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Hello BIMfans,
As I wrote in the Prologue, the idea for There’s No BIM Like Home was born when my wife and I were buying our first house. During this purchase, I quickly realized that we were given an awful lot of paperwork to manage but no way to manage it.

I’d have been in real trouble if this went missing, but no longer!

As a Chartered Architectural Technologist who specializes in information management using Building Information Modelling (BIM), I set out to produce and manage an information model of Tŷ Crempog.  The aim was to collect enough information to satisfy the Model Purposes I had identified:

  • Register
  • Operations
  • Maintenance and Repair
  • Replacements

To ensure these purposes where met, I undertook both verification and validation activities of the information I produced.

Verification:  Verification came from two sources. Principally from you, the readers, who would spot errors and inconsistencies (thank you, and keep those corrections coming). In addition, a key verification milestone was when John Ford took my COBie and verified it using the COBie QC Reporter.

Validation:  Validation on other hand came from my physical testing of this information, which I do on a daily basis, showing that Size Doesn’t Matter when it comes to BIM. I also validated information when it could be used to answer a Plain Language Question.

During this journey I’ve answered these all of these questions, having produced over 60 blog posts, which have had over 50000 unique views in 130 different countries. With these views came recognition in the form of positive reviews from you, the readers, as well as Testimonials from key BIM professionals such as Nick Nisbet and David Philp.

Wow, thank you guys so much!! I’m sure VPNs had no influence on this whatsoever…

However, the work of There’s No BIM Like Home is far from over.

The most popular blog posts I’ve written is BIM Explainer, my plain language post; telling me that there are still issues around BIM education and communication. In addition, my other popular posts have been related to the practical application of standards such as:

Showing that there is a real appetite for practical demonstrations that show how these standards, methods, and procedures can be applied. As such, I plan to maintain the posts on this blog to ensure they align with industry developments and reflect good practice; for example, when ISO 19650-1 and ISO 19650-2 are published, when other standards are updated, or when new technologies are available.

So, please continue to visit this blog to keep up-to-date with good practice standards, methods, and procedures related to the use of information management using Building Information Modelling (BIM). Remember, while there may be some great mega-projects out there, There’s No BIM Like Home.

Fin

Note:  If you have any comments regarding my epilogue or want to let me know your thoughts about this blog, then please let me know either on Twitter or by commenting below.

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Hello BIMfans,
By writing PLQ 3.4 – EPConclusion, I was able to complete the calculations for my Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Rating.  Having made this information readily available, I issued a challenge to see what thermal improvements you would suggest.  I’m glad to say I received a plethora of suggestions (thank you everyone!) and have included the most detailed suggestions below.

NOTE:  To ensure that these suggestions were as realistic as possible, I have aimed to achieve the minimum requirements set out in the Welsh Approved Documents.  While I could have considered a higher benchmark such as enerPHit, I wanted to ensure that I could afford and justify the improvements described below, so they might actually be implemented.

Floors and Roofs (+5 SAP points):

This suggestion came from Craig Hardingham of MLM, who felt I would benefit from insulating between by floors and roof joists using a product like Rockwool.

Regulations:  According to the Welsh Approved Document L1b, I need to achieve a maximum u-value of 0.25W/m²K if I upgraded the thermal performance of my floor and 0.16W/m²K if I upgraded the performance of my roof.  While there are plenty of high-performance insulation materials, Rockwool is an excellent suggestion for two reasons:

  1. It is a mineral fibre, so if I use it between my joists it would keep the assembly breathable and the Rockwool can accommodate any warping or shape variation;
  2. Rockwool are good Welsh firm!

For my floor, I have chosen ROCKWOOL FLEXI.  Using my graphical model, I am able to calculate the perimeter and area of my floor to determine a P/A Ratio of 1.2, which means I need 140mm of ROCKWOOL FLEXI to achieve the desired U-value.

For my roof, I have chosen ROCKWOOL Roll, Twin Roll and Rollbatt.  If I cross-layer the insulation I would need a total of 270mm to achieve the desired U-value.

Modelling:  To undertake both of these calculation, I don’t need to edit my geometry, but I do need to add new properties to capture the thickness of my insulation. I couldn’t find an ideal property within the IFC Data Schema, so I have made my own:

ThermalInsulationThickness

NOTE:  I used -thickness because of xBIM doesn’t export properties with -Width, -Height, -Length suffixes to prevent duplication of information between different worksheets.

