel 01344 426511, website

bsria also publishes numerous technical guides and notebooks aimed at m&e designers. Of particular use to architects is:

An Environmental Code of Practice for Buildings and their Services. Sandy Halliday. Now also available on an interactive cdrom. A useful checklist approach to applying environmental ideas.

brecsu - contact through the bre, details above

brecsu develops and publishes numerous case studies and papers on many types of buildings. Access to the web pages at bre links directly to etsu (tel 01235 432061, website where many of the case studies may be accessed.

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