What Your Mechanical Engineer Can Do for You?

 What Your Mechanical Engineer Can Do for You?

“Only an ESD consultant can do ESD”

Specialisation in Australia has led to a vast amount of knowledge and ‘know-how’ being wasted. Worse we are paying for another level of consulting, which can be very well handled by your existing core consulting team (Architect and Engineers).

To ‘draw that duct’, your mechanical engineer has at his fingertips, all the sites; climate data (including rain, solar, wind, temperature, humidity and so); has evaluated your fabric; considered shading, day lighting, equipment efficiencies; wall temperatures and colours and the like.

With this information all the ESD output needed for a project can be delivered. The only thing missing is that you have just asked them to only ‘draw a duct’.

Some Items you might want to ask for are detailed below:

Is co-generation suitable?                       Gas Fired? Liquid Bio Fuel? Methane?
 Co-Gen Engine liquid bio-fuel
What size solar panels suit this site?
PV Chart
What shading is required to reduce Air Conditioning capacity (Façade Optimisation)?
 Window Shading Section  Window Shading Elevation
What is the average daylight level in a room? Is the room dark? Will lighting need to be turned on? SEPP 65 Day Light review
Room Daylight
Have I got interstitial condensation or surface condensation issues?
 Interstitial Condensation
Can I naturally ventilate that car park?
Can I remove all ductwork from a car park?


What air flow will I get with present openings…what openings should I have?
Single Stack Natural ventilation



Single Side Ventilation – two openings.


Air Conditioning Load reduction or load slowing by fabric selection (Façade Optimisation)
Energy (Heat) via Conduction Through Wall



Overall Load review (Sensible Heat)


How much rain will fall on this site?


What is the mass of the building?
Which AC System has the lowest running Cost?


 AHU2  AHUEnergyChart


What the prevalent wind direction?


Do I need air conditioning? How comfortable are occupants without air conditioning? Is free cooling an option?


What’s the pay back for; more insulation; LED lights; natural ventilation; shading devices; lighting control; co-gen, solar hot water; solar electricity, air con system 1 vs air con system 2; heat recovery and so on.
Can I use Geo thermal or ocean heat rejection to remove cooling towers?
How much energy is saved with a green roof?
Are zero carbon liquid bio fuels an option?
 liquid bio-fuel  Biogastank
Is gas fired air conditioning an option for my project?

In addition to the above most consultancies offer; Green Star, NATHERS, LEED, NABERS.

How did this happen?

Engineering, of old, was appreciated for good engineering and practioners focussed on excelling in the delivery of drawings and specifications.

As CO2 and energy relevance ‘took off’ in recent years, ESD companies saw a market. The engineers kept focused on drawing that duct.


The delivery of low energy products (buildings) is a team effort. To keep us on the ‘straight and narrow’, we have the BCA. To make it easier to see reward for our efforts, we have developed schemes where we get stars or numbers or both.

A modern mechanical engineer has all the necessary skills to deliver and assist in delivering low energy products. Often no additional fee is required.

As ever, it’s down to individuals. Find someone who has a drive and passion and technical ability to deliver low energy products and that’s your best choice.

Author: Jorgen Knox

Jorgen Knox PIC

Original Post Date: 19/02/2015

Contact e: jorgenk@knoxadv.com.au, t: 02 800 33 100, w: KAE

LI: au.linkedin.com/pub/jorgen-knox/27/a44/506/