Woonzorgcomplex Kloostertuin Nijmegen_ABT installatieadvies
Geert Groote College_ABT

Building physics

Central government, owners and users are setting increasingly high standards for buildings. A building has to be comfortable, healthy and safe. ABT advises and supports architects, municipalities, housing corporations and project developers in all phases of the design and construction process in complying with these building physics requirements as efficiently as possible. In this ABT draws a distinction between four areas of consultancy: comfort, energy efficiency, fire safety and usability.

Comfort
- daylight access and sunlight
- comfort (heating, cooling and ventilation)
- cold bridges
- sound (interior, exterior)
 
Temperatures too high or too low; draught, contaminated air and leaks. But also too much sunlight, too little daylight, mould and noise pollution: these are all issues that may on their own appear harmless, but certainly have a negative impact on human health. And they are all issues that can be prevented.

Energy efficiency
- energy performance coefficient
- thermal insulation
- air tightness

Efficient used of raw materials and energy are key concerns for the Dutch government. A building's energy efficiency is determined to a high degree by the air tightness and thermal insulation of outer walls and roofs. Actual energy consumption of a building may never exceed permissible energy consumption (EPC - Energy Performance Certificate). Calculating beforehand avoids surprises afterwards.

Fire Safety
- fire and smoke compartmentalisation
- escape routes
- fire safety measures
- use of material

The government - justifiably - sets stringent requirements for the interface between usability and safety, such as when bridging height differences, dimensions of stairs and floor partitions. The requirements with respect to fire safety also have major consequences, among other things on the materials to be used, the subdivision into fire and smoke compartments and the options for escape. Here too: testing in time saves problems later.

Usability
- assigning usage and occupancy rate classes
- subdivision into occupied areas and occupied rooms
- integrated accessibility

Rooms have to meet regulations with respect to size and classification. There are also rules for classification into occupied areas, occupied rooms and rooms for common use, and with respect to a building's accessibility to wheelchairs. These rules and regulations actually play a central role in the design process right from the first sketch.

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