Friday, 18 December 2015

Heat Networks: A guide to the code

By Ed Palmer, CIBSE Knowledge Editor

In a first for CIBSE, we released a Code of Practice on District Heat Networks earlier in the year that sets out what an engineer needs to know about installing and maintaining a heat network.

But what is the code for, what is it about, and what is a heat network, anyway?

To give us a hand, our Knowledge Editor Ed Palmer has written this handy guide to the code, which covers all this and more!

What is a heat network?
Heat networks (also known as district heating) supply heat from a central source to consumers, via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water. Heat networks can cover a large area or even an entire city, or be fairly local supplying a small cluster of buildings.

Heat networks can be used to supply new buildings and existing buildings ranging from residential dwellings to commercial offices and public buildings.

Indeed, a wider mix of building types is generally desirable as this provides a diversity of heat demands at different times of the day and year.

Vital Energi install a network at the former RAF Eastcote
The physical network infrastructure from the heat generation through the distribution network to the consumer heat interface typically includes:

  • Heat source – often comprising an energy centre or central plant room with heat generation equipment (often this is a low carbon, renewable technology).
  • Heat network route (i.e. the pipes) – usually pre-insulated to a high level in order to minimise heat losses.
  • Consumer heat interface between the network and the heat consumer. This can be a building thermal substation supplying a whole building or individual heat interface units, similar to an individual gas boiler, supplying each property.

What are the benefits of developing or connecting to a heat network?
District heating offers a range of benefits over conventional heating methods for heat consumers, building owners and developers. Well-designed and operated district heating schemes offer clear advantages in overall energy system efficiency, bringing financial and environmental benefits, as well as helping to meet planning requirements.



Economic benefits
In most cases the key motivating factor for developing or connecting to a heat network will be financial benefit through reduced energy bills. Connection to a heat network can:

  • Mitigate against rising energy costs and can provide attractive returns on investment
  • Significantly reduce the developer’s cost of compliance with Building Regulations
  • Reduce labour and maintenance costs compared with individual systems (evidence indicates that total operational costs can be lower than individual boiler options, with ongoing lower heat, maintenance and replacement costs).
  • Provide local authorities an opportunity to address fuel poverty and give peace of mind to vulnerable residential customers by providing lower, more affordable and more stable prices.
Reputational benefit
Heat networks facilitate the use of low or zero carbon renewable energy sources (they are technology neutral) such as combined heat and power (CHP), solar heating or heat pumps and so benefit the environment. They are therefore an excellent opportunity for individuals or organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate corporate social responsibility, bringing associated reputational benefits.

Heat networks are often local and bring economic and social benefits to the community.

Compliance
There is an increasing amount of national and international legislation aimed at decarbonising UK heat supply, such as the Climate Change Act 2008 or Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD) etc.

Connection to a heat network is one of the ways to help comply with this legislation.
Meeting low carbon targets in planning consent can become easier. The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating achievable with HIU’s in dwellings, fed from a district heating system with low carbon heat source, will be significantly better than for systems with distributed combi-boilers or hot water cylinders.


Planning regulations often require new developments to include a proportion of renewable technology in order to reduce carbon emissions. Developing or connecting to a heat network offers a good way to meet planning requirements. This may even be the factor that enables developments to go ahead.


What is in the Code of Practice
The Code of Practice has been produced to raise standards in heat networks, by setting minimum requirements (and suggested) best practice and by integrating the supply chain across the whole life of a project.

The Code is written to cover all stages of the development cycle of a project from feasibility through design, construction, commissioning and operation.

The core of the Code is structured as follows:

  • The typical sequence of a project by stage from initial brief and feasibility through to operation and maintenance. The Code may be used either for the entire project or for a particular stage but the greatest value will be obtained when it is followed for all stages.
  • For each project stage, a number of objectives are set.
  • For each objective a number of minimum requirements are defined to achieve the objectives. All of these requirements will need to be met if the project is to comply fully with the Code.
  • Roles and responsibilities are established for different stages.
  • How to use the Code of Practice
  • Use of the Code of Practice can be specified in contracts or tender documents, for entire projects or for specific stages (e.g. construction). If the requirements in the Code of Practice are adhered to, you can be confident that:
  1. A carefully considered feasibility/design framework will have been followed
  2. Legislative and regulatory requirements will have been identified and met
  3. Reporting and information handover will allow effective oversight of the project.

You do not need to be a technical expert in heat networks to use the Code for procurement or contractual purposes. The Code has been designed (following extensive industry-wide consultation and in collaboration with DECC) to give clients and developers confidence that commonly agreed minimum standards are being followed, and to allow clear communication between different parties in the supply chain.



The Code of Practice in use
Greater Manchester is actively developing a pipeline of heat network projects and the first project is now going into procurement. We have used the heat networks Code of Practice (CP1) as a fundamental reference document in our tendering process for feasibility studies and will be using it as a key element of project procurement. It has provided a step change in helping to make these processes more robust and consistent.
Julian Packer, Low Carbon Investment Director, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Switch2 is particularly encouraged that the document is very relevant to the whole supply chain, and we would encourage anyone who is considering or involved in managing a community heating scheme to read and use this Code.
 Ian Allan, Head of R&D, Switch2 Energy Ltd
E.ON Community Energy are hugely supportive of the introduction of this Code to drive up the design and build quality of district heating networks in the UK. As an ESCO provider we focus on lifetime value which can be compromised by a lack of focus on quality during the design and build phase of a project. CP1 hopes to address that.
Jeremy Bungey, Head of E.ON Community Energy

Next steps
Identify opportunities

  • Look for high density heat opportunities
  • Look for existing heat networks
  • Carry out a thorough feasibility study.

