Sustainable internal environment and services


A developer (your client) has approached you for advice on the environmental services technology to adopt for the construction of a commercial building on a city centre redevelopment site. The developer has a background in the housing sector and little experience of the technology associated with commercial development projects.

An outline floor plan of the proposed eight‐storey subject building is attached; the clear storey height on each floor is four metres. From the site records, the ground conditions appear to be approximately seven metres of clay containing a variable quantity of sand overlying chalk. The developer intends to lease this building to a commercial client but this client has yet to be found. The building should be as sustainable as possible.

Learning outcomes

As a result of completing this assessment successfully, students should have:
1. Enhanced knowledge of the environmental servicing of multi‐storey buildings; 2. further experience of locating relevant data and information;
3. improved report writing and presentation skills.


The client has requested that your consultancy submits its proposals in a professionally written report not exceeding 1500 words in length.

An outline floor plan of the proposed eight‐storey subject building is attached; the clear storey height on each floor is four metres.

Produce a report for the developer’s Project Manager containing the following:

1. An executive summary of your proposals, including mention of any assumptions made.

2. A detail showing the external wall construction, indicating Building Regulations’ target U-values for walls and windows. How much better than Building Regulations’ targets could you go and why? Provide detail of proposed solar shading appropriate for each elevation. Details here do not necessarily need to be drawn but do need to come from a credible source. This could be a textbook or from literature produced by a manufacturer.

3. A technical description and a schematic diagram for the:

• Means of maintaining thermal comfort and hot and cold water installation.

Include detail of any fire precautions relating to the above services. Cable sizing and other technical detail of this nature is not required. Include any other visual material that enhances the communication of the proposals.

Provide a key floor plan showing the position of vertical service risers and provide a visual and/or written description of how the above services are to be distributed horizontally.


For reasons of clarity use Verdana 11pt font with 11⁄2 line spacing. The maximum word count is 1500 words with appendices excluded. Any appended material must be relevant and cross-referenced with the main body text.

Reference material

The information provided in class provides a starting point but take care not to directly reproduce details used in the lectures that may be inappropriate. All proposals should be specific to the subject building. For particular elements, you may choose to specify particular manufacturers’ products or systems. Acknowledge all sources throughout using the Harvard method of referencing.

Hall, F. and Greeno, R. (2017) Building Services Handbook. Oxford: Routledge

• Very good on building services

McMullan, R. (2018) Environmental Science in Building. London: Red Globe Press • Very good on U-values and heat losses

Szokolay, S. V. (2018) Introduction to architectural science: the basis of sustainable design. Oxford: Routledge

• Very good on U-values, heat losses and solar shading

The external enclosure part of the assignment requires the proposal of an appropriate form of external wall construction with a specific emphasis on the U-value of the proposal.  Building Regulations Approved Document L2A, on page 15 shows Target U-values (limiting fabric parameters) for buildings other than dwellings:

Students should be able to locate a detail, from manufacturer’s literature or elsewhere that will be appropriate for the subject building.  A U-value is a rate of heat transfer across an enclosure.  In the UK, this parameter is used to measure the rate at which heat is lost from a building over the heating season (coldest part of the year). 

 We also need to consider the effect of solar gain on buildings over the summer months.  Well insulated buildings with a low U-value enclosure can be prone to summertime overheating.  One way of mitigating this is to shade glazing externally to prevent direct sunlight from striking glazing.  This is explained in this book: