The design strategy of PUNCH Consulting Engineers is to utilise as many sustainable design options and energy efficient systems as possible that are technically, environmentally and economically feasible for each individual project, in order to improve on existing standards and to achieve low energy, environmentally friendly buildings.
Thus a dedicated staff was established under PUNCH Sustainable Design with extensive experience in the different areas of sustainable design and energy efficient concepts and who have worked well in collaboration with clients and other team members to deliver award winning sustainable designs. These include award winning projects such as Limerick County Council Offices and Áras Chill Dara, Kildare.
A PUNCH employee is registered with Sustainable Energy Ireland to provide BER assessments for commercial and residential buildings and accredited with BRE (UK and Ireland) (www.sei.co.uk) to provide BREEAM assessments. PUNCH has brought many innovative designs to projects that have improved the ratings of developments. Sustainable design options that have been incorporated include geothermal solutions, reduction of air leakage within a building, thermal mass heating and cooling systems, cut and fill optimisation, green roofs and sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS), the latter being a service PUNCH is particularly proud of. Our expertise includes design of permeable paving, swales, lagoons, attenuation ponds, construction wetlands and infiltration drains.
PUNCH approaches the design of a building taking account of the Whole Life Carbon Footprint of a development to include all stages - design, material choices, construction stage, operational stage and deconstruction stage. We promote the use of off-site construction techniques, the use of GGBS Concrete and lightweight steel structures to deliver a sustainable building solution that should allow the layout and use of the building to change with relative ease over time.
PUNCH believes that it is fundamentally important to discuss the scope and commitment to sustainable design at a very early stage with the client and any other major stakeholders and to promote the idea of Sustainable Workshops as part of the design process. The areas to be addressed include a life cycle approach to management and planning, energy efficiency, reduction in green house gas emissions (specifically in high rise buildings), waste management, improved transportation and non-polluting modes of transport, the safety and security of people, goods and data.
PUNCH also understands and nurtures the principle that Sustainable Development does not just apply to technologies but must deal with all aspects of sustainable development - economy, society and environment. The PUNCH approach to sustainable development involves a means to promote return on investment, increased productivity and reduced energy consumption by addressing all elements of a development from concept to operation. Sustainability should also encompass a healthy working and living environmental quality with mixed and social use. PUNCH staff are all committed to the highest standards of work throughout their business and particularly in relation to sustainability.
In a world where the impacts of the built environment are becoming more and more important, owners and designers are becoming conscious of constructing buildings that integrate informed sustainable design principles with good building design. PUNCH offers two services that aim to balance the benefits of sustainable design with the commercial realities of reducing building capital and operational costs.
As energy costs continue to increase, building owners and users are becoming more aware of reducing the operational heating costs of their buildings. A Building Energy Rating (BER) Assessment is an energy label for buildings that rates its energy efficiency. A BER makes the energy performance of buildings more visible for prospective buyers or tenants. It provides an indication as to the likely running cost for the building, and also provides direction in relation to improvements that can be made, their potential impact and the likely payback period.
An employee of PUNCH is a registered BER assessor with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). For further information on our service, please download our BER brochure.
BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is an environmental impact assessment method for buildings that allows owners and designers to assess the sustainable characteristics of a building during its lifecycle. A BREEAM assessment provides a number of advantages - marketplace recognition, reduced running costs and improved working and living conditions. The most effective method of achieving efficient sustainable design is to integrate the BREEAM assessment early into the design process. For new buildings, introducing the BREEAM process early will reduce the capital costs of implementing the different sustainable initiatives.
PUNCH is qualified to provide BREEAM assessments.
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