Download the Code of Practice
The Code of Practice is available for download/purchase from cibse.org/CP1. It is free to CIBSE and ADE members (electronic copy) and at a small cost for non-members or for printed copies.
Attend a 1 day training course ‘Introduction to Heat networks and the Code of Practice’.

This is a one day course which provides an introduction to heat networks and the Code of Practice for those who are involved in procuring/developing heat networks and those using or specifying the CoP.
The course runs regularly and can also be delivered at your site (minimum 6 staff) at discounted rates.

See www.cibse.org/training for details.

Find and employ a CIBSE Heat Network Consultant
CIBSE’s Heat Network Consultant register contains details of professionals who have demonstrated experience and competency (through training and examination) understanding the principles and requirements of the Code of Practice.

Employing a heat network consultant is an effective way to ensure that a project is managed according to the principles and requirements of the Code.

For more information visit:www.cibse.org/heatnetworksconsultant
CIBSE, 222 Balham High Road, SW12 9BS, www.cibse.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Being "El Presidente"





It's been a big year for the Society of Lighting and Lighting (SLL) and now, as an early Christmas present, we have a bumper blog from its President Liz Peck. Liz looks back on the last year in the run-up to, and start of, her Presidency


For me, my presidency effectively began in January. I was mapping out what I wanted to do, what I was going to say during "the speech" in May. By that time, I'd already decided I wouldn't be wearing a suit. I'd sounded out a couple of trusted SLL friends with mixed response, yet I knew I was right: I don't "do" suits. If I could be elected in jeans, I could give my Address in them too.

In January, my previous 'stalking' of the RIBA President Elect, Jane Duncan, came to fruition as she joined me and John Aston in Paris for the International Year of Light launch. In February, my personal quest to engage with the RIBA extended locally too as I joined the RIBA Yorkshire Awards judging team: a thoroughly enjoyable process indeed.

I spent time in the early part of the year going through the archives and looking back to the very formation of the Society. I tell people we are the Society who is open to all, that  having an interest in light or lighting is all we ask. I knew that that had stemmed from the formation when architects were as vital a part of the Society as illuminating engineers and I wanted to draw on that in my Address.

Liz makes her inaugural speech as SLL President

In March, my duty as president-elect was ramped up rather more than I had expected as I was to look after His Royal Highness, the Duke of York, when he attended the Fresnel Lecture at the Royal Institution. He's the UK Patron of the IYL and I have to say, was very interested in the subject, asking lots of questions as the evening progressed. A great honour, indeed.

During the spring, I started developing my "hit-list" of organisations who we have obvious - and some less obvious - synergies with and started doing what I hate doing most in my life: contacting complete strangers to introduce myself and the Society I'm so passionate about. Most replied in a positive way and I was especially delighted to have so many of them as guests at my inauguration in May.

The Lighting Family had been born. And I was "el presidente". Crikey.
Royal Photographic Society volunteers capture the Giants Causeway on
the Night of Heritage Light ©Gareth O'Cathain

In June, I went over to the National Media Museum in Bradford and met their press officer to discuss their forthcoming Light Festival and possible connections between the two organisations. We even discussed the possibility of having a temporary exhibition in the new year of the Night of Heritage Light.  I was also back at the Royal Institution for the ILP Lecture by Russell Foster as well as giving CIBSE Council an update on the Society's activities and a trip to Bath to meet with the Royal Photographic Society's Director-General, Michael Pritchard, who I'd been having regular and forthcoming correspondence with since meeting their then president, Derek Birch, in Paris. The RPS were very supportive of the Night of Heritage Light, promoting it in their Journal. Later, the ECA would come to our rescue with finding us electricians for five of the sites.
The Stirling Prize nominated Maggie's Centre in Lanarkshir©Phillip Durrant
In July we had the CIE Quadrennial meeting in Manchester and I was invited to be a guest at their celebration dinner at Manchester United. You can't have it all, I suppose, sacrifices have to be made! Brendan and I also had a further meeting with Jane Duncan at the RIBA regarding joint ventures and she pledged their support to the 2015-2016 Masterclass series.

September usually marks the start of the "busy season" at SLL and I met with Nick Mead, the CIBSE president along with Stephen Matthews and Hywel Davies from CIBSE HQ and the chairmen of SoPHE and ILEVE, when we enjoyed lunch together. Having reviewed the draft Masterclass presentations at Balham, I was back at the RIBA to see Jane take office and Jeff Shaw and I stayed on the president's fundraising dinner that evening. The same evening, Brendan was representing the Society at the Royal Photographic Awards; unfortunately I haven't yet mastered being in two places at once.
Liz accepts her Person of the Year 2015 award at Lux Live

Then came October 1st: the Night of Heritage Light. That's probably a whole story just in itself but on the day, I was over at Giant's Causeway. I'd landed the day before and immediately became part of the Ranger team there, welcomed by head ranger, Neville. I quickly understood the dark art of entertaining the visitors as Neville cried, not so much, wolf, more like "basking shark, right there, did you see?" and "Ah you've just missed the dolphin show". There's no such thing of course. He had me embroiled in his antics before I knew it! As everyone knows, the night was a huge success and well worth all of the effort involved by the whole team.

October is no time to rest on your laurels though, as we had a meeting of the Executive the following week and once again, I was able to make a presentation to CIBSE Council, this time, to show them the results of NoHL. To say the audience were dumbstruck would be under-playing it. The first question was "How on earth...?" - I think they were impressed. That evening, I was at the CIBSE President's Dinner and delighted to be there to congratulate past president, Kevin Kelly, who received a CIBSE Silver Medal in recognition for his work in the Republic of Ireland.

