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BIM:SAM solves riddle of high energy bills in Manchester building

EVORA EDGE’s innovative BIM:SAM approach (building information modelling for strategic asset management)has helped reduce gas spend by 21% in a building, resulting in savings of more than £20,000 per year.

It has also opened up the potential to achieve a ‘design for performance’ approach relatively quickly and cost-effectively across portfolios of buildings using existing EPC models.


What is BIM:SAM and ‘designing for performance’

BIM:SAM is a decision making tool that helps avoid expensive and time consuming mistakes when managing large and complex buildings.

It starts with a sophisticated computer simulation of a building that reflects its real-world usage and operation. This digital model is then used to test out future scenarios such as extreme weather conditions or different energy management options.

EVORA EDGE’s approach is highly unusual in the UK, where modelling is done only to ensure compliance (such as for energy performance certificates), rather than to demonstrate the real-world operation of a building.

However, it is more common in Australia through the NABERS scheme and is now being championed by the Better Buildings Partnership in its ‘design for performance’ project, currently being tested in the UK.


EVORA EDGE was asked to investigate the high energy spend in a modern office block building in the centre of Manchester. The building had been difficult to benchmark because of its unusual heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system (HVAC) which was described as a ‘ground source heat pump’ in the site’s technical literature. However, the client reasonably expected efficiency savings with this type of installation and was confused as to why this was not happening.

There did not appear to be any obvious fault with the system so EVORA EDGE decided to build a dynamic simulation model (DSM) of the building to try and pinpoint any discrepancies.

There was no time nor the budget to create a DSM from scratch so instead, the EDGE team looked to see if the simple SBEM model, created by another company for energy performance certification, could be converted into a DSM.

This is very rarely done. EPC models are designed to achieve legislative compliance and often contain fundamental gaps compared to the real-world use of a building.

The conversion process was challenging and required an in depth understanding of the modelling software as well as extensive mechanical and electrical engineering knowledge to match it to what was happening on the ground.

However, once done, the DSM model was able to highlight a number of inconsistencies in the data which helped target the on-site investigations.

These revealed that the BMS had been set up incorrectly and was not reflecting the operation of the closed ground water loop system and condenser water circuits.

The solution was remarkably simple and required just a few adjustments to the BMS system.

As a result, there has already been an 8% decrease in costs and a saving of £21,579.70. This equates to a 21% reduction in overall kWh over the comparative period and more than 100 tonnes of CO2 saved.

But what is really exciting is that, although difficult, it is possible for a simple EPC model to be used to develop a highly accurate, digital model of an existing building which can be put to a variety of uses.

For example, the DSM model in this building has already been used again to support a photovoltaic (PV) study. It confirmed that installing PV solar panels would reap an estimated 6% return on investment before the application of predicted energy price inflation. As a result, a 50 kWp PV system has now been installed – further adding to the already impressive sustainable credentials of this building.

The case demonstrates that BIM:SAM is a powerful and flexible tool for asset managers both in day-to-day decision-making as well as for longer-term planning.

If you’d like to know more about EVORA EDGE’s unique BIM:SAM offer please get in touch with Andrew Cooper or Neil Dady on info@evoraedge.com or phone on +44 (0)1743 341903

Gaining an EDGE: Engineering and building physics services

At EVORA we know from long experience there is a huge amount of unlocked potential in existing commercial buildings. But we see time and again how the realisation of that potential is so often obstructed by the long and complicated supply chains involved.

That’s why we set up EVORA EDGE, our engineering and building physics team which, in just over two years, has grown to a team of six with further expansion planned this year.

EVORA EDGE allows us to deliver an end-to-end service and provides a solution to the often negative impact that mechanical and electrical teams (M&E) can have on achieving successful sustainability policies.

Traditionally, fund managers will appoint asset managers, who appoint property managers, who appoint M&E consultants, who support the appointment and policing of M&E contractors. This is a long supply chain – from the technical specialists to the decision makers. Unfortunately, in many cases, translation of the technical expertise gets lost along the way.

In our experience, M&E consultants often simply respond to requests at an individual building level, without stopping to think, evaluate and advise on where and how long-term value can be also be added through the day-to-day running and management of a building and portfolio.

The addition of EVORA EDGE to our service seeks to change this. We believe we can better target cost-effectiveness, standardisation and open up opportunities to better support asset improvement in both the short and long-term.

We believe we can better target cost-effectiveness, standardisation and open up opportunities to better support asset improvement in both the short and long-term.

