Posts

Showing posts from 2016

Future perfect

Last week's #Build2Perform blog 'Back to the future' focussed on the future of Building Services, as told by our 'Are you ready for a digital future?' panel at the Conference and Exhibition. This month's podcast takes a look from another angle - by looking at the past. Principal of Atelier Ten Patrick Bellew and Max Fordham, Founder of Max Fordham LLP, are our speakers.



This Month's podcast featured extracts from the CIBSE Building Performance Conference and Exhibition session 'Celebrating Anniversaries & Sharing Aspirations', featuring Patrick Bellew and Max Fordham, and chaired by Peter Murray of New London Architecture.

This session focussed on the history of their two organisations, both industry heavyweights and CIBSE award winners in their own right, and what lessons they have learned over the years. As well as a look at the changes within the industry over the last 50 years, the session also took a look forward into the industry's fut…

Back to the future

Image
A month after the CIBSE Conference and Exhibition, CIBSE Communications Executive Matt Snowden takes a look back at the highlights of the session 'Are you ready for a digital future?' and examines what we learned.
When we take a step back and review the engineering industry it’s easy to take a look at the past and the future. We can look at the decisions and plans we made a week, a month or a year ago and take lessons from the good and bad things that resulted, and promise to learn from them. That’s all part of planning for the future, where we’re confident that these experiences will help us to avoid making mistakes and achieve our objectives.
What is much harder is examining what we are doing right now, particularly where technology is concerned, mostly because of a lack of data. At a time when new technology available to the engineering sector promises to revolutionise our jobs as much as when the computer replaced the drafting desk, it seems impossible to imagine that this…

Ties that bind

Image
Last month, CIBSE and its American counterpart ASHRAE celebrated their 40th anniversary of working together at a ceremony in London, and also signed an agreement to work closer together. This week, CIBSE Communications Executive Matt Snowden (MS) and ASHRAE President Tim Wentz (TW) examine what that deal means in practice
TW: On the 40th Anniversary of ASHRAE/CIBSE collaboration, the two world-leading engineering organizations signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement. The agreement’s purpose is to provide a framework through which ASHRAE and CIBSE can work collaboratively to leverage each other’s strengths and accomplish organizational goals which best serve their respective members, the profession and society. 
The basic tenets of the agreement include: Development of joint training and educational programs in Europe.Exploring development of new conferences that accelerate technology dissemination.Collaboration on research that will advance mutual member interests.Coordination of resea…

Something in the air

Image
One of the main topics at last week's CIBSE Building Performance Conference and Exhibition, indoor air quality is fast being recognised as a priority concern in the world of wellbeing. But in a field where marginal gains are everything, being on top of your data is very important Arie Taal from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The Hague University has produced research into eliminating faults in HVAC using a BMS

Carbon Dioxide based demand control ventilation (DCV) can reduce heating/cooling loads by up to 30% and fan power consumption by up to 35%.  DCV maintains the CO2 concentration in a room within an appropriate range by adjusting the supply air flowrate.  CO2-based DCV is the most commonly used control method with CO2 sensors installed in the main return air duct.  Nowadays, the increased requirement for smart buildings, combined with a decrease of CO2 sensor prices, has resulted in buildings being equipped with more sensors.

A common issue occurs when one of the …

Bridging the gap

Image
The performance gap is the big problem of our times in the building services industry, and hundreds of column inches are devoted to products created to fix it each year. Ahead of his presentation at the CIBSE Conference Casey Cole, Managing Director of Guru Systems, presents an alternative view: That process, not technology, is the answer  

New buildings in the UK consume far more energy than predicted by their designers - up to 10 times more according to an Innovate UK study. This performance gap doesn't arise because we lack technology. Studies by the UKGBC and others conclude that it's the result of failings throughout the project life-cycle, from concept to handover.

Performance gaps may arise because clients are unclear about what they want; project teams don't understand the impact of their design choices; contractors substitute products and materials on the fly and then install them poorly; or quality assurance is lax, with employers' agents either blind to the …

The great phase-out

Image
We wrote about the end of HFCs earlier in the year, but after an amendment to the 1989 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer made in October 2016, their days are well and truly numbered. Brought in as a refrigerant gas to replace ozone-depleting CFCs, HFC use will be reduced by 85% across the world by 2045 to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Now the race begins to replace them. With many contenders in the running Simon Lamberton-Pine, Managing Director of DPAC UK, makes the case for the natural alternative 

It all came out of the blue – mainly because we had all forgotten that this was going to happen – hadn’t we? However, what this worldwide news has done has been to heighten the awareness of the fact that air conditioning and refrigeration equipment does indeed contain harmful gases that are damaging our environment.

As consumers (who own refrigerators and air conditioners) we take the equipment for granted. For those of us who have grown up with refrigeration as…

Looking after the pennies

Image
As part of our series looking into alternative sources of energy, we've examined micro-CHP, heat pumps, solar panels and heat networks. This week, we take a different view from Prof. Andrew Geens, who believes the cleanest unit of energy is the one you don't use...

Having pledged to join the ranks of countries to ratify the COP21 protocols, and having already signed into law the target to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by 57% relative to 1990 levels, the Government now finds itself facing a race against time to make some pretty substantial cuts to its emissions.

