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Installations and building physics under one roof: the benefits

Our one-stop shop of building performance expertise, from buildings physics through to energy consumption, is geared for user comfort and climate resilience.

Deerns is a renowned building installation consultant with a range of technical consultancy services for optimising building performance. Our hidden treasure is our wide range of specific in-house expertise in our Building Physics & Energy (BP&E) and the Special Building Consultancy (SBC) units with around 50 and 35 experts, respectively. In this first of a series of articles, we unpack how our experts offer a unique one-stop shop for our clients. We combine building performance installations integrated with highly specific installations from acoustics for user comfort through to lifts for easy people flow.

Our experts work across markets and specialised expertise areas. Clients benefit from the collective insights gained from expertise six market-specific areas, namely Airports, Real Estate, Hospitals, Life Sciences, Data Centres and Electronics, as well as over 20 cross market expertise areas.

Advantage 1: Specialised consultants 

The BP&E unit goes beyond building physics and installations in concept design building projects by taking into account critical issues such as health and sustainability. Six main areas of expertise within the BP&E unit are building physics, acoustics, fire safety, sustainability, energy and lighting design.

These are specialist areas with unique benefits for our clients and their end users. We have seen the demand for building physics experts increase recently as companies come under pressure to meet sustainable building requirements. One reason for this upward trend is the demand for employee well-being within the workplace is another.

Building physics is indispensable for creating healthy and comfortable living environments. Our expertise covers the critical physical aspects of buildings, such as heat, moisture, light and noise. We consider issues which make the difference to a pleasant and healthy workplace. Natural light, noise comfort, ventilation and thermal comfort are some of the myriad considerations our teams bring into a single design concept. Deerns has a track record of transferring solutions for office buildings to standardised solutions for health care.

This has a direct impact on the bottom line for building tenants and owners. For example, a healthy building can reduce absenteeism and can improve employee engagement in the workplace.

Deerns is unique in this regard since we consult on these ‘soft’ issues as part of our engineering design services. This is why I consider Deerns a ‘one-stop’ shop. More often than not these expertise services are considered a specialist issue and is outsourced to an external supplier.

Advantage 2: Leave the job to the experts

The more consultants on the design team, the greater the onus on the client to coordinate each member of the design consulting team. Often, the design advice is beyond of the client’s core competency. Inevitably the commissioning client is then faced with conundrums well outside of their expertise comfort zone. For example – how can the client assess whether the installation advice conflicts with that of the fire safety advice?

At Deerns, all areas of expertise work together, ensuring that each of the engineering components are adequately considered and highlighted, thereby saving the client coordination and professional assessment headaches.

Advantage 3: innovative strength

Our collective technical depth is the ideal starting point for smart innovation solutions. Our specialists fully understand and complex problems and provide data-driven informed solutions on the feasibility of design in practice. We challenger each other’s design input prior to arriving at the optimal design.

Example case study: Ring duct for flexible buildings

Through digital simulation our clients can make informed decision about creating a building meets today’s needs and future needs. Recently we considered an unconventional solution by which an existing building can meet its future – it was as simple yet as unheard of as ring duct with valves, which enabled improved air flow regulation and extended the lifespan of a building.

Sustainability as an overarching theme

Sustainability underpins our approach to engineering solutions buildings. Hot topics are re-use of materials and bio-based buildings (using natural materials as much as possible, such as wood, straw, cork and clay).

We are bold in steering our solutions from outdated design responses for building installations. Whereas the laws of physics do not change, the environmental factors influence what we propose as best solutions for our clients, with the interests of society and our environment top of mind. Consider concrete and timber: concrete has been the preferred solution as floors between storeys to prevent noise pollution and improve fire safety, while timber is more sustainable but has a lower score on noise reduction and fire safety it also has a high carbon footprint.

We explore the feasible alternatives with our clients. Our unique pool of smart experts have in-depth domain knowledge to tackle the complex issues.

In the next article in this series, we discuss the expertise in our Special Building Consulting unit and highlight unique areas of expertise and special projects.

Let’s talk

Pieter Schepman

Unit Director Building Physics and Energy