Friday, 13 May 2016

Changeable weather

As part of the culmination of a major new project CIBSE has just released its latest package of weather data, which comprehensively updates the old files while adding some new features. Dr Anastasia Mylona, Research Manager at CIBSE, blogs below about what we can expect from the new files

Last week, CIBSE launched an updated set of weather files for dynamic building performance simulation, includes observed changes in climate for energy analysis (Test Reference Years – TRYs) and new files for overheating analysis (Design Summer Years – DSYs). Both sets of updated files are also available for future weather representations based on the latest climate change projections (UKCP09).

The datasets, produced in association with the MET Office, are based on historical data that has been collected from 14 sites around the UK since the early 1980s and has been combined with  the latest climate projections to produce future weather files up to the 2080s.

Working with the MET Office, whose climate statistics show that the eight warmest years in the UK since 1910 have occurred in the last 14, CIBSE sought to update its existing weather files to take into account rising temperatures.

MET Office data shows the eight warmest years since 1910 have occurred
in the last 14 years
Using this data, engineers will be able to design buildings that take into account the latest information about local weather conditions. This means that buildings and their services can be designed to be more sustainable, and more resilient to current and future weather conditions. These new datasets are based on the latest Met Office observations and climate projections and aim to provide the industry with an updated representation of current and future weather for their thermal and energy building performance analysis.

The Test Reference Year (TRY) weather files represent a typical year and are used to determine average energy usage within buildings. The weather file consists of average months selected from a historical baseline. The new TRY files are created from an updated baseline of 1984 to 2013 (compared to the previous 1984 to 2004), ensuring that the observed effects of climate change will be included in the selection of the months.

Design Summer Years (DSYs) are used to simulate the effects of overheating in buildings in each location. Recently, probabilistic DSYs were developed for the London area (outlined in TM49) in an effort to replace the old DSY with a set of years which better describe overheating events, their relative severity and their expected frequency. The latest release of the DSY updates the weather files in the remaining 13 locations across the UK using this new methodology and uses an updated baseline from 1984 to 2013 to select the files. There are now 3 DSYs available per location, representing summers with different types of hot events.

The data comes from 14 locations in the UK, from Edinburgh to the south coast
©Robert Galloway
This updated datasets are especially important for the building services industry for two reasons. The TRYs now include temperature differences brought on by climate change, which could result in cooling demands increasing whilst heating demands decreasing. A more significant change is that to the DSYs. The new files use candidate years that have warmer, more severe heat events in them, allowing designers to test the upper limits of their thermal design. Even the least severe DSY is likely to be warmer than previous DSY for each location, which will subsequently impact overheating analysis across the whole country.

The release is accompanied by a Technical Briefing and Testing of the new files. The testing of both sets of files highlights the differences between the previous and updated datasets.

Friday, 6 May 2016

A wider scope


It’s only been two months since a glittering Park Lane ceremony celebrated the presentation of the Building Performance Awards 2016, but we’re already hard at work planning for next year. The call for entries for the 2017 competition opens on Monday 9 May, with the event set for 7 February at Grosvenor House.

This year will be the tenth anniversary of CIBSE awards, celebrating engineering excellence in the built environment. Over the years the awards have evolved to reflect changes in how we define building performance and best practice, and we're changing again: we've altered the name of the Building Services Consultancy of the Year category, and added a new Consultancy category. But why have we done this and why should you enter this year?

The blog spoke to 2016 judging panellists Sarah Ratcliffe, Programme Director at Better Buildings Partnership, Susan Hone-Brookes, Engineering Sustainability Leader at Laing O'Rourke and Munish Datta, Head of Plan A & FM at Marks & Spencer about the changes and their experiences on the panel.

Why change the name from Building Services Consultancy to Building Performance Consultancy, and why have three Consultancy categories: Up to 100 employees, 101-1000 employees and Over 1000 employees?
Susan: The change in name is to recognise that the focus of their work is not just to deliver purely ‘services’,  but to understand the holistic impact on post occupancy building performance. 

You would expect the challenges and resources for a company to be proportional to size and global reach. Our industry has innovative organisations setting standards on all scales. Adding a third category here is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate more consultancies on a level playing field.

So how do you see these awards as different from other awards?
Sarah: The CIBSE Building Performance Awards are different because they focus on the actual performance of buildings as opposed to building design, they require demonstrable proof (and data) to support their submissions, which in itself is a significant challenge.

