Meredith Davey

Design Related To Engineering


This section deals with the designs related to my work with as a building services engineer employed by Max Fordham LLP and SKM Pty Ltd. All Images on this page are copyrighted to these organisations and cannot be reproduced in any form.

I joined Max Fordham about three years ago after graduating with a Physics degree, was seconded to the Australian firm SKM for 3 months towards the end of 2003. It seemed the only employer to offer a physics graduate a creative career whilst still using their physics knowledge. In one sense the work that we do is about the interaction of buildings, both to their occupants and to the wider environment. These interactions are two way with each other but through the design of the building it creates another modulated interaction between the occupants and the environment.

While we design with a technically refined knowledge of the interactions we wish to achieve we also bear in mind the aesthetic appeal of our work. We follow a logical path including defining the logical operations of certain systems inside the building and infulencing the building form to arrive at creative solutions to each issue. Some of the designs are based around the principal of producing a very detailed drawing for a contractor to follow, others are concept drawings where the key elements are implemented through our specification of the materials and construction methods used. Hopefully these pictures will give some idea of the kind of work this involves, although this is a tiny proportion of the projects I have worked on.


These two above pictures demonstrate the principal of producing a highly defined drawing which indicates the construction elements. This is a bespoke air diffuser made to allow the distribution of conditioned air whilst visually complimenting the architectural form.

The two pictures below show the alternative where the same level of detail and aesthetic appeal can be achieved through a conceptual drawing with a specification of the materials included elsewhere.

While on secondment at SKM I was more involved with the strategic and conceptual design involved with preparing competition entries. Working with the in house architects and engineers we were able to propose fully integrated solutions to our clients needs.

By drawing the problem we are able to examine specific issues and produce a instillation specific answer to follow. The following drawing is how a cable can be integrated to an external landscaping without interfering with the landscape architects vision for the space.

Through my work I have become involved in the simulation of buildings. I find that spreadsheets are best for this, not only does the logic become clearer to write it also gives a greater feeling of understanding about building interactions as you are able to directly asses the relative impacts of changes to the form and occupation. With a packaged program this becomes an iterative process that can produce spurious results without a good feel for the building.

Although packaged software systems do allow the visualisation of more complex interactions. The images below show the use of thermal modelling programs to analyse the temperature and loads to different areas of a building. These can also be used for CFD to examine visually the air movements and heat transfers within a space.

For complex solutions the level of analytic investigation is higher. Below is an example of where I have used CFD to examine the air movements and temperatures in a rather simplified model of displacement ventilation. The sketch indicates the ideal that we are trying to achieve in this situation.

Part of this job would also entail rendering still and full motion video for presentations.

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All works are copyright Meredith Davey.