By placing this property onto my levels, I was able to get it into COBie to form part of my calculations without altering the exclusion list.

SAP:  For SAP Calculations, floor U-values (28a) are calculated based on a bespoke formula.  With an assumed thermal conductivity of 0.035 W/mK, the Rf value of my floor would increase to 4 instead of my default 0.2.  In addition, I would also seal my floor reducing the floor infiltration rate (12).  For my roof U-value (30) a new figure of 0.16 W/m²K is taken from table S9.

Based on the above, upgrading the insulation in my ground floor suspended timber floor and roof would improve my SAP score by an impressive five points.

Walls (+6 SAP points):

This suggestion came from John Hefford of Thermal Economics, who felt I would benefit from thermal dry-lining using Alrefelx Platinum while Emma Hooper of Bond Bryan Digital felt I would benefit from using Properla’s Masonry Creme.

Regulations:  According to the Welsh Approved Document L1b, I need to achieve a maximum u-value of 0.30W/m²K if I upgraded the thermal performance of my external walls.  To be honest, I hadn’t considered dry-lining however, due to my solid walls and flush fascia, cavity-fill and external wall insulation (EWI) systems are not feasible. Luckily, as John suggested a high-performance dry-lining system, I would only need 75mm to achieve the desired U-value.  Also, thanks to Emma’s suggestion by combining Alrefelx Platinum with Properla Masonry Creme, I would (in theory) only need 65mm.  This is because, while they have no BBA certificate demonstrating this, Properla has shown to improve the thermal conductivity of masonry to 0.355K (w/mK).

Modelling:  Post-installation, someone like  Thermal Economics could do a U-value test to provide to the SAP Assessor.  Otherwise the SAP Assessor would assume a much worse U-value of 0.6W/m²K.  This value would be place on my wall elements, but they would not appear in COBie, as such I would instead reference the test results and manually input this information.

NOTE:  I could cheat and place a property like ‘WallThermalConductivity’ onto the house, but this defeats the object of having a schema.  I’d like to remind you all that documents are not taboo in BIM!

SAP:  For SAP Calculations, the Wall U-value (29a) would use a new figure of 0.3W/m²K, and the walls heat capacity (29a) would also need to be updated to 9 kJ/m²K.  In addition I would need to remove 0.517m² from the ground floor area (1b) and 0.788m² from the first floor area (1c).

Being a mid-terrace home makes internal insulation much more efficient

Based on the above, treating and dry-lining my external walls would improve my SAP score by six points.

Windows (+2.5 SAP Points):

This suggestion came from Natasha Jayne Vermeulen of Whittam Cox Architects, who felt I would benefit from upgrading my windows using FORMAPLUS from Rationel.

Look at it, it’s like a work of art!

Regulations:  According to the Welsh Approved Document L1b, I need to achieve a u-value no worse than 0.16W/m²K when upgrading my existing windows.  Luckily, FORMAPLUS provides a U-value of 1.29W/m²K; making it an ideal solution.  Also, I love the look of wooden windows with an aluminium facade!

Modelling:  I discovered that Rationel have their windows on BIM Object.  However, these objects are quite frankly useless.  For example, the object I chose included a property called ‘U-value’ (should be ThermalTransmittance) which is formatted as text, instead of a number.  Meaning that it’s value ‘0,8’ (note the comma) doesn’t respond to project units, cannot be used for analytics and breaks my SAP Calculations!  So, I just used my own objects instead and added the properties I’ve previously discussed.

With objects like these, who needs enemies!

SAP: For SAP Calculations, now that I have updated the properties in my model, I am able to update my window U-values (27) to reduce heat loss and their G-values and Frame factors (74-82) to adjust solar gain.

Based on the above, replacing my windows with Rationel  FORMAPLUS would improve my SAP score by two and a half points.

Boiler (+4 SAP Points):

This suggestion came from Darryn Mars of Jonathan-Rhind Architects, who felt I would benefit from upgrading my boiler to biomass or a high-efficiency gas boiler.

Darryn was kind enough to make a suggestion but unfortunately didn’t suggest a product.  So, I decided to have a look at the Building Energy Performance Assessment support website, which includes the relevant product data to inform my SAP Calculations.  Using this site I was able to select the Worcester, Greenstar CDi.  Note:  I have a Worcester Greenstar, so (in theory) choosing another Greenstar should ease this process.

