Friday, 29 January 2016

Crossing the fence

With just under a month to go until the big night, as the 2016 CIBSE Building Performance Awards are presented to this year's worthy winners, we caught up with a winner from two years ago taking a turn as a judge.

Munish Datta, Head of Plan A and Facilities Management at Marks & Spencer, is judging the Awards for the second time. A winner back in 2014 with M&S Cheshire Oaks, Munish heads the creation of the strategy and delivery of Plan A, M&S’s sustainability programme, for M&S properties across the world and heads the team that delivers facilities management for the M&S Global HQ in London.

How do you see these awards as different from other awards?
The CIBSE BPA awards stand out for recognising in use building performance as opposed to intended or designed performance across a number of categories and industries.

Why do you think the CIBSE BPA are important?
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.

Munish collects the Carbon Champion of the Year Award 2014 for M&S
Has joining the judging panel changed your perception of the building performance awards?
 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.  

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?
I feel incredibly privileged and humbled to be part of the judging team. Being able to share views about industry best practise with this team has been invaluable in building my knowledge about how to create truly operationally sustainable buildings.

What did you find most interesting about your experience on the judging panel?
 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.
Double CIBSE Building Performance Award winner M&S Cheshire Oaks
What entry did you find most impressive/interesting/inspiring and why?
 It would be unfair to single out one particular entry! Year on year, the general quality of entries is improving both in terms of quality and quantity which makes it tougher for judges and is an indication on the increasing importance of these awards to the industry.

Who would you invite to the BPA and why?

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.

Want to comment? Contact @CIBSE or @MunishDatta on Twitter to continue the conversation. 

For more information about the Building Performance Awards 2016 visit www.cibse.org/bpa


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