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While the new Building Regulations clearly pose a significant challenge to architects in terms of facade design, in particular the use of glass, they also provide more options in terms of methods for compliance than ever before. The most flexible of these, the carbon emission method, allows almost unlimited scope for exploring the aesthetics of buildings by allowing changes to the standard building materials to be offset against the use of extremely energy-efficient plant.

The days of energy inefficient, fully glazed buildings might be over, the fully glazed energy efficient and compliant building is still very much achievable.

However, such design does rely heavily on the correct choice of building services.

Ian Hardy, KBR Consulting, Leatherhead

Austin Williams writes:

We argued this point in the article, 'How much do U-value glazing?' by Simon Wild and Alan Fogarty (AJ 17.1.02). However, using the carbon emissions (CE) method, it is still only possible to achieve 100 per cent glazing on a the north face of a notional building if a fancoil or chilled ceiling is used in conjunction with a double-skin facade treatment.

To suggest that the CE method is the most flexible is undoubtedly true in one respect - that one can pick and mix more factors to input into the various calculations. However, this is the flexibility of the madhouse, in that criteria inputted into a whole building method might fail to comply, whereas the same criteria inputted into the CE method will be satisfactory. Whole building calculations can be done in-house, CE calculations need consultants.

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