Regulations:  As I am not intending to move my flue or change the position of my boiler, I do not believe there are any regulatory issues I need to consider. (Phew!)

Modelling:  I couldn’t find a BIM object for this boiler, so I used my current boiler family and increased the boilers size to suit and updated OperationalEfficiency to 90.

To be honest, I still think my boiler’s geometry is too complex

SAP:  Now that I’ve updated my model, Boiler efficiency (206) and (216) are significantly improved  to 90 and my boiler’s electric load (230c) has been reduced down to 30kW/year.

Based on the above, replacing my boiler with a Worcester Greenstar CDi would improve my SAP score by four points.

Sum Total:

Amazingly, if I did all of the improvement works identified above, my SAP Calculations would go from 66 to 81.5.  This is a 15.5 improvement, bringing  Tŷ Crempog from an EPC of D to B!!  Note:  Those of you who kept count would have noticed that my improvements add up to 17.5, not 15.5.  This is because improvement to my external floor, wall and roof insulation mitigates the gains from a more efficient boiler; improvements need to be considered holistically.

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Hello BIMfans,
Welcome to ‘Is It Smart?’, the blog series where I have a look at the smart technology installed within Tŷ Crempog to explore the power of BIM Level 2, PropTech, and the Internet of Things (IOT).  This week, I take a look at the Conexis L1.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I have recently had Yale‘s Conexis L1, a keyless smart lock, installed.  I have always liked the idea of having a keyless home, so when I arranged for BWM Ltd to install my new back door, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to have them also install the Conexis L1.

What is it?

The Yale Conexis L1 is a keyless smart lock, suitable for multipoint locks, which meets PAS 24 and can be managed entirely from the Yale app.

I could say more, but I think this advert sums up what the Conexis L1 is nicely.

Yale Conexis TV Advert - YouTube
How does it work? A key by any other name…

Instead of keys, the Conexis L1 uses the Yale app to register fobs, key cards, tags or smartphones to gain access through a combination of RFID and Bluetooth.  Because these access methods are managed through the Yale app it means that access can be revoked if any of these devices are lost.  Otherwise, the Conexis L1 works just like a hotel door lock.

How Did I Model it?

I haven’t (well at least not properly).

Because the Conexis L1 is a part of my front door, the modelling options are quite limited.  I could have used something like IfcSwitchingDevice, IfcDiscreteAccessory or (when in doubt) IfcProxyElement.  However, because of the way Revit works, ironmongery, like handles and locks, are typically nested onto their host objects.  This means that if I put any information onto this object, none of it would be exported into IFC or COBie.  However, I have already modelled a door handle, so I have modified this object to reflect my new smart lock t improve the accuracy of my doors geometry.

This locks like an information rick object; but it isn’t… Is It Smart?

The Conexis L1 ticks some of the right boxes to be considered smart.

  • Data In:  The Conexis L1 maintains a list of devices that can be used for access as well as a history of devices that have locked/unlocked the door and when.  All of this information is available through the Yale app (which is probably the worst app I have ever used!).  Otherwise, the lock itself collects no other information.
  • Data Out:  Unfortunately, this is where the Conexis L1 really falls short.  As far as I can tell, there is no method of exporting any information.
  • Connectivity:  The Conexis L1 cannot connect to other devices as standard, but using a Z-wave Module, its connectivity can be expanded to connect to the Yale Smart Living Home App and third-party devices like the Samsung Smart Things Hub.  However, this connectivity comes at a cost as there are ways that the Z-wave module can be hacked (Thank you Rene for sending me this).  Luckily for me, I don’t have a Z-wave Module, so my lock is safe and sound!
The Potential

One thing I wish the Conexis L1 did was to confirm whether the door was currently locked or not.  However, without internet access, or a Z-wave Module, this wouldn’t be possible.  Otherwise, there isn’t much more I can expect a smart lock to do!

One thing I will say is that the smartphone unlock is terrible!  Using Bluetooth instead of RFID is takes ages to unlock and the “Twist and Go” gesture is quite unreliable.  It would work so much better if it used RFID.  While there might be security issues, RFID is used for contactless payment, so I’m sure there are solutions.  For now, I’ve now placed a key card in my phone case so I can bump my phone against the lock and instantly open my door as it if was RFID controlled.  A man can dream…

The Verdict

Is It Smart? The answer is sort-of, with a mediocre IQ of 100!

