Press Release - October 2003
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CIBSE/ASHRAE Conference News

CIBSE President predicts increasing challenges for building services professionals

In advance of the CIBSE/ASHRAE conference in Edinburgh this week, CIBSE President Terry Wyatt, has reiterated his belief that building services professionals have a bright future ahead if they adapt to the growing professional demands inherent in leading efforts to combat the climate change potential of buildings:

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"I believe that our industry has the skills, experience and imagination to be very successful in the turbulent world we are living in, and can adopt the new skills and approaches needed. But we will have to be bold and take a greater leadership role than ever before. It is a time for courage amidst great change. The pay-off for us all is not just having a viable living, but the fact that our work will be challenging and highly skilled.

"Although we have been a very successful industry, and have taken on many extra functions to deliver added value, the warning signals over its future are mounting. Very rapid change is underway within construction and we need to respond quickly, creatively and with focus.

"Viewed from the perspective of the peril to mankind coming from man-made climate change, the challenge to us over its mitigation and the creation of a low-carbon future could not be of greater magnitude. Yet we have the skills, experience and creativity to respond to that challenge."

Terry exhorted all building services professionals to develop their skills and training in order to be able to take advantage of the undoubted opportunities the current and future changes will afford them.

CIBSE Carbon 60 Competition launched at sustainability conference

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, (CIBSE) is to run a major competition to find ways to achieve in practice, for its own establishment, the target set by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. The Institution is seeking to cut by 60 per cent, the carbon emissions from its Headquarters building at Balham. Today it is launching a competition for buildings services engineers, students and other professionals to develop plans to achieve these savings.

Competitors have until the end of March 2004 to return proposals for the building and its services, to achieve the reduction target. A panel of judges will shortlist competitors and select an overall winner. The winner will be announced in May 2004 at the CIBSE AGM and presented with an award at the annual President's Dinner.

An Action Energy site report on the headquarters building sets out its baseline energy consumption in September 2002, and shows that substantial cuts in emissions could be achieved through a series of relatively straightforward measures; these improvements may, if appropriate, be incorporated in competitors' proposals.

The building's projected energy and CO2 performance will be assessed by the judges. It is part of the competitors' skill to provide suitable evidence in the form of calculations or modelled assessments, but detailed calculations are not expected before the shortlist stage. Shortlisted entrants will be asked to provide a costed and realistic plan of action for the Institution to be implemented over the next 3 - 5 years.

The President and Chief Executive of CIBSE have confirmed the Institution's commitment to the Carbon 60 Objective, of which this headquarters CIBSE Carbon 60 Competition is a key element. The Institution is committed in principle to implementing practical suggestions produced by this competition to achieve the 60% emissions saving.

New professional body for fašade engineering

CIBSE has launched the Society of Fašade Engineering to provide a professional body for people involved in the design and technology of building fašades and cladding.

The fašades on many modern buildings have evolved way beyond the simple cladding of brick, pre-cast concrete and glass. Today, fašades integrate structural elements, energy efficiency, daylight control and perimeter heating and ventilation systems. People working in consulting engineering and architectural practices, manufacturing and contracting companies will all be encouraged to join the new Society.

For many aspects of fašade engineering, the centre of excellence in the UK is the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology based at Bath University. The Society will liaise with CWCT to avoid overlapping with its existing activities, but can bring strength in building physics aspects of facades to complement that of CWCT. Both the CWCT and the Institution of Structural Engineers have been invited to nominate a member of the steering committee, and architectural input will also be sought.

A priority for the Society will be development of an appropriate membership structure to recognise competence in fašade engineering. Because there is no recognised route into this discipline this will involve development of a competence framework and criteria for membership. The Classes of membership will be set to be appropriate to this specialist area and will not be linked to Engineering Council requirements.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers is the professional body for building services engineers and other specialists involved in a broad range of activities within the built environment. More details are available at

ASHRAE is the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers: details are available at

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