Cardiff was next on my itinerary as we kicked off the Masterclass series at the Millennium Centre.  Then it was off to Glasgow for the second Jonathan Speirs Memorial Lecture. An emotional evening as the subject was the Maggies Centre in Lanarkshire, shortlisted for the Stirling Prize and Jonathan's last project. Another honour.
Open to all: Ready Steady Light targets young lighters
November seems to be the start of Awards season and I was delighted to be invited to the Institute of Physics awards dinner. The IoP are integral to the UK's IYL efforts so it was a joy to be invited.

Before the Masterclass in Leicester at the end of November, we had Lux Live at Excel: another hectic two days with welcoming members new and old to the SLL stand. On day one, Jeff hosted the Mini Masterclasses, while I was able to introduce the session on the new SLL LED research which was conducted by Public Health England. My day finished with being a particularly fierce dragon, not buying into any of the inventions. Sorry about that! The second day for us is all about the Young Lighter of the Year Final. The four finalists presented their papers in the main Lux Arena, quite a formidable task. We invite all four finalists to join us at the Lux Awards in the evening and the winner is announced. My congratulations again to Youmna Abdallah.

The biggest surprise then came as I was just coming from the stage and looking to congratulate Youmna properly, completely oblivious to anything happening on stage when suddenly Brendan shouted at me to pay attention. I turned round to see my face on screen as the LUX person of the year. I'd heard nothing of the citation, so was probably the absolute last person to realise; it took me two days to get over the shock!

Six months to the day after my inauguration, I accepted that award on behalf of everyone who made that six months the most enjoyable - and challenging - I've ever experienced.


Now for some time off. Where those mince pies?

Friday, 4 December 2015

Fabricating a masterpiece



By Lee Mullin, Beyond Design
Follow Lee on TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn




Imagine you're in a beautiful sunny Florence in 1503, your name is Leonardo Da Vinci and you're painting the Mona Lisa, a masterpiece that will become one of the most famous paintings in the world. As you've only just started painting you haven't yet decided the exact pose or expression that the famous face will take, but the detail you have put into her smile is stunning and likely to draw the crowds from miles around.

Fast forward a year to 1504, and the painting is still under construction. You've been struggling for weeks with the tilt of her head, but finally your eureka moment arrives – you know exactly the angle you should use. Unfortunately, your new plan doesn’t fit with what you’ve created already, so you dig out a new canvas and have to start the painting all over again.

'La Gioconda' by Leonardo Da Vinci
Finally, as 1505 arrives, you're now happy with the new pose, and the background is now complete. You step back, taking in the whole masterpiece for the first time. But there’s a problem: now you can see them in the context of the whole artwork, the eyes are too small, and their beautiful detail is lost. Time to get the paints out again and work on those eyes.

This may seem a silly way to work but we see fabricators doing this every day, creating the final product before the bare bones are in place. Why would you produce a finished product before all of the structure of what you will produce has been assessed and finalised?

We see many practices that are well aware you should always have the end result in mind, but start designing the detail with the assumption that their envisioned end result is the right one. Design changes inevitably happen, whether because of changed needs, a new assessment of heating or cooling loads, or changes from other disciplines. Any change requires you to rethink your design. If you have already created a fabrication level model and need to make a change, this requires lots of rework on the design, this gets completed, then you move on, then another design change happens.... Sound familiar?

Workflows from paper to 2D CAD then to 3D CAD and now BIM have changed massively, but often the processes haven't. BIM is much more than a piece of technology, and if you use these tools correctly they can help streamline processes, speed up work and allow you to provide more services to your supply chains.

For building services the changes in the software industry have been very beneficial. Now it is possible to start with a concept design, and programmatically place heating and cooling based on room sizes and needs. You can run analysis from within the same environment, and make modifications based on new design changes. 

3D Building Performance Modelling from the new AM11


The platform allows you to create fabrication parts, get estimates and quantities, barcode those parts and then send and track them in the field. You can commission them with appropriate checklists and then send the part with serial numbers, photos, and manuals to any mobile device for the maintenance team. It’s amazing technology, but to realise the benefits your firm needs to have the processes to match, and the people with the relevant skills to put them into place.


Recognising that there is a need for specific workflows in the MEP fabrication phase, we have put together a suite of products that allow you to design, coordinate, quantify, convert to fabrication, layout on site and check as built information. We call it the MEP Fabrication Suite. Take a look, it may just be the toolset you need to create your next masterpiece.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A trip of a lifetime


As part of the historic CIBSE YEN trip to Hong Kong, which saw all the major YEN groups meet together for the first time, CIBSE President-elect John Field travelled with them to speak at the YEN Conference.

After the trip, John writes about the experience, and those to whom the YEN group is now indebted.



The phrase ‘trip of a lifetime’ is an overused one – after all, it’s not often that going abroad on business or on holiday can actually change the course of your career or your life. But in the case of the young engineers who set off last Sunday on their visit to Hong Kong, those are exactly the kinds of stakes were talking about.

The trip was organised by the Young Engineers Network (YEN), a worldwide group of regional centres stretching from Scotland to Australia that acts as a forum for ideas and a support network for engineers just starting out in the industry.

The Young Engineers and I thank our hosts for a great trip
This particular trip was even more exciting, because it was the first time ever that all the major CIBSE YEN groups have sent representatives to meet at the same time, effectively marking their largest and most diverse gathering yet. The opportunity this presented to the young engineers is difficult to overstate – not only did it provide an opportunity to share ideas with colleagues across the globe, it was also possible to meet seasoned experts in Hong Kong too, one of the world centres of engineering excellence.