Out of the box, the Yale Conexis L1 isn’t particularly smart.  However, by using a Z-wave Module the lock becomes much much smarter; capable being controlled by voice and through IFTTT.  Once connected, the Conexis L1 provides all of the functionality you would expect from a smart lock.  However, gaining a direct connection to Google Home or Google Assistant (and a decent amount of development work on the app!) would help make the Conexis L1that much smarter.

And there you have it.  This week my Conexis L1 proved to sort-of smart.  Tune in next time where we take a look at another piece of smart technology and ask one simple question; Is It Smart?

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Hello BIMfans,
After previously considering my Overall Dimensions, Heating Requirements and Internal Gains, I am now able to complete my Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculations by looking at my final three categories:  9a_Energy Requirements, 10_Fuel Costs, and 11_SAP Rating.

Go on Crempog, climb those ratings! Energy Requirements
  1. Space Heating (211).  To calculate the amount of energy needed to heat Tŷ Crempog, SAP requires the previously calculated monthly space heating requirements (98) as well as my boiler’s efficiency (206).  Using the SAP Product Database, I was able to find an efficiency rate of 76.1%.  As expected, my boiler’s efficiency has a significant effect on the energy needed for space heating (211).

    The SAP product database can be accessed from here.

  2. Total Electricity (services) (231).   In a similar vein, as my boiler was installed before 2013 I’ve had to use 120 kWh/year instead of an assumed 30 kWh/year.  This means that, in addition to any efficiency gains, I could quarter the energy use associated with my boiler by having a new one installed.
  3. Total delivered energy for all uses (238).  Each of the calculated energy uses were collated to calculate my total delivered energy.  Interestingly, SAP includes an opportunity to subtract renewable energy sources; making the addition of solar panel an option to consider.  However, as my roof faces east and west, this option might not be as attractive as it seems. 

My SAP calculations for energy requirements can be seen below:

Fuel Costs
  1. Total Energy Cost (255).  As I am not able to choose my fuel, there isn’t much I can do to influence this cost aside from reducing my energy requirements.

My SAP calculations for my fuel costs can be seen below:

SAP Rating
  1. SAP Rating (358).  After all of these calculations, I’ve come to a final value. Using the total energy cost (255) of Tŷ Crempog and total floor area (4), I am able to calculate the energy cost factor (357); allowing me to calculate my SAP rating (358).Months of calculations and tests have allowed me to arrive at a single number, 66.50.  My ‘official’ SAP rating you ask? 65 (Pretty damn close if you ask me!).

My SAP calculations for SAP Rating can be seen below:

To double-check these figures (and increase my level of confidence), I contacted BRE’s Energy Team, who were kind enough to review my calculations.  After a few exchanges, I believe we have managed to spot and correct most, if not all, of the errors to arrive at a pretty realistic SAP score.  This means that I am able to test scenarios and see the impact any improvements have on Tŷ Crempog.

Now that my calculations are complete, I am happy to share them:

Having these calculations in Google Sheets is great because I am able to share and test these results.

It is so easy, I am issuing a challenge:

What are the most cost-effective thermal improvements that could be undertaken?

Using the structured information provided in my Calculation Sheet and SAP Documentation, what improvements can you test and suggest back?  The best suggestions will feature in next month’s blog post!!!  For example:

  • Backdoor:  A new backdoor would improve (26a) from 3.00 to 1.4; increasing my SAP rating by (an unimpressive) 0.3.
  • Boiler:  A new boiler would improve (206) and (230c); increasing my SAP rating by up to six whole 6 points!

So, let your creativity flow, and see what solutions you can think of:

Answers in the comments section below or via social media, please!

And there we have it.  Having now completed my SAP Calculations using Tŷ Crempog‘s information model, I should now (with your help) be able to determine the most cost-effective thermal improvements that could be undertaken.  In doing so, PLQ 3.4 will be complete!

Operation and Maintenance

  • 3.1 What are the sizes and condition of the windows & doors?
  • 3.2 What assets are in a poor condition?
  • 3.3 What costs can be attributed to my assets?
  • 3.4 What are the most cost effective thermal improvements that could be undertaken?

