Thermal Performance Modeling – Are you anticipating challenges in your data center before they become a headache?

by Monty Forman, Architect, Integrated Design Group

As Architects and Engineers, nothing is as satisfying as solving challenges on paper before they become headaches on the building site. In particular, building envelope design, thermal performance, and moisture control are issues that keep us up at night – checking and rechecking every detail.Image

That’s why, at Integrated Design Group, Desktop Thermal Modeling and Analysis are fundamental to our design approach. With the complexity of our system designs, highly controlled interior environments, and robust performance requirements, we have to go beyond specifying high quality systems and materials. We design and develop customized analysis of our building assemblies to ensure performance.

That process starts with identifying key areas of risks – joints, corners, transitions, penetrations – and designing those construction assemblies with best practices in mind. We take these designs and define their actual material properties and the environmental conditions they will be subjected to. With this information, we can run thermal analysis computations to determine actual thermal performance and condensation risk.

It’s an iterative process, with constant refinements of element shapes and sizes and material types and thicknesses until we determine the highest performing assembly. This allows us to detail our design documents for long term performance, to assure that what gets built mirrors the performance of our energy model, and to create a robust solution for the future. It is a challenge, but it is part and parcel of Integrated Design Group’s approach to quality design and building.

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