For this opportunity, we must first of all thank the group’s hosts at the Hong Kong branch of the YEN. It was through their hospitality that the young engineers were able to visit some of the biggest and most complex examples of their craft in the world, from the world’s largest casino to a unique district cooling system in Kai Tak.

My speech at the Next Gen Technology Conference
The demanding programme for the week was faultlessly planned and executed by the Hong Kong
YEN Centre with Chair Eve Leung taking the lead supported by Vice Chair Marcus Chan. There was close co-operation with CIBSE HK Branch, Chair CM Chung, and YEN Global's Carla Bartholomew and Karen Settle. Eve and Marcus supported the group tirelessly throughout and were able to calmly shepherd a group of 30 excited engineers through complex bus trips, ferry terminals and passport controls to and from Macau without losing anyone!

Also to be acknowledged for initiating it all are last year's Hong Kong YEN Centre Chair Mandy Wong and CIBSE Branch Immediate Past President PL Yeung.

The young engineers also got to attend the Asia Pacific Conference on the Built Environment "Next Gen Technology to make green buildings sustainable" with a kick-off summary of extensive government initiatives by the Hong Kong Secretary for the Environment KS Wong. With YEN's presence the conference could maybe have been renamed "Next Gen Engineers"! 

A ferry successfully navigated!

Friday, 20 November 2015

CIBSE YEN Hong Kong trip - Day 4

This week, CIBSE Young Engineers Network (YEN) are in the enviable position of visiting Hong Kong to attend the YEN Conference, as well as meeting fellow engineers and seeing some of the amazing buildings the city has to offer. All week, we will be bringing you blogs and Tweets from the days - which you can see by checking out this page, and by following #YEN15 and #YENHK15 on Twitter.

Here are our Young Engineers' thoughts from Day 4!

Day 4

Jason Smith, FHP Engineering Services Solutions
So today takes us to Macau, the part of the trip I have been most excited about, as I knew we were visiting casinos! I'm not a bit gambler but after going to Las Vegas I became fascinated by the complexes for the their sheer size and complexity with many different activities going on at one time.

We arrived at the Venetian hotel and instantly it brought back memories of Vegas, and the similarities were clear, I was looking forward to having the chance to see the inner workings of the casino.

We were greeted by members of the building maintenance team and taken to the see the chiller plant room. The plant room was of a magnitude of which I have never seen! The room housed 26 chillers each capable of providing 14,000kW or 14MW of cooling and 7No. Heat pumps which provide the hot water generation for the building.

A chilled water pump at the EMSD plant


We were lucky enough to have access to see the BMS, which was probably the most intelligent system I have ever seen, we managed to deduce via calculations from the data available that 8MW of cooling was being provided to the casino at the time of our visit! This is quite an incredible amount.

The Venetian resort is currently set to be expanded with 3000 additional rooms being built, there is a capacity of 5MW available in the system to accommodate the expansion.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that one day I will get to work on a project of this magnitude.

Following our visit to the Venetian we were treated to a tour of the other islands of Macau. Macau is a former Portuguese colony, and this is clear to see from much of the architecture.

The cherry on top of the day was a visit to the newly opened studio city casino, with a brief visit to the plant rooms.

Today we will be attending the HK technical symposium, we hope that our presence at the event will show the engineers of HK that CIBSE is a strong global organisation full of young enthusiastic engineers.

Macau, as seen from the rooftops ©Adam Dent


Thursday, 19 November 2015

CIBSE YEN Hong Kong trip - Day 3

This week, CIBSE Young Engineers Network (YEN) are in the enviable position of visiting Hong Kong to attend the YEN Conference, as well as meeting fellow engineers and seeing some of the amazing buildings the city has to offer. All week, we will be bringing you blogs and Tweets from the days - which you can see by checking out this page, and by following #YEN15 and #YENHK15 on Twitter.

Here are our Young Engineer's thoughts from Day 3, after a day of field trips to some exciting facilities!

Day 3

Sophie Wing, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
I feel extremely privileged to be able to be a part of CIBSE YEN and have the opportunity to attend the YEN Global Conference Hong Kong 2015. Filled with anticipation prior to arriving in Hong Kong the trip so far has not disappointed, our HK friends have been fantastic hosts and the itinerary has provided excursions, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities, with a lot more to still to come before returning home!


The Young Engineers tour the world's largest casino
for 'research purposes'  ©Jason Smith 
 
My main driver behind becoming a building services engineer was the opportunity to shape and enhance our built environment and the building users experience; this trip has only fuelled my passion. It is really encouraging to see young and more established engineers in Hong Kong appreciate the whole life cycle of a building and attitude to the installed services post construction to ensure user thermal comfort.

Day 3 involved a high speed ferry to Macau, three islands to the West of Kowloon where we are staying. Macau was a Portuguese oversea territory until 1999 and here there are many casinos.




Guided through the Venetian the largest casino in the world built in 2008 with over 3000 hotel rooms we were all overcome by the scale of the infrastructure and building. 

Due to the extensive 185MW cooling plant it was interesting to learn that the design consultants of the building services systems still kept a presence on site to ensure optimum efficiency and operation of the plant, something that seems invaluable when we strive to a more sustainable approach to design and importance of improving building performance.


Paul Binns, Mitsubishi Electric
As I am currently sat in the airport waiting to meet fellow YEN members I realise that the trip is not just about the destination and what it has to offer. It’s about the shared experience with like-minded young engineers from the international construction industry.

I embarked on my engineering career after completing my engineering degree at Newcastle University. During my studies I realised I had a passion and skill for combining multiple elements of the design process as well collaborative working with other specialists.

After a brief period of work experience in the building services industry I realised that I had found my niche and could work alongside a range of specialists and feel part of the changes that the buildings I work on have on the collective.

