19/05/2016

Building physics: science at the service of efficiency and quality of use

The environmental design of a building is too often reduced to a requirement for HEQ, BREEAM or LEED certification, or to saving a few kWh/m2, without consideration of costs, investment or operation. This add-on way of thinking is not a basis for definition of a project strategy and leads to collateral negative effects on the usage and the overall economics of the project.

The context contains natural and artificial riches that represent genuine potential from which the project can draw its resources. Building physics applies skills and tools to identify these resources in order to generate qualities and services in terms of usage, performance, ambiences, nuisance reduction and positive impacts. It contributes to the design of restrained buildings, with low investment, operating and maintenance costs, comfortable to occupy and simple to use. All services rendered to the client and to the future users on the scale of the building, but also of the neighbourhood, the town and the region. This approach is essential for setec bâtiment, in that it enables nesting of the design scales and broadening of the project beyond its layout and its morphology.

 

Relevant solutions at lower cost

The construction of a mixed-use property development – 12 000 m² of offices, 3000 m² of housing and 1200 m² of services and shops – close to Besançon railway station, for example, motivated setec bâtiment to look for solutions with regard to the physics of the building. Its tuyés, based on the traditional smokehouse structures designed to control air flow for smoking meat and other products, have been ‘re-interpreted’ as follows: closed in winter, they enable the building to have a compact morphology; open in spring or autumn and/or in summer, they provide cooling by natural ventilation. A choice demonstrating a determination to achieve effectiveness with lower effort and lower cost, seeking an optimum for the project.