Sunday, 4 November 2012

EPSRC Research project Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate (DeDeRHECC), new papers published

Short, as Professor of Architecture at Cambridge University, is Principal Investigator for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council research project 'Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate' (DeDeRHECC) £1.06million with contributions from the Dept. of Health. It sits within the Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate call under the umbrella of central government's Living with Environmental Change programme LWEC. The project is developing adaptation strategies for a series of type hospital buildings from late 19th century Nightingale Wards to 60's, 70's and 80's high, medium and low rise buildings, a significant sample of the 30 million square metre NHS Estate, perhaps the largest estate of buildings nominally under single ownership in the world. Some 330 acute hospitals comprise 18 million square metres within this estate built in recognisable historic bursts of investment in hospital buildings in highly recognisable types belonging to each period. The work is cited in the national Climate Change Risk Assessment and is informing DEFRA's National Adaptation Plan. Project Partners include Loughborough, Leeds and the Open Universities, Cambridge's own Engineering Design Centre, Arup, Davis Langdon AECOM and four NHS Acute Trusts: Bradford Royal Infirmary, Leicester University Hospitals, W.Herts and Addenbrookes in Cambridge. The results are being released in a series of papers, two of which are cited below, a broadcast quality film is in production describing the prodigious scale of the problem and animating the many options and strategies for a comprehensive range of hospitals. Davis Langdon are costing all the proposals including net present value calculations.

Full citations as below:

Short, C.A., Lomas, K.J., Renganathan, G., Fair,A. (2012) ‘Building resilience to overheating into 1960's UK hospital buildings within the constraint of the national carbon reduction target: adaptive strategies’. Building and Environment doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2012.02.031

The National Health Service (NHS) Estate in England includes 18.83 Mm2 of acute hospital accommodation, distributed across 330 sites. Vulnerability to overheating is clear with 15,000 excess deaths occurring nationally during the July 2003 heatwave. The installation of mechanical cooling in existing hospitals appears to be the inevitable recommendation from NHS patient safety risk assessments but the carbon implications would undermine the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy. NHS CO2 emissions constitute 25% of all public sector emissions, equivalent to 3% of the UK total. In the post-2008 economic climate, the likelihood of wholesale replacement of the NHS Estate is significantly diminished; refurbishment is now of increasing interest to the Trusts that together make up the NHS. The research project ‘Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate’ seeks to understand the environmental performance of the current NHS Estate and, from this, to establish its resilience. To this end, hospital buildings operated by four NHS Trusts are being monitored and simulated using dynamic thermal models calibrated against measured data. Adaptive refurbishment options are proposed and their relative performance predicted against the existing internal conditions, energy demands and CO2 emissions. This paper presents findings relating to one representative type building, a medium-rise ward block dating from the late 1960s.  It shows that this particular type may have more resilience in the current climate than might have been expected, that it will remain resilient into the 2030s, and that relatively non-invasive measures would extend and increase its resilience whilst saving energy. 

 Lomas, K.J., Giridharan, R., Short, C.A., Fair,A.J. (2012) Resilience of
            ‘Nightingale’ hospital wards in a changing climate’, Building Serv. Eng.
Res. Technol. 33,1 (2012) pp. 81–10

The National Health Service (NHS) Estate in England comprises more than 30Mm2 with 18.83Mm2 of acute hospital accommodation on 330 sites.  There is concern about the resilience of these buildings in a changing climate, informed by the experience of recent heatwaves.  However, the widespread installation of air conditioning would disrupt the achievement of ambitious energy reduction targets. The research project ‘Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate’ is attempting to estimate the resilience of the NHS Estate on the basis of current and projected performance and using an adaptive comfort model. This paper presents results relating to a 1920s traditionally built block with open ‘Nightingale’ wards, a representative type.  The paper demonstrates the relative resilience of the type, and illustrates a series of relatively light-touch measures that may increase resilience while saving energy.

Practical application
The results presented in this paper will be of value to NHS Trusts: Estates staff charged with operating buildings as well as Boards and others involved in decision-making.  It will also find an audience with policymakers in central government and the Department of Health, as well as those who own, operate or are tasked with working on non-domestic buildings with heavy traditional construction.

Future House HQ Beijing, new research paper published

A new comprehensive paper on the practice's innovative hybrid building in Beijing is published in the International Journal of Ventilation including discussion on appropriate adaptive comfort standards, the detailed design, simulations of various options including the resilience of the as-built scheme. 

Full ref.  C. Alan Short, Runming Yao, Guozhi Luo, Baizhan Li, (2012) ‘Exploiting a hybrid environmental design strategy in the continental climate of Beijing’ The International Journal of Ventilation, vol.11, no.2, September 2012.

C. Alan Short1,4, Runming Yao2, Guozhi Luo3,5, Baizhan Li3,
1 Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge,1-5 Scroope Terrace,  Cambridge CB21PX,UK
2School of Construction Management and Engineering, the University of Reading,
Whiteknights, PO Box 219, Reading RG6 6AW, UK
3 Key Laboratory of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region’s Eco-Environment, Ministry of Education; Faculty of Urban Construction and Environmental Engineering, Chongqing, China
4  Short and Associates Chartered Architects, Lansbury House, 3 St.Mary’s Place, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2DN, UK
5  Southwest Architectural Design Institute, Chengdu, China
The built environment in China is required to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 against the 1980 design standard. A particular challenge is how to maintain acceptable comfort conditions through the hot humid summers and cold desiccating winters of its continental climate regions. Fully air-conditioned sealed envelopes, often fully glazed, are becoming increasingly common in these regions. Remedial strategies involve technical refinements to the air-handling equipment and a contribution from renewable energy sources in an attempt to achieve the prescribed net reduction in energy use. However an alternative hybrid environmental design strategy is developed in this research project. It exploits observed temperate periods of weeks, days, even hours in duration to free-run an office and exhibition building configured to promote natural stack ventilation when ambient conditions permit and mechanical ventilation when conditions require it, the two modes delivered through the same physical infrastructure. The proposal is modelled in proprietary software and the methodology adopted is described. The challenge is compounded by its first practical application to an existing reinforced concrete frame originally designed to receive a highly glazed envelope. This original scheme is reviewed in comparison. Furthermore the practical delivery of the proposal value engineered out a proportion of the ventilation stacks. The likely consequence of this for the environmental performance of the building is investigated through a sensitivity study.

Key words: sustainable design, natural ventilation, hybrid, mixed mode, sustainable refurbishment

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Pall Mall project for Berry Bros. and Rudd proceeding with the intricate demolition of the interiors and selected pieces of the existing facades. The lost elevation to the rear of Pickering Place, divined but never wholly visible, is now apparent and will form a rich North elevation to the new atrium. MJP Architects are the executive architects for Galliford Try and we thank our former colleague Michael Ritchie for the up to the minute progress shots.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The current june issue of the RIBA Journal features the work of the practice and its heavy involvement in design research over 20 years. The RIBA Journal refers to, '... the work of arguably one of the world's most cutting edge practices - a mobilised army of mathematicians, physicists and environmental experts, all co-ordinated by architects to integrate them under one holistic aesthetic.'

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Alan Short's research papers 'most downloaded'

Alan Short has three papers in the top ten most downloaded papers in the A* rated international research journal "Building Research and Information".

The paper "Low Energy Refurbishment Strategies for Health Buildings", published in the Journal of Building Performance Simulation 3 (3): 107-216 2010, is one of the top ten most downloaded papers for 2011 in that international research journal.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Alan Short gives keynote lecture at L'Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville to launch the exhibition Les Ressources de L'Architecture pour une Ville Durable 12th January Paris. The work of the practice over 20 years is liberally illustrated in Pierre Lefevre's handsome accompanying book of the same name.
Alan Short's new book 'Geometry and Atmosphere, Theatre Buildings from Vision to Reality' with a foreword by Sir Richard Eyre is published by Ashgate, ISBN 978-0-7546-7404-7, the outcome of a three year Arts and Humanities Research Council funded major project based at Cambridge University.