GAAP architects is committed to delivering meaningful, vibrant and successful projects for our clients. We place enormous effort into understanding context and the needs of building users, and by carefully balancing innovation and tradition, our approach often yields original or unconventional solutions. Our relatively small, close-knit team develops strong working partnerships with other consultants to fully integrate specialist knowledge and technical requirements at early stages of a project. A carefully controlled number of projects in development at any one time enables us to offer a tailored level of service to each client. At the core of our practice is a belief in sustainability in the broadest sense which is implicit to informing an architectural response routed in its context, place and time.
Specialist Technical Services
Low Energy Design and Quantification: using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) as the basis of verification for the Passivhaus Standard – a world leading standard of energy efficiency in buildings . PHPP is modelled on energy physics principles and gives the highest level of accuracy for calculating energy balances in a building to +/- 0.5kWh. Based on Eurocode Standards, the PHPP makes use of numerous tested and approved calculations to yield the heating, cooling and primary energy demand of a building as well as its tendency to overheat in the warmer months. While the PHPP was developed specifically for Passivhaus, it is a design tool that may also be used for other buildings, including retrofits of historical buildings. It can also be used to calculate the energy demand of buildings constructed to less exacting standards than Passivhaus. We use this tool for modelling the energy balance in all our projects to give accurate data for regulated energy use in the building. Importantly the software uses regional climate data which allows us to very accurately model a buildings Space Heat Demand very accurately in different regional climate areas of Scotland.
Psi Thermal Detail Modelling: is used in the analysis of thermal bridging in the external envelope of our buildings. With the need for higher levels of insulation to comply with improvements in the insulation standards in Sections 6 and 7 of the Scottish Building Standards or the more exacting requirements of Ultra Low Energy construction standards such as Passivhaus , the correct design detailing and construction of junctions must be highly effective in order to prevent surface condensation, mould growth and unnecessary heat loss. We use Therm 2D and 3D non-liner analysis software to analyse heat flow through construction junctions in order to develop thermal bridge free details. The crucial Psi values and Frsi values are produced within the software to the in-built boundary conditions of BR497, Passivhaus and DIN 4108-2. This allows us to develop tailor-made high-thermal performance details which are bespoke to each project irrespective of material or construction build-ups.
Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP 2012): is the government's national calculation methodology for the energy efficiency assessment of new housing. We are certified in the use of Elmhurst Energy Design SAP 2012 software used for building energy calculations. Design SAP 2012 is a fully BRE tested and approved software which calculates the SAP rating, the environmental impact rating (EIR), the dwelling emission rate (DER), the target emission rate (TER), the dwelling fabric energy efficiency (DFEE) and the target fabric energy efficiency (TFEE) as well as incorporating Elmhurst's renowned U-value calculator for newly constructed dwellings. This allows us to carry out SAP testing on all our projects in-house and at early stages of a design’s development preventing costly redesigning of a project at later stages in the design process.
3D Modelling and Visualisation
We use a number of 2D and 3D modelling and visualisation software packages as well as conventional sketching and physical modelling processes. We believe that a flexible approach to developing the formal and spatial design characteristics of a project is crucial to conveying and representing the conceptual ideas. Typically at the early stages of a project free-hand sketching and rough physical Marquette’s maybe used to generate concepts and ideas. Later in a project 3D computer modelling using Sketchup and Vray will be used to accurately develop physical massing, interior spaces, material characteristics and details. Photomontage’s and detailed scaled representational physical models are used to accurately convey the interior and exterior contextual qualities of the project. When required, fullsize detailed mock-ups of finishes and components can be produced.