Winner Project of the Year Leisure 2016 and Building Performance Champion 2016
Everyman Theatre Liverpool, by Waterman Building Services
Why do you think the CIBSE BPAs are important?
Sarah: Over 80% of the building stock today will still be here in 2050, it is therefore absolutely critical that these buildings perform to high standards – the awards are an important way of evidencing and rewarding that performance and leading by example, providing the industry with a examples where sustainability.

Munish: These awards are important as they celebrate organisations and buildings that are achieving huge reductions of emissions and operational costs. As the global building stock contributes significantly to global carbon emissions, making heroes of those that are leading reduction is critical to mobilise the industry as a whole.

Judges bring invaluable knowledge and experience to the awards judging process but did you find any benefit personally or professionally from participating in this experience?
Sarah: It is always really difficult to keep up to speed with what is going on in the industry and the awards provide a way to short-cut a lot of research into finding the best buildings out there and analysing their performance. 

There is much that we can learn from looking beyond our own field of vision, I was fascinated by some of the submissions from outside the commercial property sector (schools, hospitals theatres) that have taken a really innovative approach to sustainability and also make the connection between the performance of a building and occupier well being and productivity.


Building Performance Champions Waterman Building Services
Munish: As double winners in the 2014 CIBSE BPA Awards (‘New Build Project of the Year - over £10m’ and the ‘Carbon Champion of the Year’ for M&S Cheshire Oaks Plan A Store) I have first-hand experience of the thoroughness of the judging process. Sitting on the other side of the fence as judge has re-enforced this perception both in terms of the process and quality of judging.

Susan: I have long been on the ‘other side of the fence’ in regards to award submissions.  It was extremely interesting, therefore, to sit judge side and carry out the process of evaluation.  Lessons I learnt included quite simply to ‘answer the question’ posed in the award information, not to waffle, not to include too much corporate information but to include clear evidence.  I also learnt an awful lot personally from reading the submission, taking away knowledge on how building consultancies today are tackling many of the issues we as an industry currently face.  

Who would you invite to the BPA and why?
Sarah: Everyone! Delivering building performance involves collaboration across the whole property industry from investors to occupiers, asset managers to maintenance engineers. The Building Performance Awards has something for everyone – there is a huge amount to be gained from ‘designing for performance’ and the awards help to highlight leading projects that bring these benefits to life. 

Munish: I would love to invite ‘Starchitects’ so that they can appreciate how important it is to design buildings that operate efficiently, are enjoyable for their occupants and look beautiful within their broader context.

A project of Hoare Lea, winner of Building Services Consultancy (Over 100) 2016
What did you find most interesting about your experience on the judging panel?
Munish: I am particularly impressed by the focus on reductions in life cycle carbon in addition to operational carbon – it’s important to recognise that embedded carbon is ultimately operational carbon in the entire value chain.

Who are you looking forward to meeting at the Awards dinner?

Munish: It’s always a pleasure to meet fellow judges and the excellent CIBSE team that diligently organise these awards. I especially enjoy meeting the individuals and organisations who bring these awards to life – all the nominees! 

To enter or to find out about any of this year's award categories, visit www.cibse.org/building-performance-awards

Friday, 29 April 2016

F-words

The EU’s F-gas regulations are aimed at limiting their application and consequent emissions. Mike Nankivell, Chairman of the ACRIB F-gas group, gave a presentation on the latest update to the F-gas regulations at the recent CIBSE Building Performance Conference. Here he summarises the potential impacts of the latest revisions.

Although a year has passed since the government introduced tighter regulations on the use of Fluorinated gases (F-gases) to comply with EU’s F-gas regulations, the refrigeration and air conditioning industry is still struggling to come to terms with the impact of the latest changes.

The latest (2015) revisions to the F-gas rules strengthened existing measures in relation to containment, recovery, certification and sale of F-gases; introduces additional bans on usage; a ban the servicing of certain equipment with high global warming potential (GWP) F-gases; and more critically, a phase down of HFCs in the EU to 21% of a 2014 baseline by 2030. The revisions are intended to help further reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases, which are covered by the Kyoto protocol to limit global warming.

The air conditioning industry will have to adapt to the changes
The most common types of F-gas are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which, unsurprisingly, contain hydrogen, fluorine and carbon. These are generally used in a variety of refrigeration applications including commercial refrigeration, industrial refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps.

The phase-down in HFC use is expected to have an impact on commercial refrigeration systems in particular because these systems tend to be charged with HFCs with the highest GWPs, for example, R404A which has a GWP of 3922. Under the new rules, from 2020 HFCs with global warming potentials of more than 2,500 will be phased-out in all refrigeration systems.

