CIBSE president calls for operational performance of buildings to be monitored

Published:  15 January, 2006

With forthcoming Building Regulations moving away from elemental design and focusing on what the outcome is in design terms, the president of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Donald Leeper, has called for the operational performance of buildings to be compared with design intentions.

Speaking at a Parliamentary reception held with the All Party Group for Climate Change, he said, ‘As engineers, we want to have our design intentions measured in operational buildings. We want to deliver buildings that perform to expectations. With rising fuel prices, the need to reduce energy use is moving in our direction.’

Donald Leeper was speaking at a Meeting in Portcullis House hosted by Colin Challen MP, who recently launched the Climate Change (Contraction and Convergence) Bill. He said, ‘The effects of global warming have been apparent to many of us for over a decade. Nearly 50% of UK carbon-dioxide emissions relate to services in buildings such as heating, air conditioning, lighting and ventilation. CIBSE members have a leading role to play in reducing these emissions by mitigation and adaptation. To aid this process, building-services engineers can and should be influential advisors and moving nearer to the start of the design process.’

To demonstrate that CIBSE is not only a discussion forum, he reported that suggestions made in the winning entry of a competition to reduce carbon emissions from its headquarters buildings in Balham, south London, are now being implemented. The replacement of boilers is under way, and controls are being upgraded. ‘When we are due to change something, our policy is to replace it with whatever will achieve the lowest possible carbon emissions,’ he explained

Importantly, work will be monitored to measure improvements, and the results published.

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