Now that my SAP rating has been calculated, Let’s see what potential improvement works you lot have suggested…

Note:  If you have any comments regarding my use of SAP, then please let me know either on Twitter, or by commenting below.

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Hello BIMfans,
As you are aware from my Previous Posts, I am currently working my way through BRE‘s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) by importing structured information from Tŷ Crempog‘s information model.  As I covered ‘how’ during SAP Likes it Hot, I’ve opted to go for quantity and have completed the majority of my SAP calculations.  While there were some suspect values (at one point I had a negative utilization rate), I’m in no way confident that these issues have been resolved.

Me for most of these calculations…

For this post, I’ve managed to complete: 4 Water Heating, 5 Internal Gains, 6 Solar Gains, 7 Internal Temperature and 8 Space Heating.

4 Water Heating
  1. Total Hot Water Usage (44).  To calculate the amount of hot water used, SAP uses an assumed occupancy (42) based on the dwelling’s total floor area (4) and default cold water values.  As such, without changing Tŷ Crempog‘s floor area, there isn’t much I can do here!
  2. Energy Loss (55).  As Tŷ Crempog has no water storage, this is an easy 0.
  3. Total Water Heating Output (64).  As water heating output is solely based on hot water usage, I cannot impact positively on this value through refurbishment work.

My SAP calculations for water heating can be seen below:

5 Internal Gains
  1. Total Internal Gains (73).  As you can imagine, there are a lot of internal heat sources within a dwelling.  However, metabolic, cooking gains and losses are calculated based on assumed occupancy (42) and appliance gains are based on total floor area (4); meaning no scope for improvements.  The exception is lighting gains.  Lighting gains take into account whether low energy bulbs are used (C1), window light transmittance (gl) and frame factor (FF).  I already have low energy bulbs throughout Tŷ Crempog, meaning that replacing windows is the only way to impact positively on these gains.

My SAP calculations for internal gains can be seen below:

6 Solar Gains
  1. Solar Gains (83).  Similar to my internal gains (73), solar gains depend on the window frame factor (FF), light transmittance and G-value (g1).  In preparation, I populated my architectural model with some additional properties.  Luckily for me, the properties I need are already within the IFC Schema:

    GlazingAreaFraction;
    VisibleLightTransmittance; and
    SolarHeatGainTransmittance.

    I needed to produce new properties for the others.  So using the requirements for property naming within BS 8541-4 I settled on:

    • SolarEnergyTransmittance
    • FrameFactor

    Disappointingly,  as I cannot determine the exact products used, SAP states I have to resort to the default values.  Note:  This really annoyed me.  My installer appears to no longer be in business.  This shouldn’t have been an issue as I have a FENSA certificate with a BFRC reference.  However, it turns out the information about my windows hasn’t been retained by FENSA or BFCR.  Meaning my windows properties have been lost to the ages…  Once again, replacing windows is the only way to impact positively on these gains.

My SAP calculations for solar gains can be seen below:

7 Internal Temperature
  1. Mean internal temperature (92).  Building on my previous calculations, mean internal temperature is calculated using Tŷ Crempog‘s total internal gains (84), thermal mass capacity (35) and heat loss parameter (39).  Meaning that the mean internal temperature would benefit from external wall, door and window thermal improvements.

My SAP calculations for internal temperature can be seen below:

8 Space Heating
  1. Space Heating (99).  All of the previous calculations help determine Tŷ Crempog‘s space heating requirements.  Using the default external temperature values (96) along with heat loss parameter (39), solar gains (83) and mean internal temperature (92) space heating could (finally) be calculated.  As one of the most significant values in determining a SAP score, I will need to carefully consider what refurbishment works I can do to optimize this value.

My SAP calculations for space heating can be seen below:

And there we have it.  As I progress deeper into SAP using Tŷ Crempog‘s information model, I am beginning to discover what properties I should consider when planning refurbishment works.  Fantastic, PLQ 3.4 is almost complete!

Operation and Maintenance

  • 3.1 What are the sizes and condition of the windows & doors?
  • 3.2 What assets are in a poor condition?
  • 3.3 What costs can be attributed to my assets?
  • 3.4 What are the most cost effective thermal improvements that could be undertaken?