It should be noted that the phase-down still allows production of HFCs with a GWP lower than 2500 beyond 2030, and the regulation actively encourages recycling so it would be incorrect to presume that all HFCs will not be available beyond 2030. Where a system’s refrigeration charge is recovered and cleaned, or recycled, it will fall under a different section of the new regulation that will allow its reuse. Where this is the case, its re-use will not be determined by the phase-down process.

The most common types of F-gas are found in a variety of systems including heat pumps
As a result of the F-gas regulations, refrigerant producers now have maximum quotas based on equivalent CO2 emissions (CO2e) rather than limits on the quantities of specific refrigerant types. Because of this, the presumption is that the production of lower GWP refrigerants, such as R410A and R134a, may increase in the short term. Although, in the longer term, even HFCs with lower GWPs will likely be phased out if the industry is to meet the 21% target.

Unhelpfully for the air conditioning and refrigeration industry, in particular specifiers and installers, refrigerant producers are not making clear the likely availability of F Gases such as R410A or R134a in the next five-to-10 year period as the phase-down starts to make its impact felt.

Over time, as the phase-down continues, currently common refrigerants, such as R134a, will need to be replaced by ultra-low GWP options such as ammonia or CO2 or perhaps hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs). HFOs, Like HFCs, contain hydrogen, fluorine and carbon but as they are derivatives of alkenes they have significantly lower GWP than HFCs and are not included in F Gas quota system.

Installers do not know the likely availability of F-gases ten years down the line
When considering any replacement refrigerant, a variety of properties should be assessed including: operating pressure, energy efficiency, materials compatibility, toxicity, flammability and cost. One of the biggest challenges for manufacturers looking for replacement refrigerants is that many of the alternatives that are currently available do not perform as well in the same application as the HFCs they are intended to replace. Hopefully, this situation will change with future advances in the refrigeration technology.

In direct expansion (DX) systems, R32 would appear to be the preferred option to replace R410A despite the industry standard BS EN 378:2008 Refrigerating systems and heat pumps safety and environmental requirements placing a limit on the size of the refrigerant charge. Currently R32 is being offered as an alternative refrigerant in smaller capacity systems. However, a revised version of the standard, which provides scope to relax the charge limits, is currently out for approval. If the revisions to the standard are adopted, then R32 could be offered as an alternative to R410A in larger capacity DX systems including variable refrigerant flow (VRF) solutions.

It is worth noting that both R32 and HFOs are classed as ‘mildly flammable’. As a consequence, the revised version of BS EN 378 is set to include a new refrigerant category ‘A2L’ for such refrigerants.

Chillers are most likely to be affected by the new rules
Arguably, it will be chillers (charged with refrigerants covered by the HFC phase-down) and not DX systems that will be most impacted by the new F-gas rules. This is simply because the 25-year life expectancy of a chiller is greater than that of a DX system, which might be expected to last 15 years or so. At the moment it would appear that the safest choice of refrigerant for those looking to specify a chiller would probably be R134a, simply because R134a machines can generally be converted to use HFOs, which are not included in the F-gas phase-down.

The EU predicts the F-gas regulations will cut F-gas emissions by two-thirds by 2030, compared with 2014 levels. This legislation is aimed at stabilising CO2e levels of F-gas at roundabout the 100m tonnes by 2030. However, to achieve the EU’s roadmap of cutting emissions by 80-95% by 2050 additional measures will be required. This suggests that at some time in the not too distant future the industry can expect a further tightening of the F-gas regulations. You have been warned.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Drum-roll, please...


Announcing the arrival of a new feature designed to make shouting about building performance easier, CIBSE Communications Executive Matt Snowden introduces the shiny new CIBSE hashtag #Build2Perform, and explains what it's designed to do.

We have an exciting new development we’re introducing here at CIBSE, and I have written a short blog on the topic for you to introduce you all to our new hashtag:

#Build2Perform

Building performance is at the heart of what CIBSE does, and we’re passionate about giving building services professionals the tools they need to create the next generation of high performing buildings. We believe that through the work that CIBSE does by training and certifying professionals, carrying out research, producing knowledge, giving awards and speaking out in the press, we are  helping to bring a world of high performing buildings to reality.

Innovative new ideas are key to future building performance
As built environment professionals, you are well placed to solve some of the greatest puzzles of the next fifty years. Hundreds of global social problems from homelessness to climate change can be mitigated by the work you do, and that power comes with responsibility: We have a duty to do the best we can to create high performing projects, and put performance first.

