ESD Consultant Sydney, NSW | ESD Consulting Sydney

ESD Consulting

Gradwell Consulting provides a range of sustainability consulting services including condensation risk analysis, daylighting analysis, shadow diagrams and ESD reports.

The important goal of energy efficiency has meant that buildings are better sealed than ever before but this can lead to condensation issues. A computer based assessment of condensation risk can identify problems at the design stage.

Daylighting analysis assesses the effectiveness of natural lighting. An assessment can help reduce the need for artificial lighting which is a major user of energy, especially in large commercial buildings.

Shadow diagrams are important for determining the shading effect of adjacent buildings as well as those cast by the proposed structure.

ESD (ecologically sustainable development) reports form part of the Development Application (DA) for many larger projects. The report will typically consider site planning, building envelope design, natural ventilation, solar access and the use of sustainable materials.

Condensation is not a new problem in Australia, with the CSIRO highlighting the risk in 2001. However, the increased focus on reducing the production of green house gases (GHG) is increasing the risk due to better sealed buildings and more insulation.

Condensation is happening now even though the damage is often out of sight and therefore probably out of mind. However the damage is usually expensive to rectify so it should not be ignored. And prevention is simpler and less expensive than the cure.

Condensation can occur in all building types largely due to poor design or the inappropriate use of materials. The three factors that increase condensation risk are:

  • moisture levels too high
  • temperatures in the building fabric that are too low
  • uncontrolled flow of water vapour from a source to a region of cold temperature

The design of the building should address these factors but conventional design practice often does not.

Placing foil sarking under a tiled or metal roof above a well insulated ceiling is such an example. In Winter, say in Sydney or Canberra, this design will result in a very cold roof space at night as the ceiling batts work to keep the heat inside the room below. At the same time, any moisture entering the roofspace from the rooms may well be below the dew point when it comes in contact with the foil.

The condensate then runs along the underside of the foil until it is absorbed by the timber roof framing or probably starts dripping onto the ceiling batts. If not too severe, the batts will dry during the warmth of the next day. Unfortunately, they will still have lost some of their thermal effectiveness. Of course if they got wet enough to transfer moisture to the plasterboard ceiling then structural damage is also possible.

The identification of condensation risk is complex due to the many factors such as climate, materials, insulation and vapour permeability. Gradwell Consulting uses specialist software to evaluate the risk and provide guidance on appropriate designs.

Because buildings with poor levels of natural light use more artificial lighting, daylighting analysis provides a powerful tool for reducing the operating costs of a building while still at the design stage.

Gradwell Consulting uses sophisticated lighting analysis software to assess the light intensity throughout a building. Factors such as building geometry, sun position and sky type can all be adjusted. The results are presented as high quality illuminance contour plots.

Ensuring adequate solar access for the proposed building and its neighbours is an important ESD principle. Gradwell Consulting can analyse complex building geometry and determine the shadows that will be cast throughout the year.

The results can be provided as traditional shadow diagrams for a particular day and time – for example, 3 pm on 21 June. Alternatively, a movie can be prepared that visualises the movement of shadows throughout a selected day.

Energy Efficiency and Ecologically Sustainable Development reports are required for many major projects. These reports typically examine site planning, building orientation, envelope design, solar access, solar technology, sustainable building materials and recycling.

The building design evaluation is broken down into solar shading, thermal performance, cross ventilation and other passive design measures.

+ Descriptions

Gradwell Consulting provides a range of sustainability consulting services including condensation risk analysis, daylighting analysis, shadow diagrams and ESD reports.

The important goal of energy efficiency has meant that buildings are better sealed than ever before but this can lead to condensation issues. A computer based assessment of condensation risk can identify problems at the design stage.

Daylighting analysis assesses the effectiveness of natural lighting. An assessment can help reduce the need for artificial lighting which is a major user of energy, especially in large commercial buildings.

Shadow diagrams are important for determining the shading effect of adjacent buildings as well as those cast by the proposed structure.

ESD (ecologically sustainable development) reports form part of the Development Application (DA) for many larger projects. The report will typically consider site planning, building envelope design, natural ventilation, solar access and the use of sustainable materials.

+ Condensation Risk

Condensation is not a new problem in Australia, with the CSIRO highlighting the risk in 2001. However, the increased focus on reducing the production of green house gases (GHG) is increasing the risk due to better sealed buildings and more insulation.

Condensation is happening now even though the damage is often out of sight and therefore probably out of mind. However the damage is usually expensive to rectify so it should not be ignored. And prevention is simpler and less expensive than the cure.

Condensation can occur in all building types largely due to poor design or the inappropriate use of materials. The three factors that increase condensation risk are:

  • moisture levels too high
  • temperatures in the building fabric that are too low
  • uncontrolled flow of water vapour from a source to a region of cold temperature

The design of the building should address these factors but conventional design practice often does not.

Placing foil sarking under a tiled or metal roof above a well insulated ceiling is such an example. In Winter, say in Sydney or Canberra, this design will result in a very cold roof space at night as the ceiling batts work to keep the heat inside the room below. At the same time, any moisture entering the roofspace from the rooms may well be below the dew point when it comes in contact with the foil.

The condensate then runs along the underside of the foil until it is absorbed by the timber roof framing or probably starts dripping onto the ceiling batts. If not too severe, the batts will dry during the warmth of the next day. Unfortunately, they will still have lost some of their thermal effectiveness. Of course if they got wet enough to transfer moisture to the plasterboard ceiling then structural damage is also possible.

The identification of condensation risk is complex due to the many factors such as climate, materials, insulation and vapour permeability. Gradwell Consulting uses specialist software to evaluate the risk and provide guidance on appropriate designs.

+ Daylighting

Because buildings with poor levels of natural light use more artificial lighting, daylighting analysis provides a powerful tool for reducing the operating costs of a building while still at the design stage.

Gradwell Consulting uses sophisticated lighting analysis software to assess the light intensity throughout a building. Factors such as building geometry, sun position and sky type can all be adjusted. The results are presented as high quality illuminance contour plots.

+ Shadow Diagram

Ensuring adequate solar access for the proposed building and its neighbours is an important ESD principle. Gradwell Consulting can analyse complex building geometry and determine the shadows that will be cast throughout the year.

The results can be provided as traditional shadow diagrams for a particular day and time – for example, 3 pm on 21 June. Alternatively, a movie can be prepared that visualises the movement of shadows throughout a selected day.

+ ESD Reports

Energy Efficiency and Ecologically Sustainable Development reports are required for many major projects. These reports typically examine site planning, building orientation, envelope design, solar access, solar technology, sustainable building materials and recycling.

The building design evaluation is broken down into solar shading, thermal performance, cross ventilation and other passive design measures.

Timely advice.

2000+ projects.

Part of your design team.

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