Structural Engineering

High performance needs the right structure and envelope to be successful. We work hard to make our details structurally thermal bridge free to maximise thermal efficiency.

Over the last few years we have transitioned from what was a traditional Structural Engineering consulting into a more specialized business catering for very low energy buildings.

A common statement made by Structural Engineers is that their work has no impact on the thermal performance of a building, we know this to be quite untrue. The structural form and materials play a major role in the energy efficiency and durability of a building. The wrong decisions can make it impossible for the Architect to detail a thermal bridge free construction which is detrimental for any low energy building, increasing heat losses and creating condensation and mould risks.

Our particular skills are in developing simple cost effective and practical structural solutions that achieve high thermal performance. Super-insulated and airtight wall and roof systems require some innovative design approaches, using conventional methods can be costly and time consuming on site.

Complimentary services we undertake include a suite of analysis services that we use to tune the overall building and review particular construction details:

  • Thermal analysis using dynamic simulation: this work enables us to accurately determine whether the building is achieving the agreed performance benchmark in terms of specific heat energy demand, taking into account all component heat losses.
  • Isothermal analysis: to determine surface temperatures through junctions and thermal bridges. We also calculate the thermal bridging coefficients that are included in the overall heat loss equation. This includes the analysis of window details.
  • Hygrothermal analysis: to evaluate the moisture vapour and heat energy movement through the layers of a building construction. The software uses actual local climate data coupled with adjustable indoor environmental conditions to simulate the moisture migration. This can establish if a proposed detail is at risk of becoming over saturated and if risk of mould and decay may occur.

Our services are frequently called upon for clients wishing to have very low energy buildings, Certified Passive House buildings or those wanting to use unusual building materials. Our scope is also quite variable depending on the needs of the project and the performance outcomes and priorities set by the client.

Additional services we can provide include desktop design reviews, on site construction monitoring to ensure building components are correctly installed, and review of existing buildings where retrofits are being considered.