So CIBSE does a lot of exciting things to further the cause of building performance but, as Fiona Cousins of Arup said in the CIBSE Annual Lecture, if we are going to save the world we have to go further than our own building performance to make that happen. We need to be evangelical about building performance, we need to be confident enough to call for better approaches to sustainability at the highest levels – to politicians, scientists, engineers and the media.

In order to make this easier, we have selected a hashtag that embodies this principle and acts as a call to action for building performance. It will tie all of the knowledge and opinion that CIBSE produces together in one easy to find place, and proudly states what we all want to see from the future of the built environment.

CIBSE brings together some of the foremost and influential experts on the built environment, including the Rt. Hon. Lord Deben (above)
CIBSE will be using the new hashtag on all content on Twitter related to building performance, and we’d like to encourage you all to use it too. Any content you’re sharing relating to CIBSE or building performance is welcome, and will help to increase our collective knowledge on building performance and make it more accessible for anyone who wants to learn.

But don’t worry, it will not replace any of our existing or yet-to-come hashtags you have been using so successfully in the past such as #CIBSEConf, #YEA or #BPA2016. I hope that you will find the new hashtag useful in making our building performance content more accessible, and more confident in nailing your colours to the mast and speaking out in favour of building performance!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Taking strides

Despite great advancements in the last 30 years, women in building services engineering and the engineering industry in general often struggle to get their start, and then to move forward in their profession. This week Laura Dunlop, Chair of the Women in Building Services Engineering group, turns the spotlight onto the group working to change the status quo and help women to advance in the sector

WiBSE’s vision is to inspire the next generation and create the support network that will enable more women to join, stay and progress within our industry and institution. This makes us rather an unusual CIBSE group, as our ultimate aim is to create a situation where we don't need to exist: we have defined a finite remit to render the group unnecessary as gender disparity issues are ironed out.

As well as organising events that bring people together and help towards achieving  our vision, our volunteers speak at educational events and get involved in cross institute events and networking, as well as supporting our institution at regional and national events / meetings and with government inquiries. We are members of the CIBSE diversity panel and have had influence over policy towards further inclusiveness that stretches across everything the organisation does, from a regional to a national level.

Our LinkedIn group currently has 900+ members and we have over 1000 twitter followers (@CIBSEWomen), where you can find plenty of news and information relating to events, initiatives, opinion and facts relating to the support of women in engineering roles. We have been active with CIBSE in supporting Women in Engineering, the Women's Engineering Society, Ada Lovelace Day and many other campaigns, all of which contribute to creating a powerful network of women engineers who are helping to change perceptions of diversity in the industry.

The all-women panel on wellbeing at the 2015 Conference and Exhibition 
And this is where you come in. While our overarching aim for the industry is broad - gaining better representation of over 50% of the population in building services engineering - our agenda is intended for the benefit of individual women in advancing their careers, giving them a voice and raising the issues that matter to them. Only by taking part in this process by giving us feedback, joining the group or even getting involved in running it, can you do your bit to ensure that our agenda remains helpful and relevant for all women in our industry.

This year we are taking stock and planning our activity for the next few years. Our run of self – development, management and leadership training / coaching style events that we have been running for the last few years have come to an end and we are considering how best to take this program forwards. Our steering group is evolving as some of our members move onto work with other groups in CiBSE (such as Resilient Cities) or take time out for work commitments.

We are therefore looking for new people to join the group and get involved as much as they want / are able. You can get in touch with us and register your interest at wibse@cibse.org.

WiBSE vice chair Susie Diamond writes in the Guardian about the group's aims
Our steering group meet between three and four times a year to review a program of events and activities that will help us to get closer to this vision. Since our launch event in May 2013 we have put on a yearly program of events such as management and leadership taster courses, confidence building programs, peer to peer mentoring courses and general networking events.

We had a great site visit and networking event with Women in Property at the Medical Institute in Liverpool in March and we are planning an event in Leeds with Alison Lowe, CEO of Touchstone in June and WSCP. Our network grew out of London and has spread outwards from there; we now hold events in London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Scotland, and our new UAE group has started to hold events in Dubai. We plan to expand further and wider as we find partners to work with in new locations.

Our current focus this year and leading into next year is on industry engagement and coordination with other industry groups, learning from others as regards good practice e.g. what works and what doesn't and we are looking to hold speaker led events that are interesting and informative. We are discussing potential joint events with NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) and WICP (Women in Construction and Property) and we retain links with Women in Architecture and the Fluid Diversity mentoring program.