The #Build2Perform blog has featured several articles making the case for alternative methods of energy generation that are greener than our current crop of fossil fuelled power stations, but some of these are just less polluting, not pollution-free, and even wind turbines and solar panels aren’t 100% carbon neutral. They still need to be manufactured and assembled, then transported across the world and ins…

A meeting of minds

Image
In this week's #Build2Perform blog, we're getting a bonus word from CIBSE President John Field. As well as his regular Presidential blog, he's written for us about his thoughts ahead of the 3rd Building Performance Conference and Exhibition on 17th and 18th November - how it's relevant, how it ties into the future of building services, and why it's exciting!

As CIBSE President one of the biggest and most exciting honours that we get in the job is to preside over a CIBSE Conference. Now in its third year, the Conference is an opportunity to mingle with and hear from some of the biggest names in our industry and grapple with the big issues of the next few years. This year I’m also chairing the second day, in which we’ll be looking at some of the major organisational challenges within the industry such as collaboration and new technology.

The most interesting thing about the Conference is that, while it obviously has a big industry focus, we’re also directly engaging …

Industrial action

Image
At the upcoming CIBSE Building Performance Conference and Exhibition, we're going to be focussing heavily on the future of the industry - particularly the ways that new technology can be brought to bear on performance in the built environment; to find easier, smarter and cheaper ways to make buildings perform to their potential in a variety of different ways.


This week, we're speaking to two industry experts: Mat Colmer, Built Environment Specialist at the Digital Catapult Centre, and Nick Winser CBE, Chairman of the Energy Systems Catapult, who are giving is their views on technology in the built environment: What's hot, what's not and where the biggest changes are going to come.

What are the innovations in technology that will make the biggest impact to the performance of buildings in the next 15 years?

N W:I’m not sure there’s going to be a stand-out technology innovation, and fifteen years is actually not that long to make a big impact. A new home energy gateway that…

Performance, not promises

Image
Having already taught us that BIM is a way of handling information, rather than a catch-all term for a specific programme or legal requirement, CIBSE BIM Consultant Carl Collins is back. This time, he's exploring what the different stakeholders in construction want from BIM, and how you can use BIM to help them get it.

The world is changing and the construction industry has to change with it. We are increasingly moving from analogue to digital technologies, for reasons of efficiency and transparency. Everybody is trying to lift the lid on digital technologies in the construction sector and the relevance of BIM to our everyday lives.

Many presentations and seminars over recent years have focused on the processes and forms of information exchange, but rarely looked at how they can be applied, especially for the bulk of the sector, that work on typical construction projects. The reasons for BIM have been stated many times before, and CIBSE is launching a series of roadshows that will…

The air we breathe

Welcome to the fourth #Build2Perform podcast! This month, we're concentrating on the issue of indoor air quality. What is it, why is it important and what can engineers do about it? I'll be speaking to two experts in air quality, independent sustainability consultant Julie Godefroy and Alan Fogarty of Cundall, to answer those questions and more!

You can listen to the podcast below, but you can also find it in the iTunes library and on other podcast apps by searching #Build2Perform if you'd like to listen on the move via smartphone or tablet. We'll also be discussing the podcast on Twitter under the #Build2Perform, and you'll find useful links about what you hear under the podcast below.

Indoor air quality is becoming one of the next great public health issues of our time, and is being considered more and more by designers as a fundamental part of the building's health. Overshadowed somewhat in the public eye by its outdoor cousin, more and more research is bei…

Making cities smarter

Image
With the rise of Big Data in construction and design gathering pace, we have the opportunity to use measurable data to shape buildings and cities around their occupants like never before. Ever on the lookout for the next big technology in the field, the team at Innovate UK recently picked data-analytics company NquiringMinds as IoTUK Boost winners, and they're here to tell us what all the fuss is about.

The Internet of Things has been regarded as the next step in our evolution for a while, but until recently we’ve only just started to realise its full potential. With the ability for everything to be connected and working in a smarter, more efficient way, it’s little wonder that innovators have been looking for different pathways to creating a platform to reap the benefits of it all. Step forward, nquiringminds, who won a Small BusinessResearch Initiative contract to develop an open data platform to help cities deliver key services in a smarter fashion.


To put the power of the tech…

Time to pull up a chair

Image
As the UK experiences its hottest September day since 1949, the Government signs a major new emissions target and nations begin to ratify the Paris Agreement, the focus on climate change has never been higher. As part of our look at how different built environment professions can improve building performanceGeoff Prudence, Chair of the CIBSE Facilities Management Group, looks at what building performance means to FMs 

The UK Government recently approved its 5th Carbon Budget, committing the UK to reducing its emissions by 57% relative to 1990 levels by 2030. This is an encouragingly ambitious target, but the Government knows it needs to stick to all its current measures, and introduce new ones, to stand a chance of being successful. Most of the hard work so far has been done by cutting carbon emissions from power generation, and the Committee on Climate Change has singled out the built environment as an area that needs to pull its weight.

This will come as no surprise to those workin…

Time in the sun

Image
Continuing our series exploring alternative methods of power generation, including Micro-CHP and Surface Water Source Heat Pumps, we turn our attention to photo-voltaics (PV). This week, we explore the work done byDr. Cynthia Skelhorn, Qatar Green Building Council and Dr. Maria Muhlbauer, UnionBent GbR, Management Systems, Germanyin determining the potential of PV in the two countries.

All countries and forward-thinking governments are aiming to address two main issues in developing long-term energy policies.  First, from a demand perspective, they must consider how to decrease energy consumption by implementing energy efficiency policies and technologies. There are several benefits to this; it can lower the Government's own energy bills across the national portfolio of publicly owned buildings common to many countries, it can lower the household and business bills of a country's citizens, and it reduces a country's reliance on imported energy, increasing that country'…