Our team at BSE 3D have extensive experience in decarbonisation schemes, both as part of wider refurbishment works in existing buildings and as stand alone projects. The majority of buildings that will be in use in 2050 already exist. By carrying out decarbonisation schemes, we help our clients reduce their building’s carbon footprint to help meet the net zero carbon 2050 target. While we design new low to zero carbon (LZC) buildings, the industry must also focus on decarbonising the existing building stock. Our experienced team achieve this by working on retrofit decarbonisation projects with our clients.
Retrofit decarbonisation involves reducing the CO2 emissions from existing buildings. The purpose of this is to reduce carbon emissions, but also reduce a building’s reliance on fossil fuels. This is achieved through fabric enhancements (external walls, floors, roof, windows and doors) and MEP service upgrades.
Fabric upgrades reduce heat losses from buildings. Additionally, these upgrades help to reduce solar gain and therefore a room or building’s cooling load. This makes the building more efficient because by reducing heat loss, less heat input is needed and the heat you do produce/input stays in the property longer. MEP upgrades look to deliver this heat in an efficient way that uses less energy compared to the standard gas boiler system. MEP upgrades can also look at microgeneration of electricity to offset or reduce the carbon intensity of the electricity used in the property.
Using industry recognised and state of the art software, our engineers create thermal models to support architects and clients to reduce their existing building loads.
Retrofit Decarbonisation Project Process
During a retrofit decarbonisation project our team will work with the client to:
- Analyse the existing property.
- Review fabric enhancement options.
- Review different LZC/renewable options and technology in the marketplace to find a sustainable, carbon emission reducing solution.
- Produce a concept design report and associated sketches to analyse the most suitable system.
- Demonstrate the carbon emissions savings impact the chosen options have.
- Review any applicable Government/Ofgem Environmental and Social Schemes which could offer one off or on going monetary benefits
- Produce a detailed design of the agreed MEP design strategy.
- We can monitor the installation during the construction stage and provide technical assistance.
- We can produce Part L compliance documentation to demonstrate the achieved CO2 savings at the end of the project.
Our engineers have worked on retrofit decarbonisation schemes across a variety of projects both residential and commercial to different RIBA stages:
- Leonardslee Gardens, Lower Beeding
- Integration of air source heat pumps (ASHPs) into the refurbished heating and domestic hot water system to provide an efficient hybrid system to serve the Grade II listed Leonardslee House. The hybrid system approach would increase the system efficiency across the year and reduces costs compared to the fossil fuel only heating and hot water system.
- Holiday Inn Hotels, London
- A decarbonisation scheme where heat pumps were implemented for space heating, cooling and hot water.
- WMP Police Station, Birmingham
- Proposed the introduction of ASHPs to supply the space heating for this police station in Birmingham. Additionally, photovoltaic solar panels were introduced to the roof to further reduce the building’s ongoing carbon emissions.
- Blue Orchid Hotels
- Our engineers created thermal models before and after the proposals to demonstrate the carbon savings of the proposed removal of gas. Instead, heat pumps for heat recovery air conditioning was implemented in addition to serving the hot water.
- Government Building, Cardiff
- Proposal to introduce a rainwater harvesting system. Integrating a system like this in an urban area is a challenge, however our team devised a scheme that would integrate rainwater harvesting to offset the freshwater used to flush toilets and urinals. Although this is not a true decarbonisation scheme, this approach will reduce the building’s fresh water demand and increase water security.
- Office Fit Out with TR Projects, London Blackfriars
- Decarbonisation of a London office through the implementation of higher efficiency MEP equipment. By introducing heat recovery ventilation, the winter heating loads reduced which, also offered summertime cooling load savings.
- Cats Protection, Haywards Heath
- A comprehensive review of all available and suitable low carbon technologies was presented to the client for the decarbonisation of this Sussex cat shelter with cattery, vet and associated office, storage and welfare facilities. The nature of the site makes it suitable for air, ground or water source heat pumps. Our review covers both economical and carbon emission calculations and comparisons, final recommendations made. These included the implementation of photovoltaic panels to decarbonise their electricity consumption.
- Amazon Offices
- Major retrofit of both MEP services upgrades and additional passive thermal elements. MVHR, heat recovery ventilation and efficient controls were introduced. These reduced the summertime heat gains. Additionally, external solar shading and solar glazing were implemented to further reduce heat gains and reduce cooling loads.
Please contact our team for details on how BSE 3D can assist you in decarbonising your existing building.