Building Services

Building Services and control systems, commisioning and building tuning

Lecture Week 6 30/8/16 by Lester Partridge (LCI Consulting Engineers)

Lighting Systems

Lighting consumes the majority of building energy use. This is mostly due to deep planning in office structures, and therefore a reduction in the availability of natural lighting.

T5 lights offers 6-7W per square metre, which is generally energy efficient. Energy use can be further reduced through LED lighting. Lighting system controls can be beneficial to include sensor lighting (heat and movement, between certain hours) or timer lighting. An exciting new area is called “organic response”, which alter the amount of lumens in an area, depending on the activities occurring in the area, which results in graduated lighting (Organic Lighting, shown below).

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HVAC Systems

Far more complicated system than a lighting system. Includes far more components nicluding AHU, Boiler, Chiller, Fans, Ducts, Diffusers etc. Generally, this is the area that can be the difference between a high energy and a low energy building. This is also an expensive process. Therefore, this is an area where passive design can have a huge influence over building energy use.

Facade zone loads are key here, as heating and cooling are required at different times of the day, depending on the suns location or azimuth.

3 cooling systems to cosnider

  • VAV
  • dispacement system
  • chilled seiling


Generates both heat and electricity through feeding natural gas that drives a generator (around 30% efficiency) and is therefore a low carbon option of energy generation. Tri-generation however, produces electricity, heat and water. Howver, there are high sccociated maintenance and repair costs despite the increase in energy generation.

Operational issues:

  • expensie to operate
  • maintenance intensive
  • require onsite maintenance staff
  • noise issues
  • emissions on CBD
  • regular maintenance

There are finance schemes for BOOT operators. (Build/Own/Operate/Terminate)


Maintenance is oftern quite low; especially compared to generators

Wind Turbines

They’re not generally the most efficient to generate power. Generally quite impracticaly and require quite smart design, especially to reduce building vibration.

Solar Cooling

Generally a good idea and fairly easy to adapt for the residential sector.

Mixed Mode Ventilation

A combination of natural ventilation and AC use. There are 3 types:

  • contingency design
  • complimentary design
  • zoned desing

Key problem: occupant control. Some people will want natural ventilation, and some people will want AC use which can be problematic and the conrol system needs to be well thought out. The facade needs to be of high quality that is sealable so that when the AC is on, energy is not wasted through infiltration.

Example of a mixed mode building” Illawarra TAFE, Shellharbour

Further References

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