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What is DSM?

Dynamic Simulation Modelling (DSM) is an extremely accurate and powerful tool for assessing the environmental performance of a building.


Also known as thermal modelling, DSM can be used to model and analyse a range of sustainability factors typically arising from planning or building regulations drivers.

These include energy compliance and CO2 emissions, overheating (thermal comfort) and daylighting analysis. We can also use it for bespoke design factors including:

  • Ventilation verification
  • Projected annual energy consumption
  • Facade studies
  • Projected internal temperature checks

DSM in Use

DSM is much more commonly used for analysis of non-domestic schemes – for example large, mixed use developments like hotels, office blocks or other complex commercial property. However we are seeing an increasing demand for it’s use on residential developments.


Many of our clients are M&E consultancies and engineers – and having the ability to carry out detailed analysis can assist early stage building services design and ensure that planning obligations (i.e the London Plan), client requirements and regulatory burdens can be met on the ground.

DSM allows a much more accurate analysis than is possible with standard Part L energy assessment tools such as SAP and SBEM. This is partly due to a much greater emphasis on external factors such as solar gain and the effect of glazing and thermal mass, but also due to more accurate occupancy, behavioural and energy use profiles.

BREEAM Credits

BREEAM is the leading environmental standard for buildings in the UK. Carrying out a thermal model provides the opportunity to improve a variety of characteristics and demonstrate wider environmental performance, and we can use DSM to gain BREEAM credits within issues like daylight (Hea 01), thermal comfort (Hea 04) and reduction of energy and emissions (Ene 01).

Dynamic Simulation Modelling –  The Process

The DSM process starts with geometry – the assessor will create an exact 3D model of the building. Software tools then have built in modules to allow the detailed analysis of:

  • Thermal Performance and Construction
  • Renewables and Technologies
  • Energy use
  • CO2 Emissions
  • Overheating
  • Daylight and Sunlight Assessment
  • Ventilation and Airflow
  • Occupant Comfort
  • BREEAM / LEED Performance

Would you like to discuss your project?

Call us for a chat on 0330 055 34 05 or email

Recent Projects

"BE are fantastic building energy assessors, with competency across many areas. We have found them very useful on small and large projects. With the larger projects they can provide a range of assessments with one point of contact. We submitted a planning application for 224 residential apartments for a site in Luton. BE provided the flood, acoustic, heat loss and SUDS reports. The scheme was consented and reports were excellent. We have found them to been frank and honest with their advice. They are also lovely people to work with… which is very important."

Adam Covell
- ECA Architecture

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