Internal Building Climate

The design of energy efficient buildings is now seen as highly desirable by most planning authorities. Vipac, a certified assessor of building energy efficiency, performs thermal comfort and energy studies as well as condensation studies, using both physical and computational analysis techniques.

Testing facilities for physical modelling of internal building climates include:

Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel

To test scale models of proposed buildings and determine pressure contours on external surfaces. By combining this information with the local statistical wind climate, the yearly or monthly potential for natural ventilation in terms of the number of air changes per hour or open space air velocity can be assessed as well as the optimal location of air inlets and exhausts.

Solar Simulator, Environmental Chamber, Air Distribution Laboratory and UV Spectrophotometer

For determining heat and light transmission through a facade; full scale sample testing to determine air and water leakage, as well as transmission, reflection and absorption characteristics of sample materials; laboratory modelling of air conditioning devices, diffusers & jets and of air dispersion in spaces.

Results of physical models can be trialled and extended through computational modelling, involving:

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
software, such as AirPLAN and NISA – to ascertain the natural ventilation potential and building thermodynamics, as well as to predict, evaluate and optimise the performance of proposed climate control systems, reducing the annual air conditioning expenditure;

Vipac’s heat load evaluation software INSOL
for building energy consumption analysis – to determine the solar heat gain of a building with consideration to any nearby shielding buildings as well as canopies, sun shades, glazing configurations and window geometry (i.e. double-glazed systems).

On site testing complements Vipac’s range of services with the usage of advanced instrumentation and a multitude of experience in all facets of HVAC.