Building performance and Soft Landings

Our building performance services help to deliver a building which really works for the occupants, offering spaces which allow them to thrive in terms of their comfort, health, and wellbeing, while using the least amount of energy possible. 

Hotdesking workspaces inside Staffordshire University New Catalyst building.

About building performance

Often complementing the work done by our Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health (MEP) engineers and sustainability and Passivhaus consultants, our building performance consultants help make sure that the performance gap between the building ‘as designed’ and the building ‘in use’ is as small as possible, that the building works as intended, and that the performance can be clearly proved and demonstrated. 

An integral part of maximising a building’s performance, the ‘Soft Landings’ approach that we helped develop is the opposite of simply handing over the keys and walking away. Working closely with building managers and occupiers at brief setting, design, handover, and in-use stages, we:

  • Help set building performance targets (energy use, carbon emissions)
  • Facilitate design reviews that consider the management and maintenance of the building after completion
  • Keep contractors involved and engaged throughout construction stages
  • Create engaging and easy-to-understand, highly visual user guides which explain how the building works.

Once the building is occupied, we make regular visits as part of an Aftercare service. We review the operation of the systems and assist in fine tuning, thereby improving comfort and often drastically reducing carbon emissions and running costs. 

We offer Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) services which involve going back and looking at the performance of a building once it’s been occupied for a period of time. This means getting feedback from the occupants and reviewing the energy performance, while highlighting lessons learnt and helping improve the ongoing operation. We do this both on buildings where we’ve carried out the MEP design and other consultancy services, but also on buildings we’ve had no prior involvement in. We endeavour to carry out some form of POE on all our projects, with a commitment to collect yearly operational energy data at the very least. This contributes to our rich database of buildings’ actual energy performance, which is essential to our in-depth and ever-growing understanding of how to design – and deliver – a net zero carbon building. 

Designing low energy, comfortable buildings that are a pleasure to be in has always been our goal as a Practice, and it’s the reason why our multiple CIBSE Building Performance Award winners are some of our proudest achievements.

Case studies

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