President elect John Field addresses the conference
I have been part of the Yorkshire YEN for many years after getting involved whilst working at AECOM. I enjoy organising local events/seminars. Such events help the local YEN member’s network and gain experience. There are many social benefits from the role including having multiple contacts to discuss any designs queries that I am working on.

This trip for me will see the start of my period as local chair. The trip feels like a reward for past efforts and giving my time to the industry and CIBSE. It also feels like the start of a new chapter in my career.

As part of the visit we are due to gain a better understanding of how the UK and HK do business. This is of particular interest as the UK strengthens its political relationship with China. I am also intrigued with how HK using district systems to its advantage. This ties in well with DECC’s water source heat map. I think the UK has a lot of potential to increase utilisation these types of networks and benefit from the heat recovery. 

Young Engineer Elie Choufani visits the market in Macau ©Elie Choufani  
With the global increase in BIM and focus on building whole life cycles I am interesting in the HK approach and lessons that I can learn and apply to my role. As we visit various sites I want to see how the facilities managers approach the day to day running of the systems and energy usage.   

As well as a lesson in Kung Fu I think I will also gain and insight into Chinese culture and the global role of CIBSE. With the shared experience and knowledge gained I also hope that this visit also paves the way for future generations to visit and explore parts of CIBSE family.

Carla Bartholemew, Arup and Graham Stewart, Arup
There were 13 enormous chillers in a plant room which was apparently the biggest in Asia. The size of them was based on 52000 tonnes (of refrigerant) which equates to about 180 Megawatts of cooling energy. They consumed 40% of the building's electrical energy load, which in turn was 90% of the entire site's energy load. 

video


Although it was an absolutely incredible building architecturally, and they were utilising waste heat from heat pumps to heat domestic hot water systems (which I assume, as they have 3000 rooms, will be a lot of showers worth), the building was incredibly, incredibly energy intensive. To give an idea of scale, their energy bills were $3,000,000 per annum, though admittedly they did not specify whether these were Hong Kong dollars or American.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

CIBSE YEN Hong Kong trip - Day 2

This week, CIBSE Young Engineers Network (YEN) are in the enviable position of visiting Hong Kong to attend the YEN Conference, as well as meeting fellow engineers and seeing some of the amazing buildings the city has to offer. All week, we will be bringing you blogs and Tweets from the days - which you can see by checking out this page, and by following #YEN15 and #YENHK15 on Twitter.

Here are our Young Engineer's thoughts from Day 2, as they reflect on a busy first session in Hong Kong!

Day 2

Karen Settle, Pick Everard
After a stressful few hours and a more than memorable flight setting off at 2am Hong Kong time we were pleasantly surprised to check in to our stunning hotel, and the first night was a taster of what's to come on our very intense itinerary.

Here we are in Venetian hotel (Macau) and casino plant room one of the largest of its kind with over 13 number chillers installed based in banks to provide resilience based on the schematic at least 11 of these banks are equal size of 4000 RT, equating to 52,000  total capacity which in UK would equate to approximately 185 MW

The Venetian Hotel's enormous plant room in Macau ©Karen Settle
The size of the distribution network is roughly 850 -1000 mm throughout, serving 1000 AHUs of various size and more than 10,000 fan cool units running 24:7 inc. 2 heat pump dedicated to critical systems in the casino

The installation is approximately 10yrs ago, so to reflect changes in technology and meet demand of sustainability. The giant cooling towers located at roof level each sized approx 5000 RT are scheduled for replacement in the near future as the operation and reliability of these units is key

Another feature of this mammoth plant is that it runs on r134a with a pump capacity of a staggering 701 l/s which is quite difficult to imagine but try....

Dessert! ©Karen Settle
After all this excitement it should have been time to sleep but instead decided to see what the local bars had to offer, featuring an array of interesting food including a very acquired taste of head of jelly fish and most interesting and definitely the highlight of the night a desert that literally oozed. This appeared to do the trick as after a few drinks with the lads and a refreshing downpour it was finally time to hit the hay.


Ian Sullivan, CIBSE YEN West Midlands Vice-Chair

Today we visited the Electrical Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government who are the Electrical and Mechanical Service s provider to 100 government departments, provide public safety to the area and raise public awareness of energy efficiency.

This department provide Electrical, Mechanical, Electronic and Building Services expertise to buildings such as Hospitals, Airports, Cultural Facilities, the Police and Government Buildings, and strive to reduce energy consumption using technology such as Photovoltaic Cells and a District Cooling System. Further details can be found here

We saw how they share the technologies they employ via miniature models of the development to demonstrate to the public how such technologies work and where they would be located within the building. I found they were keen to share this information with the public, especially young people, in an effort encourage and  raise awareness, on how to reduce energy usage.

The visit to the Kai Tak District Cooling System (KTD DCS) gave us an insight to the size of the chiller plant and pipework required to provide cooling to a GFA of over 1.7 Million m². This is achieved via a 3-pipe, main distribution chilled water pipe circuit buried underground, which is leak detected and provides cooling to major public building across the district.

A visit to Kai Tak District Cooling System ©Elie Choufani
After lunch we visited the Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) initiated by the Construction Industry Council which show cased the technologies within the construction industry locally to raise community awareness of low carbon living in Hong Kong.

The aspects of today which I found encouraging was the importance of sharing engineering strategies and technologies with the public, especially young people so they can understand how they can contribute in reducing energy usage. How, in this time it is crucial to record the performance of our buildings through BMS to ensure the most efficient methods of Building Services are deployed to maintain the building occupant’s expectations.


