Welsh School of Architecture

CRiBE Prediction of Building Performance

CRiBE has developed cutting edge computer software modelling facilities which can be harnessed to predict energy and environmental performance, ventilation and indoor air flow. Scale modelling in the Environmental Laboratory looks at wind impact on buildings and sunlight and daylight simulation. The Centre's strong computing capabilities have recently been significantly enhanced through a University grant of 100,000 to develop a high performance computing facility based on a Beowulf cluster. This facility will be used to increase the scale and throughput of CFD, visual and thermal modelling in the Centre. It is supplemented by high-end graphics workstations, IT servers and high-speed networking (including access to the University proto-GRID facility) of which Cardiff University is a leading partner. This will enable much faster processing times and remote access for use of the Centre's computer tools.



HTB2 is software developed for the general purpose simulation of the energy and environmental performance of buildings. It is suitable for use within research, consultancy, and teaching environments. The simulation method of HTB2 is comprehensive: fabric heat transfer and heat storage, ventilation heat and moisture transfer, solar heat gain and shading, incidental gains, services operation and control behaviour, are all simulated. HTB2 has achieved a high level of recognition outside of the CRiBE. It has been subject to external scrutiny, validation and appraisal, and is in use in a number of research centres, and within the fuel and building industries, both in the UK and abroad.


Airflow is a computational fluid dynamic method that predicts the spatial distribution of temperature, air velocity and pollutant dispersal. It can be used to monitor airflow in natural and fixed ventilation systems.

Daylight Computer Modelling

Using physically accurate lighting simulation software, CRiBE can provide clients with detailed lighting simulations.

CRiBE has recently provided Pentan Partnership with lighting models for care homes to investigate the therapeutic effect of daylight patterns on the elderly. Different configurations were simulated to optimise lighting design for different use scenarios.

PEARL - QATAR Case Study

Pearl - Qatar is the future luxury home to 40,000 residents on a new, man-made island in the Arabian Gulf. Working together with Building Energy Partnership, a Cardiff based engineering SME, CRiBE won the international tender to radically reduce the long-term energy consumption at the development. Using the Centre's building simulation tools it produced architectural, engineering and environmental guidelines to reduce energy requirements throughout the development.

These included: Building design; heating; ventilation and cooling (maximising the use of natural ventilation); water conservation; building orientation; fabric detailing; solar gain control and renewables. The team's guidelines have exceeded the original brief and achieved savings a full 50% lower than the ASHRAE90.1-2004 standard.

A Virtual Village for Research, Design and Development for Sustainable Settlements (VIRVIL)

VIRVIL is a Welsh Energy Research Centre (WERC) funded project that will be an advanced simulation of a small settlement, utilising leading-edge energy modelling and Virtual Reality tools. The project is aimed at providing a system for the assessment of the impact of low- and zero- Carbon technologies and measures in the built environment. VIRVIL will contain a realistic profile of building types and age, and will include domestic, commercial and industrial premises. The community will also contain occupancy demographics and usage profiles representative of a realistic population. The system will provide academia, industry, and government a detailed and credible test bed to aid in the development and demonstration of new technologies and legislation.