January 31st 2023

Fife Council use IESVE to help optimise energy efficiency and occupant comfort for new care home design

Fife Council use IESVE to help optimise energy efficiency and occupant comfort for new care home design

Fife Council has been using the IES Virtual Environment (IESVE) to carry out detailed performance analysis on its new and existing properties to ensure they are designed and running with energy efficiency and comfort in mind. One such building is a design for a new care home in Cupar. 

The proposed design is a 24-bed care home, with 12 specific-needs housing flats, along with adults and older people day service facilities. Construction will begin in October 2023, with completion expected in early 2025.

Fife council used the IESVE to carry out dynamic thermal simulations to analyse the effect the design proposals would have on internal comfort conditions. The design aims to use passive natural ventilation strategies where possible.

The IESVE model was used to predict the internal temperatures resulting from the predicted occupancy patterns, effects of variations in these occupancy patterns and inform suggested modifications to the existing design. The model was also used to investigate air quality within the occupied spaces in terms of CO2 concentration and simulate Daylight Analysis on the occupied spaces. Based on the results from this analysis, modifications to the existing design were suggested to inform the design development.

The results of the dynamic thermal analysis showed some concerns regarding overheating, in particular with the south facing rooms. These rooms were then investigated with proposed variations added to ensure no overheating occurs. To ensure compliance it is proposed that all glazing on the south elevation should be Solar controlled glass with a G Value of no more than 0.36 and a Light Transmittance value of 0.68. The width of the window openings should be increased to 645mm and internal roller blinds (dark) should be added to all bedrooms.

The daylight analysis showed that most rooms will require supplementary lighting during the occupied day. However, there were several rooms which fully met the daylight requirements, and for these areas, supplementary lighting will not be required during daylight hours.

Fife Council has found that using IESVE on its projects ensures that any modifications required to the design can be incorporated at an early stage. 

“IESVE allows us to model different scenarios, identifying potential issues with comfort and energy consumption. This process provides confidence that the buildings are designed to achieve maximum comfort levels for the occupants whilst also ensuring we comply with current regulations in terms of energy efficiency.

There are also reputation and financial benefits from using IESVE, as we prevent the need for expensive post contract modifications following potential complaints from occupants. Post contract changes are also very disruptive and cause a negative impact of reputation which must be avoided.”

Nicola O’Hare, Mechanical Design Engineer, Fife Council