Finally, it was great to talk to Alan Lau at the British Consulate and discuss the challenges that face Building Services Engineers across the globe today and the need to encourage more talented people into our industry. It was clear that a ‘passion’ and a ‘drive’ was a necessity, to become an effective Building Services Engineer.

Alan Lau addresses the Conference
Patrick Nicholls, Morgan Sindall Professional Services

I became involved with CIBSE at a regional level and the YEN because I firmly believe that it is vital to promote the industry beyond the confines of project and company-related boundaries and display a wider appreciation of our role in the world-at-large.

It is clear to me that the environmental challenges faced by the developed world in my lifetime will have a significant influence on the human race's chances of long-term survival on this planet as a whole, and in the short-term on our satisfaction and comfort in our world, which ultimately helps define our enjoyment of life.

There could scarcely be anything larger at stake. From my experience during and beyond my university studies it has become abundantly clear that building services does not enjoy the high profile of some other aspects of engineering, and as such there is an onus on members of the profession to help promote the discipline to a wider audience wherever possible.

The EMSD cooling plant ©Adam Dent
I initially became an engineer because I enjoyed the science of mathematics, physics and chemistry and wanted to be able to apply those to make a positive difference in the real world. The challenges posed enthuse me and spur me on to find solutions.

CIBSE YEN is a great opportunity to promote the interests of the profession to the widest possible captive audience, which I hope to grow and develop through my time with CIBSE onto a role with the main regional committee. As the North West has produced many key scientific innovations in recent decades, and Manchester is objectively the greatest city in the universe by any measure, I feel YEN NW is the appropriate place to achieve these aims and continue the tradition of the region as a centre of technical excellence.

The YEN global conference in Hong Kong is a brilliant flagship event for CIBSE and the YEN to show off our generation of engineers in one of the most important growing regions for our industry and show that we are globally minded about the challenges faced in the modern world. 

The YEN team at lunch on day 2 ©Adam Dent
In a globalised society, developing connections between professionals regardless of location is important to provide best practice solutions and encourage project collaboration and knowledge sharing. I wish to help inspire a new generation to work in a vitally important discipline and make a difference in the world

Monday, 16 November 2015

CIBSE YEN Hong Kong trip - Day 1

This week, CIBSE Young Engineers Network (YEN) are in the enviable position of visiting Hong Kong to attend the YEN Conference, as well as meeting fellow engineers and seeing some of the amazing buildings the city has to offer. All week, we will be bringing you blogs and Tweets from the days - which you can see by checking out this page, and by following #YEN15 on Twitter.

Here are our Young Engineer's thoughts from Day 1, as they arrive in the city and let us know their thoughts!


DAY 1


The team arrive in Hong Kong
 ©Jason Smith

Carla Bartholomew,  YEN CIBSE Council Representative


So, finally I find myself sat on flight CX250, anxious and exciting for the 11 hour journey from UK to Hong Kong.  As I look around at the group of 16 young engineers preparing themselves for the trip with vigour, I feel very honoured and grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it.

The HK Branch and YEN HK have been working tirelessly to develop a seamless programme, which truly represents life and work as a building services engineer in Hong Kong. Looking over the week’s events I can feel myself getting very excited and eager to meet my old YEN HK friends; Mandy,  Eve, whom I have had the privilege of meeting at past YEN Chairs Conferences, and also the rest of the YEN HK team.

Over the years, HK Branch have sponsored the YEN HK chair and vice chair go attend the technical symposium and YEN Chairs Conference following, and I am most looking forward to returning their resolute dedication, by bringing a global representation of YEN; to understand what life as a young engineer is like in Hong Kong.

Developments which I am very interested to learn about are the design of high rise buildings, how they view sustainability and ensure it is integrated into design, and to what extent. This I hope shall be answered in our visits to the ICC, and Zero Carbon building, I would like to get an insight into what they see as the future of engineering, not just in HK but globally. Does this match with what our other Centre's views are (based on their geographical location). 

I am anticipating that, like the technical symposium in London,  key issues and current thinking in design, building physics, analysis and research, will be revealed at the HKIE Technical Symposium on the fourth day of the trip. I am also hoping that we shall see an equal measure of young engineers presenting their work and findings, to those at more senior levels, as it does at the UK symposium.

For me, YEN is a support network for those who need guidance, professional reassurance and a general forum where they feel they can ask the “stupid question”, pose new ideas and share fears, worries, concerns and triumphs with other like-minded engineers. 

I like seeing those connections being made and the forming of strong and fruitful friendships. Our industry is a very small world and often it’s your connections which can help you along the way, both professionally and personally. I am constantly in awe of those incredible and talented people I have met through my work with YEN.

Jerrin Prius, The Fletcher Construction Company, New Zealand

In general for this trip would be how buildings are designed in Hong Kong, especially considering the climate and geography.  More specifically I am more than looking forward to the visit to the International Commerce Centre and the technical symposium. Plus meeting new people and learning about building services in their respective countries.

What inspired me to get into engineering would be a few things. My interest to improve things, to improve a process or function. Why limit a system to do one thing when it can do more. Secondly I like to design and build things. I am a firm believer in utilising new technology in different ways. E.g. would be the use of drones or UAV in a construction site, since that is where I work every day. 

The YEN Delegates are welcomed with a traditional banquet
©Elie Choufani


I am really excited about new developments in BIM and how organizations are using it around the world. I am hoping for some in the technical symposium. Especially the integration of seismic design in BIM since it is a hot topic in NZ. 

I am hoping to learn about new technologies and systems in building services and how I can take that info and apply to projects in NZ. Also networking with fellow young engineers around the world and learn about their experiences and knowledge. 

To be part of YEN is a great way to connect with other building services engineers to share ideas and knowledge. Also for me it is a gateway to introduce building services to future engineers in New Zealand.