Now that space heating has been calculated, I now need to look at Ty Crempog‘s energy requirements and fuel costs to complete my SAP calculation…

Note:  If you have any comments regarding my use of SAP, then please let me know either on Twitter, or by commenting below.

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Hello BIMfans,
In my last post, I introduced BRE‘s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and began my SAP Calculations by importing Tŷ Crempog‘s areas and dimensions from my Architectural COBie.  For this post, I’ve built on my initial calculations and have had a look at 2 Ventilation Rate and 3 Heat Loss.

As a Chartered Architectural Technologist, I’ve always tried to understand the science behind the built environment.  When working in practice I did my own thermal calculations, and have previously designed to meet Passivhaus.  This exercise has enabled me to rekindle that interest by combining thermal calculations, structured information, and information exchanges.

The built environment is often misunderstood even by boy wonders. 2 Ventilation Rates

Section 2 of SAP is related to ventilation rates and can be broken down into three sub-sections.

  1. Air changes per hour.  The only influence I could have on this sub-section is the number of extraction fans within Tŷ Crempog.  Luckily for me, I used the naming convention within ISO 4157-1 as discussed in Naming Omnibus.  This meant that as my components were named consistently, I could automatically extract the number of fans from my Electrical COBie using this Excel formula:

    =COUNTIF(importrange(, “Component!A:A”), “*Fan*”)

    Note:  Fan01 is my extraction hood with no external penetration.

    As shown, I identified two fans.  So unless I invest in a Bathroom Dehumidifier, these fans are here to say.  Meaning that my infiltration rate due to these fans will remain at 0.10 (8).

  2. Infiltration rate.  The best way to calculate infiltration is through a pressurization test.  However,  SAP provides an alternative calculation method (saving me £300-ish).  As I am unlikely to add another storey to my home (9) or change the wall material (11), my floor is the only area where I can influence these calculations.  As sealing my floor would reduce the infiltration rate from 0.85 to 0.75 (16).  In addition, to capture my homes draft proofing, I needed a new property.  After checking the IFC schema, I couldn’t find one; so I created my own. After giving it some thought, I’ve settled on ‘HasDraftProofing’.

    ‘HasDraftProofing’ was chosen after reading BS 8541-4, which required I use CamelCase and indicating the data type expected.  Draft [sic] is used in other parts of the IFC schema so I kept it for consistency.  I used ‘Has’ over ‘Is’ as I am checking for draft proofing accessories, not checking the performance of the doors and windows (they could have draft proofing, but not be draft proof!).  This new property was added to information model and exchanged into my Architectural COBie.

  3. Effective air change rate.   Once I had calculated the infiltration from my fans and the infiltration rate, the rest of this section calculated itself.  The only significant factor left was wind speed (22).  However, influencing this would involve moving Tŷ Crempog to the Pennines (slighting outside of scope and budget).

My calculations for SAP – Section 2 can be seen below:

3 Heat Loss

Section 3 of SAP is related to heat loss and can be broken down into two sub-sections.

  1. Area of external elements.  RdSAP included default U-values and areas for my door and windows.  To be honest, these assumed values put me at a disadvantage as windows are calculated as a factor of floor area.  Using my Door and Window Schedule, I know that I have ~12m² of windows.  However, RdSAP‘s assumptions provide:

    WindowArea = 0.1220*TotalFloorArea + 6.875

    Has resulted in 16m² (4).  While the impact is small, it isn’t clear how significant heat loss will be in the overall calculation.  However, SAP does allow me to use the U-value of these components (if I had this information).   As such, I am going to identify and contact the original suppliers to confirm.   Based on my calculations, by optimizing the U-value of these components I could reduce the heat loss parameter (40) by around 10%.  Using Passivhaus components, I could reduce the heat loss parameter (40) even further by 25%.

  2. Average Heat loss.  To calculate my average heat loss, I discovered two critical values.  The U-value of my external floor (28a), and the U-value of my walls (29a) (D’uh).  As I have solid brick walls with no insulation, I’ve had to use the (pitiful) U-value of 1.7W/m²K.  Similarly, as I don’t know what’s under my floor, I have had to assume my ground floor is also uninsulated.  From a quick test, insulating my external walls and floors would half my heat loss parameter (40).  Clearly, a solution such as External Insulated Facade Systems (EIFS) will be worth considering.

