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New Cibse President calls for engineers and government to deliver on building performance

The new president of the Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers, Peter Kinsella, has called on members to ensure that buildings deliver on the performance benefits that are promised - and for goverments to set mandatory minimum standards

Cibse President Peter Kinsella has used his inaugural speech to call for improvements in the way building performance is sustained throughout the building’s life. Mr Kinsella, the Institute’s first non-UK based president, urged goverments to ‘mandate for efficient buildings’

He said: “It is imperative that these measures are clear, unambiguous and enforceable, not left open for intentional or unintentional misinterpretation…The market needs confidence that the target is not going to be constantly moving, but subject to regular planned review. I suggest that this should currently be every three to five years.”

He added that for these efficiency measures to become the norm, they need to be enforced and checked for complicance.

Mr Kinsella called for better whole-life management of buildings from design to use. He said: “Whilst there are some excellent examples, it is disappointing that there are so many significant buildings being constructed with few, if any passive measures to reduce the heat loads. A whole of life approach to building performance requires us to consider the ongoing management of a building’s services. There needs to be a level of synchronicity and co-ordination between the design, construction and operational phases in a building’s lifespan.”

He also urged specifiers to look at controls, which he said could often be inappropriate for the building or the users’ needs. “These factors should primarily determine whether the building should employ a more complex control system, that could in an ideal world deliver greater comfort and energy savings, or a more robust and simpler system.”

A further key part of Mr Kinsella’s speech was the need to pay more attention to existing buildings. He said: “Huge improvements can be made to these buildings and there are many successful examples of refurbishments that have drastically reduced energy usage, yet at the same time have improved occupant comfort and productivity… If some forethought is used during the original design to provide for future adaptabilit, subsequent changes of use or refurbishments can be made so much easier, better and quicker.”

“How good would it be if we could carry the design engineer through the project from initial design until a couple of years into operation?…I also want to promote a more compreshensive feedback loop. If we are to gain the most out of our buildings, designers need to consult and listen to FMs and FMs need to use the designers. The information path is a two-way street.”

 

 

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