Graham Stewart, ARUP

View from the ICC Observation Deck

©Graham Stewart
We’ve just completed our first full day so time for a spot of reflection. I very much anticipated that this would be a very interesting trip and so far it has not disappointed both from an educational and cultural perspective.

The welcome from our colleagues in Hong Kong has been fantastic and we have discussed so many 
aspects of work and life with them already. It is excellent to get to know our YEN counterparts in HK and from other places around the world who have travelled to Hong Kong. It is also very interesting to meet with colleagues from my company in HK and discuss in detail some of the aspects of working for the same company in different locations. This has only been made a reality as a result of the opportunity to travel to the YEN global conference.

I have previously worked for 6 months in Shanghai within the People’s Republic of China (and visited Hong Kong during this time) so am particularly interested in understanding the differences not only between Hong Kong and the UK, but also between what I know of the PRC and Hong Kong. 

Having been in this part of the world before the trip would for me be focussed on the people I meet and the engineering and culture of working exchange.

Today’s series of seminars were very interesting from a political, logistical and economic respect showing some similarities and the clear differences in the way Hong Kong operates compared with the UK and the PRC. I was also able to fill many gaps of my understanding of Hong Kong. 

There was some interesting discussion amongst the delegates and presenters today which stimulated discussion about where the engineering, economic and operational priorities lie within the sector for different regions around the world.

Today’s tour of the ICC was an eye opener. On a purely technical stance I have gained some interesting insight into the technical aspects of design and construction of “super tall” buildings today which I hope to use should I be involved in the appropriate project. 

Roll on day two.
Andrea Larkin, Laing O'Rourke 
Finally, today in the day of the CIBSE YEN trip to Hong Kong. As the current Vice Chair, I have been given the opportunity to represent the Scottish CIBSE YEN committee. When asked if I would be interested in going on this trip I jumped at the chance as, in my eyes, it was a once in a life time opportunity.

Since graduating in 2013 from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, I have spent the past 2 years working as a graduate MEP Digital Engineer for a large contractor in various locations throughout the UK. This has highlighted to me the significant differences in the way we work and how our methods of best practice can differ from North to South.

During the trip, one of the things I am most looking forward to is learning about how our colleagues in the Building Services Industry work in Hong Kong with such a vast difference in culture. The use of innovation has varied the way we work globally in construction, and as Hong Kong is known for its advanced use of technology I am very interested to see how this is applied within the construction industry.

The EMSD district cooling plant
As a Digital Engineer for Laing O'Rourke, one of my main roles is to facilitate the use of innovative technology to make the design and build process more efficient. This places a huge emphasis on the way we work, highlighting the many opportunities we currently have to increase the quality of service and product we deliver to our clients.

One of the factors I believe is key to succeeding in this process is collocation. Therefore, through networking with our colleagues in Hong Kong and various site visits planned to take place, one of my main objectives for the trip is learn about the BIM process in Hong Kong and how it is actively being applied on live projects in comparison to the UK.

From this trip, I hope to build strong relationships with not only the Hong Kong YEN committee but also wider members of the Building Services community. Being a part of YEN gives me the opportunity to connect with industry members from all backgrounds, which I find exceptionally valuable. In such a fast paced, changing industry, I believe that we can learn so much from one another and the opportunity to expand my network on a global scale will be an invaluable experience.

The Young Engineers engage with the panel on HCFCs


With so many fantastic site visits, presentations and day trips planned, I look forward  to the coming day's events with the global YEN community.

Friday, 13 November 2015

CIBSE YEN Hong Kong – An Employer’s Perspective

As part of our coverage of the CIBSE Young Engineers Network trip to Hong Kong from Sunday 15 November, we are featuring a series of blogs from those on the ground as well as bringing you the best photos and social media activity.

In the run-up to Sunday, we spoke to an employer about why they are sending their young engineer on the trip. Steve Dixon, Director of JDP explains:



Why would an employer agree to allow a young engineer to take five working days to attend a conference in Hong Kong when we are very busy?

That is the question that we pondered over when David Mather asked if we would provide assistance to him so that he could attend the CIBSE YEN Conference in Hong Kong in November.

We already allow David to have time to attend CIBSE YEN events and to fulfil his role as Chair of YEN London and we have a policy at JDP of supporting the development of young engineers.   However, this would be different.

David Mather of JDP
Clearly it would help David to learn about the approach to M&E design in another country – is it similar to the UK or do they have a different approach which may provide him with fresh ideas?  It would certainly be a great opportunity for him to experience such a vibrant, urban environment.

It would also put David into a different business environment that should in turn both challenge and, hopefully, re-affirm the thoughts and ideas that he has developed throughout his career and education to date.  The conference programme and the opportunity to network with other young engineers from around the world would cause him to reflect on his current knowledge and probably help to develop his confidence further.

As we are endeavouring to develop our young engineers into rounded individuals, on reflection, we realised that this experience would benefit both David and JDP, and ultimately our clients.  And therefore the answer had to be to give David our support for this great opportunity.

We also recognise that CIBSE need the support of employers to achieve their agenda for the development of young engineers and, at JDP, we are pleased to play our part.




Friday, 6 November 2015

CIBSE Conference and Exhibition 2015

In just its second year, the CIBSE Conference and Exhibition has gone from strength to strength in 2015, with 50% more attendees and more exhibitors than last year, and a lively Twitter following making it CIBSE's biggest ever social media event.

If you weren't able to attend, or if you just want a bite-size run-down of the two day event, we've prepared a run-down below!

Day 1

Lord Deben addresses the Conference
The foggy start to the day set an appropriately mysterious mood for a first session devoted to security - but some pretty strong conclusions from the outset made it considerably less murky by the end!