My calculations for SAP – Section 3 can be seen below:

And there we have it.  As I progress deeper into SAP using Tŷ Crempog‘s information model, I am beginning to discover what performance characteristics I can imrpove through refurbishment and retrofit works to Tŷ Crempog.  Fantastic, PLQ 3.4 is progressing well!

Operation and Maintenance

  • 3.1 What are the sizes and condition of the windows & doors?
  • 3.2 What assets are in a poor condition?
  • 3.3 What costs can be attributed to my assets?
  • 3.4 What are the most cost effective thermal improvements that could be undertaken?

Now that my ventilation and heat loss calculations have been completed, I now need to look at Ty Crempog‘s hot water supply, internal gains, and solar gains…

Note:  If you have any comments regarding my use of SAP, then please let me know either on Twitter, or by commenting below.

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Hello BIMfans,
Now that I’ve produced Tŷ Crempog‘s information model, it’s time (finally) to put it to practical use in answering my next and final Plain Langauge Question:

What are the most cost-effective thermal improvements that could be undertaken?

By answering this Plain Langauge Question, I am beginning to realize the true potential of Tŷ Crempog‘s information model by answering real questions that will impact on how I undertake any retrofit works.  To answer this question, I have turned to Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP).

SAP is Building Research Establishment (BRE)‘s procedure to calculate the energy rating of dwellings.  SAP has been referenced in Approved Document L of the Welsh and English building regulations, been adopted by the UK Government and is used to assess dwellings to produce their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  New dwellings use SAP in its entirety while, as of November 2017, existing dwellings like Tŷ Crempog (or Joe’s Garage) use the Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP) to support completing the SAP calculations.

The advantage of RdSAP is that it provides several permitted assumptions that can be used within the SAP calculations.  I plan on using Tŷ Crempog‘s information model to complete the (385!!) values required.  Now there are too many values to do at once, so instead of having a Freak out! I am addressing each section at a time; using RdSAP to fill in the gaps.

Once my SAP calculations are complete, I will be able to manipulate the information to see what improvements will provide the greatest impact.  For example, would it be more cost effective to improve Tŷ Crempog‘s thermal performance, reduce the infiltration rate or improve the efficiency of my heating system?  Once complete, I will be able to test these scenario’s and inform future home improvements.

BIM, placing asset information into the palm of my hand 1 Overall Dimension

Section 1 of the SAP Documentation is related to a dwelling’s overall dimensions to determine its internal volume.  SAP asks for each floor’s area as well as their average ceiling height.  The total floor area (4) is used to calculate thermal mass, heat loss, internal temperatures, space heating, space cooling while the dwelling’s volume (5) is used to calculate infiltration and heat loss.  Note:  RdSAP says that internal measurements are permissible and that I can ignore the floor area of my attic as it doesn’t have a fixed staircase.

Luckily for me, the area of each room as well as their usable heights are already within COBie; providing me with all the information I need to complete section 1.

Now that I’ve identified the structured information I need, it needs to be exchanged into a Google Sheet.  Thanks to Google, The mothers of invention, Google Sheets is able to reference information from other sheets.  Which means using formulas like:

=SUM(importrange(“URL”, “Sheet!Range”))

allows me to automatically import my Architectural COBie.  This means that I am using Tŷ Crempog‘s information model to calculate the area of my floors as well as their average height to calculate my total floor area (4) and dwelling volume (5).  Note:  Because COBie specifies a specific sheet and column orders, my formula will always point to the Space.Area column, even if I publish a revised COBie.

My calculations for SAP – Section 1 can be seen below:

And there we have it.  While I have only just started, it seems possible to automate the population of SAP using Tŷ Crempog‘s information model, having done so using COBie.  This fills me with a lot of confidence that I can use my information model to complete the other SAP sections.  Fantastic, PLQ 3.4 is underway!

Operation and Maintenance

  • 3.1 What are the sizes and condition of the windows & doors?
  • 3.2 What assets are in a poor condition?
  • 3.3 What costs can be attributed to my assets?
  • 3.4 What are the most cost effective thermal improvements that could be undertaken?

Now that my overall dimensions have been calculated, it is time to look at Ty Crempog‘s ventilation rate and heat loss…

Note:  If you have any comments regarding my use of SAP, then please let me know either on Twitter, or by commenting below.

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