SUSTAINABLE WATER DESIGN
Due to rapid urbanisation and gradually increasing rainfall intensity and irregularity due to climate change, greater volumes of storm water are being generated from the impermeable surfaces and roofs that now cover a large part of water catchments.
Web Earth specialise in the design and implementation of sustainable water management plans and sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), which work with the landscape to reduce and tangibly improve water quality, as well as providing increased biodiversity and amenity spaces for people.
Whatever the project scale, we make sure that water is managed throughout the treatment process, including at source, conveyance and retention. Possible design interventions include:
- Green roofs and pervious pavements that control storm water at the source through infiltration.
- Resilient vegetation and bioswales that slow and filter storm water as they convey it around a site.
- Bio-retention ponds and constructed wetlands that store and improve water quality before discharging it to the drainage network.
Our team of water specialists are also certified Active Beautiful Clean (ABC) Waters professionals, who are currently working with Singapore’s Public Utility Board to enhance the environmental and recreational capacities of the country’s drainage network.
LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS
When a building is commissioned or retrofitted, its owners, developers and managers make crucial decisions on the acquisition and use of many different systems.
Web Earth’s energy and life cycle models can capture both potential costs and carbon emissions at each stage of a building’s life to yield a holistic view of each system.
The initial capital cost, often clearly defined, is a key factor influencing the selection of systems. However, the capital cost forms only one part of the expenses that need to be considered over an asset’s life cycle. Life cycle analysis gives developers and owners valuable feedback in the following areas:
- Informing decision-making with indicators for capital and operations and maintenance investments based on minimum life cycle costs.
- Ranking each of the systems based on total cost of ownership and total emissions impact.
- Enabling better reporting to key stakeholders.
Web Earth’s integrated modelling approach identifies the most suitable systems and designs early in the project, creating maximum value for our clients. To maximise cost reductions in life cycle costs, analysis must occur during the early concept development and design phase of any project. At this time, significant commissioning changes can be made with the least impact on costs.
For large, complex projects with multiple options, we use management abatement curves to analyse the financial benefits over varying return periods to meet emission or energy savings targets in the most cost-effective manner.
GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
Green building benchmarking and certification is one the main ways for clients to showcase the performance and sustainable design features incorporated into their building and district developments.
Web Earth's expertise includes:
- Green Mark (Singapore Building & Construction Authority)
- Green Building Index (Malaysian Green Building Council)
- LEED (US Green Building Council)
Our accredited professionals have certified international developments ranging from large scale mixed-use commercial and hospitality to luxurious residential bungalows. This diversity of experience ensures we can guide any project through the certification process as smoothly as possible.
Common conceptions suggest that the higher the certification, the higher the cost. We have found that this is usually due to clients trying to incorporate sustainability targets into a project that is already well into its schematic or detailed design stage.
By engaging Web Earth’s expertise from the beginning of a project, we can work with the client and other consultants to provide creative solutions including passive design and energy efficiency for even the most challenging brief. This process ensures that achievable sustainability goals are incorporated into the fabric of the project, not added as an afterthought.
DYNAMIC ENERGY MODELLING
At Web Earth we know that there is more than one solution to any challenge, so we start each project from a blank page and explore every possibility. This process ensures we get the most efficient and innovative sustainable design for all of our clients and collaborators.
For example, each building is different and what saves energy on one project may not on the next. Our integrated energy modelling process allows us to identify all the direct and indirect benefits to the project, helping the design team choose which strategies to proceed with.
Our cutting-edge energy models capture every aspect of a building, from the envelope construction and form, surrounding buildings and site topography, as well as internal mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems. By using this integrated approach, we are able to see the impacts of changes in all the building’s systems, and to simulate performance across an entire year.
RESEARCH & INNOVATION
Web Earth’s built environment specialists use advanced modelling techniques to provide guidance on everything from the fundamentals of building design to simulations of the latest cutting edge technologies. Our research and investment in the latest technological innovations keeps us ahead of the competition and allows us to equip our collaborators and clients with the essential data that they need to make informed decisions throughout the design process.
Our advanced software enables us to model the latest technological developments in the industry and simulate their performance. Examples of our iterative assessment capabilities include:
- The impact of a design’s window-to-wall ratio on air conditioning energy consumption.
- The ability of electrochromic glazing to reduce the peak cooling load of a test model.
- The airflow patterns of a room using passive displacement ventilation, an innovative approach that maintains thermal comfort levels whilst dramatically cutting energy consumption.
- The thermal environments of spaces applying adaptive comfort design principles.
The new field of computational engineering enables specialists to quickly model multiple building design iterations to find optimised design solutions based on the input parameters and desired performance outputs. In this area of innovation, Web Earth enjoys close collaborations with our pioneering colleagues at Web Structures and Milan Research Lab.
SOLAR SHADING & DAYLIGHT ANALYSIS
How a building interacts with the sun is one of the most critical aspects of its design and operations. Our detailed solar analysis allows architects, designers and masterplanners to make informed decisions to create spaces that are more thermally and visually comfortable for their users and energy efficient for their owners and operators.
For example, Web Earth’s solar analysis helps identify where glass is most appropriate for used, avoiding areas of high exposure and solar heat and resulting in potential cost savings for glass performance. We also work closely with architects and designers to optimise daylight penetration to internal spaces, minimising the need for artificial lighting while also avoiding undesirable glare.
Opportunities to generate energy from the sun are equally important to create a holistically sustainable building. Our analysis identifies areas with high exposure and the annual hourly analysis gives detailed feasibility information for the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels or solar hot water.
We work with industry-leading PV suppliers and turnkey contractors to create the best value and highest payback for clients, with a range of options from grid tied to solar leasing systems.
VENTILATION ANALYSIS (CFD)
Designing buildings for effective natural ventilation requires detailed planning from conceptual stages. Modern buildings often have complex forms and floor plates, and are constructed within a dense urban environment.
Through early stage computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation Web Earth are able to work around these constraints to provide thermal comfort whilst limiting the need for air conditioning, reducing energy consumption and operational emissions.
CFD simulates how fluids such as air and water interact around buildings and sites, within pipe or ducts, or when subject to heat or movement. CFD analysis can be used throughout the design process, from the conceptual stage of a development to aid with masterplanning, or during detailed design of air conditioning and mechanical ventilation (ACMV) equipment and placement.
Web Earth’s detailed studies of the control mechanisms required for each development, in combination with its local microclimate, provide the optimum solution for occupant comfort and energy savings.
WIND-DRIVEN RAIN (WDR) MODELLING
Many new developments are designed with increased porosity to promote natural ventilation. Although this is generally positive for energy savings, it can also increase the risk of wind-driven rain (WDR) penetration, affecting the usability of spaces during and immediately after rainstorm events.
Using our cutting-edge computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools, Web Earth studies WDR patterns in order to reduce the severity of rain penetration into a development's functional spaces.
Through our advanced simulation techniques, we are able to identify the wet areas during rain events of different severity, adjusted for local weather conditions. Each mitigation strategy is tailor-made to individual projects to ensure that critical spaces remain dry based on user requirements.