First up, the Conference was honoured to welcome the Rt. Hon. Lord Deben as the first day's keynote speaker. Sounding a note of optimism, Lord Deben reminded engineers that they have the ability to make a real difference to carbon emissions, as buildings are the largest source of emissions in the UK. However, this will require them to set an example in the way their own businesses are run - focussing on small achievements that add up, rather than large signature projects with smaller impacts.

The key findings from the sessions focussed on treating security as a people problem as well as a technology problem; businesses in future need to think hard about who is given information about a building via systems like BIM, how much ancillary information contractors might have that could one day be exploited, and how easy it is to access detailed BIM information that could make a building vulnerable.

Ian Ellis of Seimens stressed that ever more complicated systems accessible from anywhere in the world are making buildings increasingly vulnerable to ‘bored student’ hackers, who take advantage of security lapses to infiltrate a BMS system. While this may only mean turning off lights and raising temperatures, this could be dangerous for controlled environments who must maintain constant conditions.

A murky morning in central London

Conversely, Andrew Sieradski , head of security at Buro Happold, cited the huge potential of technology such as BIM to optimise building performance through security. By inputting information about equipment into a data management system, computers can automatically identify the best camera resolution, the amount of necessary data storage and the optimum temperature at which to cool it. This provides savings in time for the designer, and ensures the system will perform better throughout its life.

However, all speakers were agreed that security must be a primary consideration for designers. Ian Ellis of Siemens said: “People know the potential risk associated with security, what is necessary is to make security a priority that is introduced into the design as early as possible.”

BIM was also a theme later in the day, when it was discussed in the session ‘Using BIM in Building Operations’. CIBSE’s BIM Task Group is still active in supporting the introduction of BIM Level 2 in April 2016, but this session invited a fresh perspective from Warwick Stannus, of the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association of Australia.

David Fisk addresses the security session
The emphasis in this session was on the people, rather than the technology behind BIM. It began with a talk from Hugh Boyes, associate fellow of the Cyber Security Centre at the University of Warwick, who advised that securing BIM is down to people and processes as much as technology. Making sure that only those who need to know have access to all the sensitive data is a must, as are the processes for securing that data and revoking access after construction is complete.

Similarly, Warwick Stannus advised a focus on process from his Australian perspective. Part of Australia’s impressive progress on closing the ‘performance gap’ is down to collecting and presenting useful data from systems like BIM so it can be used to optimise building performance. His key advice from the day was that only by efficiently collecting, storing and delivering building and facilities management data to the right people can we make performance gains.

The afternoon sessions were begun by the Lighting, Wellbeing and Comfort in Buildings presentation, which featured talks on air flow in buildings by Dr Cath Noakes, and Climate Based Daylight Modelling by Dr Paul Littlefair. This was followed by the presentation of research by Public Health England into the effects of LED lights on human health- finding that domestic lights perform the best on colour temperature and flicker, but that street lights perform the worst.

Day 2

Day two began with a hotly anticipated look at how the UK's building services industry will have to adapt to climate change. This topic, which is only becoming more relevant, was also a perfect example of collaboration improving the industry - as the first speaker was not an engineer, but a psychologist...

Rhiannon Cocoran, Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool, spoke about how buildings can be adapted to encourage occupants to act in a more ecologically sound way, and the influence of human preference for immediate rather than long term gain on how they behave in buildings. When we are in pleasant environments we are more likely to perform socially beneficial tasks like recycling, community action and sustainable actions than if we live in unpleasant environments.

This talk formed part of a session on how the UK building stock can be adapted to climate change, with Ann Marie Aguilar, of Arup, who focussed on meeting the increasing needs of older people and the disabled by considering how they actually use buildings and making small changes that enhance their wellbeing and quality of life.

Alexi Marmot of Alexi Marmot Associates encouraged different thinking about our working environments, noting the direct link between our satisfaction with our work environment and our jobs. She also highlighted how occupant behaviour drives building management, citing the demand for air conditioning, regardless of its actual effectiveness. She also argued that we only use a small percentage of total office space productively, but re-designing the working week around usage patterns is often too psychologically difficult to achieve.

Dr. Hywel Davies updates us on Part L
The session on changes to UK and EU legislation relating to buildings featured talks on Building Regulations in the UK and likely changes to Part L in England and the requirements of the F-Gas Directive, presented by Mike Nankivell of the Air Conditioning and Refrigerant Training Board (ACRIB). Nina Reid, Director of Responsible Property investment at M&G Real Estate outlined the forthcoming legislation on minimum energy efficiency standards, and Tahsina Khan of the Industrial and Commercial Boilers Association reviewed the Energy Related Products Framework and its implementing measures, noting that energy efficiency standards and labelling for smart building systems were currently being studied by the European Commission.

The afternoon sessions featured presentations of recent Innovate UK funded research. There was lively debate between the audience and those speaking on the evaluation of building performance. Matt Colmer of Innovate UK asked the key question “why don’t buildings perform in real life as they do on paper?” From a client perspective users do not always use the building’s systems as the designer intended, and empathy between designer and end user is a good way to boost building performance. Other speakers outlined the challenges facing designers in trying to meet this challenge, and achieve designs which meet the design energy performance expectations. Summing up the mood of the session, Eimear Moloney of Hoare Lea said that she would rather fail at designing a sustainable building than knowingly get away with designing an unsustainable one.

The Conference closed with a session on innovation and collaboration in building performance, echoing Nick Mead’s Presidential theme of collaboration. Among the ideas on show were an ‘impossible house’ that generates more electricity than it uses and costs £125k, the connected city of Bristol as visited by the President of Singapore, and a power generating tree.