Showing posts from February, 2016

Accepting the challenge

A week after being cited three times in the House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment in their report 'Building Better Places', CIBSE's Head of Sustainable Development Sara Kassam examines what this report means for the wider industry. As one of the leading professional organisations for building performance in the UK, CIBSE is often invited to submit evidence to Parliament as it considers new laws to pass, scrub and amend. This is one of the most important functions that the Institution carries out, both because it makes Parliament more informed in its decisions, and because it gives building services engineers a voice at the highest level. It can be a lengthy process, as reports and recommendations can take months or even years to produce, but last week produced a significant moment when CIBSE was cited multiple times in the long-anticipated ‘Building Better Places’ report by the House of Lords Select Committee on National Poli

Dissertations for Good

Dissertations are often the nightmare that keeps students up at night in the final year of their degree, requiring countless hours of careful study in the library, as well as a heap of creativity and gallons of coffee.  But what if the engineering industry could make use of them as more than just an academic headache? Dr Anastasia Mylona, Research Manager for the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers , wrote about her experience with a pioneering scheme to do just that. Every year in the UK and around the world students are putting thousands and thousands of man hours into high-level research at some of the world’s top institutions. While some of them will go on to further study, publish their work or even become famous academics in their fields, most of these works will be handed in at the end of the year and forgotten about. It seems like a waste, but how can this work be turned to the public good? These students also face a quandary themselves: The famous

The people puzzle

Occupant behaviour is often treated as the awkward cousin of the building performance family – it has no definitive model, is difficult to predict and tricky to influence. However, for all this, it is one of the most important factors in determining whether or not a building performs in the real world. CIBSE’s Head of Sustainable Development Sara Kassam explains. The perfect sustainable building has already been designed – it is solar powered, generates more energy than it uses and is extremely well insulated. Unfortunately for any potential occupants, it’s also 270 miles up and the International Space Station. Short of investing in upper-atmosphere real estate, the quest for better building performance needs to be balanced against the comfort of those using the building – that’s who it’s built for, after all. But, though the human occupants of the building need to be considered as a factor in the building’s design, sustainability isn’t the enemy of its residents, nor are the peo

Can't get the staff

With a severe skills shortage that shows no signs of slowing and an aging workforce, much time and column inches have been devoted to finding a solution. According to some engineers, part of the solution lies not at university or even at A-Level, but at GCSE with the nation’s Design Technology students. Angela Ringguth, Professional Development Consultant to CIBSE, writes on the need for good quality design teachers. The fear that there is a skills crisis in the Engineering sector is nothing new; newspapers and magazines of all stripes, from trade papers to the nationals, regularly feature articles bemoaning the lack of qualified graduates. And they’re right to be concerned, because we are entering what promises to be a golden age of Engineering as budgets increase, construction booms and ever more stringent climate change targets require inventive solutions to meet. UK engineers are in demand around the world for their abilities across all sectors, but we risk missing out on