We like to think outside the box.  Whilst we offer standard MEP services, we also believe M&E consultancy teams can offer greater value. We deliver all of the following:

  • Procurement support for M&E contractors
  • Development of M&E replacement plans
  • Project management
  • M&E consulting – the policing role

But we also aim to identify improvements that fit into asset management plans, support client sustainability initiatives and ultimately help protect and enhance asset value for the long-term.

Take a look at some of our case studies and see how the EDGE team might be able to help. For more information contact the EDGE team on 01743 341903 or email info@evoraedge.com


Case studies

  1. Ambitious CO² reduction policy for UK local authority Guildford Borough Council
  2. Sophisticated building modelling reduces overall energy consumption at Broad Quay House
  3. PV systems achieve internal rates of return (IRR) in excess of 6% per building for Aberdeen Standard Investments
  4. Modelling software identifies cost-effective measures for energy efficient refurbishment at Regents House

Do you know how to assess the financial risks related to climate change on your business?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate climate related risk from the conventional view of financial risk.

So how do you assess the financial risks related to climate change?

Unpredictable weather patterns across the world can influence everything from food prices, health costs, retail clothing sales patterns as well as how effective and efficient our buildings are at being comfortable places to live and work in.
This has been acknowledged globally by G20 finance ministers and Central Bank governors who tasked the Financial Stability Board (FSB) with helping various stakeholders such as investors, lenders, and insurers – identify, quantify and report on climate-related financial risks.


The FSB, an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system includes members such as Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and representatives from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Its taskforce released a series of recommendations (Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, Bloomberg, 2017) structured around four thematic areas: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets.

Financial risks related to climate change – Scenario Analysis

A key element of the report is that organisations should use scenario analysis to assess potential financial implications of climate-related risks and opportunities and disclose those in their financial filings.

Organisations are encouraged to select a set of scenarios to include a global warming potential of 2°C and potentially 2 more global warming scenarios across different timelines.

Real Estate

One sector that is particularly at risk from climate change is the real estate sector. Energy consumption and asset resilience are key elements for the sector which can be directly and linearly related to climate conditions.

Increasingly real estate investors are wanting more information and data on sustainability and its predicted influence on property value and sector decision making.

Building Information Modelling for Strategic Asset Management (BIM:SAM) Modelling

EVORA EDGE (EDGE) has pioneered the use of energy models for strategic asset management purposes. Using CIBSE future weather data, EDGE can literally simulate and stress test building performance and building resilience in a virtual environment across 3 or 4 climate change scenarios. Using leading software, we can create financial models around building capital and life cycle costs within the energy model.

This 3-D digital modelling technique, which we call BIM:SAM (see below), enables our clients to identify climate related risk over the short, medium and long term. And this enables both the optimisation of existing building use as well as future-proofing.

This same model can be used to manage EPC MEES risk and can be transferred with the property creating a digital passport for the lifetime of the building.


What is BIM:SAM?

EVORA BIM-SAM Logo TM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.

Strategic Asset Management (SAM) involves the balancing of costs, opportunities and risks against the desired performance of assets.

 


To speak to our EDGE Technical Engineering division, please contact us.

Using BIM for Net Zero: How to use BIM to Design Net Zero Energy Buildings

This blog is part of our Net Zero series for World Green Building Week 2017 – read more here.


The target for all of us involved within sustainability is ‘net zero’ energy buildings.

Roughly a third of all global green house gas emissions can be attributed to the built environment so it’s hardly surprising that there is a growing interest in net zero buildings; buildings that produce as much clean renewable energy on site as they consume in any given year.

Net Zero is achievable, but only with the collaboration in the planning, designing, constructing and operating stages. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for delivering a net zero building. Each project will require its own tailored approach, siting, orientation, climate, occupant profile, control optimisation and then, crucially, ongoing asset management.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Net Zero is achievable but only with the collaboration in the planning, designing, constructing and operating stages” quote=”Net Zero is achievable but only with the collaboration in the planning, designing, constructing and operating stages”]

Building Information Modelling (BIM), an intelligent 3D model-based process that allows scenarios to be modelled in a virtual environment, is the new tool of choice for designers, proving to be a reliable time-saving method of collaboration amongst all stakeholders.

BIM started out as a tool for spatial coordination and project collaboration but has now evolved to empower designers to model energy performance at all stages of project delivery. Thermal and dynamic simulation modelling, through BIM, is leading to better decision making, informing the delivery of net zero buildings.

Increasingly, EVORA has been creating building models that facilitate BIM collaboration as part of our Strategic Asset Management (BIM:SAM) solution. This innovative approach to managing the whole life cycle of a building is our way of ensuring that ‘net zero’ building design is followed through into actual operational performance.


Take a look at our Guildford case study or contact us to learn more about BIM:SAM.