A WiBSE event at the Medical Institute in Liverpool
We’re open to working with other organisations championing diversity within our sector – just get in touch!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

How engineers can save civilisation

Earlier this month CIBSE was delighted to welcome Fiona Cousins, PE, CIBSE, ARUP and LEED Fellow, to speak at the Annual Lecture. The audience were treated to a visionary and optimistic view of the place of building services engineers in saving civilisation as we react to the threat of climate change. Following on from this, Fiona writes more about what we need to do to fulfil our great potential. 

A video of the full lecture is now available on our YouTube Channel



Earlier this month I had the honour of speaking at the CIBSE Annual Lecture, a chance for people in the industry to get together and discuss ideas. My thesis that engineers can ‘save civilization’ seems like a bold one, but is that uneasy feeling because the claim really is grandiose, or is it a symptom of how we engineers often sell ourselves short?

Currently facing us is the biggest threat that this generation and the next will face, that of man-made climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions, and (unless you’re Donald Trump) the world is pretty unanimous on our need to fight it. Every society on Earth is at risk from its effects, from richest to poorest on every continent, and the world could lose some of its great cities or even whole countries by the end of this century.

As engineers, we have the tools we need to save the world. Buildings services engineers, and engineers in general, are part of a huge and talented profession that focuses on solving problems, using old and new technology together to do the possible and the apparently impossible. When the Chinese wanted to dominate their vast and wild territory, their engineers built the Great Wall. When the Romans needed to expand their great cities, their engineers built aqueducts which stand to this day. When public health in London reached crisis levels, engineers built great sewers which still serve the capital.  We now have the most advanced tools humans have ever had: supercomputers, advanced new materials, alternative power sources and more, created by the best scientific minds around today. Engineers have the skills to actually bring these ideas from prototype uses into the mainstream.

Engineers built the Tube to solve the societal problem of overcrowding ©Tom Page CC BY-SA 2.0
Unfortunately, using the tools to solve problems defined by others is often where the role of the engineer ends: we tend to facilitate solutions, not formulate problem statements. How do engineers take their place at the top table where they can help create informed, practical policy that acknowledges and stretches the art of the possible? Like a lot of engineering problems, the answer is both very simple and very complex. Engineers must reach out and engage with broader society.

Engagement is not easy for many of us and we need to have the courage to advocate for what we know. We must ‘inhabit’ our roles as change agents and push for better performance in our industry and beyond. We cannot let ‘good enough’ be good enough in a world with a rapidly changing climate – we must be robust in our knowledge of sustainability issues and the ways in which we can address them. This might mean pushing for better energy performance even in the face of cost-cutting or collaborating to create better problem statements, defined by sustainable goals, for our design projects. Our value relies on our technical abilities and how we apply them so we must build our knowledge and experience.

Building knowledge and experience comes from a tight cycle of knowing and doing: our education is not over when we graduate, much of what we learn in later years will be from our peers and seniors. We must nurture our curiosity and then share what we know, finding colleagues and collaborators who will push us to better solutions. We should read broadly and participate in a wide range of activities: creativity often comes from the using ideas common in one field to solve problems in another, or from trying to see things from another point of view. A design problem might be solved through a teaching technique or the confidence to speak out might come from learning something new.
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is a radical solution to an environmental concern 
Armed with this knowledge we can reach out and work with the community, thinking outside projects to understand how they interact with the world. We can seek alternative points of view and use them as the keys to unlocking problems or defining design constraints – debate and discussion are tools for learning how best to do our work. Our best work will come from convening the right groups and framing the problems, and solutions, in ways that prioritize the most important issues.

With this knowledge and experience we can take our courage in both hands and start to take our proper place in society as citizens and contributors. We must be bold as we inhabit this role: pushing ourselves to lead, to communicate and mobilize. We need all the help we can get and all the skills we can muster to solve the greatest problem of our generation. It’s essential that we bring others along with us and welcome working with others. Together we can find ways to challenge governments on bad policies, other building professionals on unsustainable designs, and the media on poor sustainability reporting. A good engineer is technically competent, but a great engineer thinks how their role can benefit wider society. We need to know our stuff, do it well, and fully inhabit our roles if we are to make the world a better place.

