CIBSE HQ: A commercial Green Deal Story - Part 1

This blog will be used by CIBSE members and volunteers to discuss the big topics affecting the built environment. In the first of a series of posts, CIBSE Financial and Services Director Stewart Gilmour describes the experience of undertaking a commercial Green Deal assessment at CIBSE's offices in Balham:

Having been inspired by Sophie Pelsmaker’s “My Green Deal Journey”  I am going to follow it up with the CIBSE HQ story.

With so many people unaware that the Green Deal (GD) is available to non-domestic customers,  CIBSE has decided to undertake a commercial Green Deal assessment on its own buildings to test how efficiently they are working and hopefully improve their energy performance.

Choosing a Green Deal Advice Organisation
As CIBSE Certification* is a Green Deal Certification body we did not need to navigate the Gemserv website to find an organisation able to carry out the work, and we were able to go straight to the trusted and well qualified organisation.  At the time of writing there is only one Green Deal Advice Organisation certified by CIBSE Certification, so they have been commissioned to do the work.

Background data
Accordingly, on 19th June the process began with a site visit from Adrian Sweetman of i-prophets /digital energy. In advance of the visit, we were asked to gather a range of information about the CIBSE buildings. The shopping list consisted of:

  1. Collection of all energy consumption data for CIBSE’s buildings for the last 3 years to be used in the GD software and to be assessed for possible energy efficiency improvements.

    Conveniently this was readily available for the CIBSE site, although this is something that could potentially cause a problem for some organisations.
  2. Identification of all energy meters on site along with their serial numbers and Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN).

    CIBSE have installed sub-metering in the two buildings at Balham as part of the CIBSE Carbon 60 project, which allows for the individual assessment of each building

The Buildings
CIBSE HQ in Balham is made up of two buildings:
  • Delta House is a Victorian town house conversion used as offices from before 8 until about 6pm, and has T8 fluorescents, a gas fired low temperature hot water heating system supplying radiators, an electrical storage heater for domestic hot water and one split unit for comfort cooling in the office that suffers the highest solar gain in summer.
  • The Building Services Engineering Centre which was built in the early 1980s as a conference centre and is used for meetings and training events (Green Deal Advisor Training 16th - 17th July, London has mainly fluorescents, supplemented upstairs by light pipes, a gas fired low temperature hot water heating system serving radiators and natural convectors and air conditioning in the form of a centralised all air system for the council chamber, the large downstairs meeting room. Domestic hot water is provided by a small electric storage system.

The Assessment
A full inspection of both buildings was carried out which included:
  • Measurements/verifications all the building areas (this had previously been undertaken for our Voluntary DEC
  • Identification of all activities on a room by room level.
  • Measurement of all the fabric openings (windows, doors).
  • Identification all constructions types (windows, doors, roofs, external-internal walls, solid ground-suspended floors).
  • Detailed lighting survey of all the different lighting installed in the buildings.
  • Detailed description of all the Heating, Cooling and Ventilation and Domestic hot water systems installed in the different areas of the building.
  • Identification of all the controls in the buildings related to Heating, Cooling and Ventilation systems and lights.
  • Assessment of the buildings’ occupancy levels.
A detailed inspection of the site’s plant rooms was also carried out which included:
  • Identification of all the Heating, Cooling and Ventilation systems, domestic hot water systems and their related fans/pumps. This was made much easier because the work undertaken for the Carbon 60 project included labelling of all the pipe and ductwork in the plant areas.
  • Information on the systems’ ages, models, makes and efficiencies.
  • Overview of the central controls and operating schedules of the systems installed.
Apart from the assessment of occupancy levels was similar to having a survey for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), in fact the first thing that will happen after the survey is that an EPC will be produced, and lodged, for each building.  We will also be getting up to date Voluntary DECs as a by-product of the process.

Once the building analysis is complete Adrian will return to run through some possible improvement scenarios with us and help us to decide on a package of measures for which we will then be able to try to obtain funding.  I look forward to seeing what that report will say.

*CIBSE Certification is UKAS accredited to certify organisations as Green Deal Advice Organisations.  They also certify the competence of experienced individuals to give Green Deal Advice.


  1. One of the best way to maintain a building's proper ventilation is to do a regular check up and inspection on its overall cooling, heating and temperature system. It does not only make the people living or working under the building safe, it also becomes more eco-friendly to its surroundings. -Nich Spence


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