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This document provides guidance on how to model Atrium spaces in Design Database.
It can be difficult to maintain accurate partition and external wall areas when drawing atria or double-height spaces. The following is an example of the type of questions that often arise:
“I am attempting to enter a large sports hall with smaller classrooms adjacent to it. The sports hall wall consists of some partitions to the adjacent ground-floor classrooms, but also external wall above. How do I model rooms which are next to each other but have different room and wall heights?
For accurate design of Atrium spaces we would recommend using Simulator and implementing Atrium keywords. However, these spaces often need to be modelled in Design Database for steady state and Part L calculations, so the following workarounds can be used. The final design of the model much depends on which calculations are to be performed on the project.
This involves modelling the taller room as multiple separate rooms – e.g. one ground floor room and one 1st floor room. As the walls and partitions will be defined correctly, this method will give accurate results in relation to the heat transfer between side-by-side rooms.
However, as there will be an internal ceiling/floor you will need to create and use a ceiling & floor with a very high U-value, so that its effects are negligible. Please note however, that this will mean that the floor areas of the model will be incorrect. Floor areas are important for Part L calcs.
This method would be more suited to Part L calculations. This involves drawing the atrium room on one floor only, and then editing the wall height and type accordingly (Rooms>Change surface).
The only drawback with this method is that there will be external walls where there should be partitions.
The third option, and possibly the most accurate, would be to draw your model in CAD Input, and then use Room Data to manually edit the surfaces of the rooms.
Please note however, that you will not be able to revert to CAD mode and Simulator is not available when using the Room Data method.
Please note that we are not in a position to advise further on the final design choice. You may wish to keep numerous versions of the same project, each incorporating the above methods, as required by the type of calculation you intend to run.
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