Engineers discuss sustainability with MPs
at a CIBSE event
This is not a new path: the best-known engineers in history have been curious problem-solvers who collaborated with others and advocated for their ideas. When Brunel wanted to prove fast transatlantic travel was economical, he went ahead and built the ship himself before the shipping companies believed him, Robertson pushed for the development of trains, Emily Roebling’s work made the Brooklyn Bridge possible, Edison’s grid provided light to parts of New York.

Engineers have the technical tools society needs to save itself from the threat of climate change. What they need now is the confidence to make it possible for them to do their work.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Beyond compliance

As part of a CIBSE Certification briefing on ISO 50001, Deon Joubert of Kingspan gave a presentation on his company's efforts to implement an energy management system. Prof. Andrew Geens, head of certification at CIBSE, was at the briefing and gives us his thoughts on what the Group had learned from employing energy management. 

Thanks, in part, to some vigorous lobbying by organisations like RICS, the Edge, CIBSE and others, energy efficiency is on the upward curve of its cycle. To address the trilemma of security of supply, affordability and carbon reduction the energy efficiency solution is being acknowledged in government circles.

In addition to the £730 million support for offshore wind and other renewables announced in Wednesday’s budget, or longer term plans to build non-renewable capacity, the Government is increasingly bringing energy efficiency in from the cold and giving it a prominent place in its strategy. At yesterday’s UKGBC ESOS event, someone from DECC made the statement “the cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use”.

Uncertainty around the future of UK energy policy keeps the issue in the headlines
Through ESOS the Government is helping businesses to achieve their energy efficiency potential by providing a flexible framework for identifying energy saving opportunities and mandating that larger companies use it. Even so, there is always the risk of ESOS being put on the back-burner, if managers lose focus on its goals for even a month. This is as a result of seeing compliance as a box-ticking exercise rather than a continuous process of identifying new ways to make savings. 

Even so, many companies recognise the multiple benefits of managing their energy use better, and in this way are ahead of the Government.  During the recent breakfast briefing “From ESOS to IS 50001” run by CIBSE Certification, Deon Joubert, Divisional Manager, EHS Compliance of Kingspan Insulation Ltd explained how their wider push within the group to reach Zero Net Energy by 2020 and join the Carbon Disclosure Project had helped them with their ESOS compliance. 

And this is where a standard like ISO 50001 really comes into its own. In relation to the point above, it's not just another 'fit and forget' energy measure that gets dusted off every four years to show that the requisite boxes are indeed being ticked; it requires monitoring and, as such, provides metrics that are actually useful to an organisation, and can save them money.

As they already had some sited under ISO 50001 certification from CIBSE Certification, their compliance strategy for ESOS involved a mixture of ISO 50001 certification and ESOS audits. He also added that Kingspan were saving a lot of money as a result of their efforts and reminded delegates of the DECC estimates that if participants in the ESOS scheme reduce energy consumption by an average of just 0.7%, this would reduce their total energy bills by over £250m per year.

Kingspan have more than 100 locations across 16 countries
Deon explained why Kingspan had already embarked on the ISO 50001 route before ESOS came along. Firstly and most importantly for them was the uniformity that ISO 50001 brought to energy management across such a large number of sites. It may seem obvious, but it’s hard to measure progress and compliance when every site is applying different standards to itself – and that’s crucial from a financial perspective, when a company’s whole strategy may rely on the savings made across a portfolio.

Secondly, and less tangibly, is the culture change that the standard brought with it. An energy management system isn’t just about the paperwork, humans are part of the system too and their actions need to be accounted for if the system is to work. Using a certified system like ISO 50001 ensures that it has been tested and proven to work, and enables organisations to implement something that employees can get behind and engage with. For those in charge of implementing the system it also serves to formalise the efficiency process, factoring in capital expenditure to make a proper business case to those holding the purse strings.

Kingspan have been making a range of innovative and impressive changes at their UK sites alone, saving over £300k and 12GWhs of gas in the process, but if business and the Government are to get anywhere near the savings required, we’re going to have to get serious about energy management.


Savings can only be fully realised if solutions are managed properly
CIBSE Certification is UKAS accredited to certify ISO 50001 compliant EnMSs. CIBSE ISO 50001 training is for those involved in the design, implementation and management of an Energy Management System (EnMS).

The three-day course is a mixture of lectures and workshops, and provides 21 hours of CPD. There is an exam for those who wish to become a Low Carbon Consultant (LCC) EnMS; this allows consultants to plan and implement EnMS to ISO 50001. 

Visit here to book. Further dates for 2016 will be added around July. For notification of these, email eventbookings@cibse.org