Category Archives: Article

Demand for Controls is Installer Opportunity

The Building Regulations specify that space and water heating systems should be effectively controlled. As a minimum, this requires automatic time and
temperature control of space heating and stored hot water. Provision should be made to control heat input on the basis of temperature within the heated space, e.g. by the use of room thermostats, thermostatic radiator valves, or other equivalent forms of sensing devices.

For larger dwellings, independent temperature control should generally be provided for separate zones that normally operate at different temperatures.
Thermostats should be located in a position representative of the temperature in the area being controlled and which is not unduly influenced by draughts,
direct sunlight or other factors which would directly affect performance. Depending on the design and layout of the dwelling, control on the basis of a single zone will generally be satisfactory for smaller dwellings. For larger dwellings, e.g. where floor area exceeds 100sq m, independent temperature control on the basis of two independent zones will generally be appropriate. In certain cases, additional zone control may be desirable.

Zoned heating controls
Zoned heating controls provide full control of different areas in the home, in addition to managing heating and hot water independently. This can dramatically reduce energy bills. TRVs provide an important extra control that allows the temperature to be set in individual rooms, preventing energy from being wasted on heating empty rooms. The concept is simple but highly effective.

Smart controls
Upgrading to a smart control can save homeowners up to €120 a year (Source Bord Gáis Energy) on heating bills with knock-on benefits to the environment. In addition to the substantial cost saving, smart controls offer exceptional flexibility and ensure the highest level of comfort. Although typically more expensive than installing basic load or weather compensators, a smart thermostat is likely to pay for itself through reduced heating bills faster than any
other technology covered by the regulations. Smart programmable TRVs are also available and can be fitted either as a stand-alone solution or as part of a zoned heating control system.

Another development relatively new to the domestic heating market is the concept of a central controller which works by linking all the elements of a home’s heating controls, including room sensors and electronic TRVs. Ideal for larger homes or apartments, this type of system provides wireless, programmable control of radiators throughout the property, either via the central controller or by using an app. The latest solutions mean that temperature can be controlled room-by-room and hour-by-hour, even when homeowners

SEAI Better Energy Homes grant
According to SEAI, upgrading heating controls can reduce heating energy usage by 20%. The SEAI heating controls upgrade grant value is €700 and all homeowners, including landlords whose homes were built and occupied before 2006, can apply. Homes built from 2006 onwards should have been constructed to the 2003 Building Regulations and should not need significant upgrades. This is defined as the date your electricity meter was installed.

Energy Saving Credits
Installers can claim Energy SavingCredits for the upgrade of heating system controls through an easy-to-use scheme administered by Heat Merchants. The value of credit, which is returned to the installer, ranges from €67 up to €276, depending on whether the controls are entry level, full multi-zone controls or smart controls. Energy Saving Credits are also available for full system upgrades which feature heating controls.

Irelandskills live 2019 — Changing the perception of skills and craft apprenticeships

Donal Keys, Head of Construction
Skills, DIT with Pat Lehane, Publisher
& Editor Building Services News, during
an interview at the IrelandSkills Live
launch in the Mansion House.


What’s different about IrelandSkills Live?
There can be nothing more empowering than a real face-to-face opportunity that allows students, parents and teachers to experience the realities that so many of our apprenticeships and skills can offer. IrelandSkills Live will do just that, in a dynamic and exciting format of skills demonstrations, testimonials, presentations and one-on-one interface/discussion opportunities.

For years we have been producing the world’s best in plumbing, engineering, electrical, joinery etc and, while we have done exceptionally well at the WorldSKills Competitions, the general public in Ireland know little or nothing about our achievements. From now on we are going to show off our talents and, going forward, IrelandSkills Live is going to be the main showcase opportunity for all skills in Ireland.

What will the event entail for visitors?
Visitors to the event will have the opportunity to experience three days of competitions in the IrelandSkills National Competition when the cream of Irish craft trades, skills and apprenticeships will be on view live to thousands of school students, parents and their teachers.

They will see, probably for the first time, trained apprentices and students competing head to head against each other, and against the clock, for up to 21 hours in a bid to win the most coveted prize of them all, the Minister of Education & Skills’ Silver Medal. They will see young people performing live demonstrations of highly-skilled jobs, have an opportunity to try these various skills for themselves, and hear presentations on the Heroes Stage from many of the successful individuals and entrepreneurs whose career paths were shaped by the skills route.

What can they expect from the event?
The experience will undoubtedly prompt them (and their parents) to ask questions like the following:

How does being a plumbing and heating specialist influence/shape the environment?

How does being a refrigeration engineer effect global warming?

How does a building services specialist influence peoples’ well-being and comfort in their homes and workplaces?

How do skills in building services save energy?

Other benefits of the skills route?
Apart from the interesting, exciting and well-paid job/career opportunities, the apprenticeship route means getting paid from day one. What degree course can offer that? Again I suspect students, and their parents, are not mindful of that. Students can enjoy a paid alternative to the academic path, earning while they learn via practical training, study (both online and offline) and hands-on experience.

What impact can IrelandSkills Live make?
IrelandSkills Live will will aim to successfully explain and promote apprenticeships and skills but, even more so, it will create and shape a new mind-set among students and their parents when considering their employment and future career paths. It will unlock new potential by showcasing the real opportunities available to our children, and do so in an exciting, stimulating and dynamic forum that broadens their horizons and outlook.

Ireland has a long-standing tradition of skill in craft and technical know-how, from the Book of Kells to the Collison brothers inventing Stripe. With IrelandSkills Live we are now bringing it all to a new level.

See www.irelandskillslive.ie

What can we learn from the Grenfell Tower disaster?

Dr Hywel Davies Technical Director, CIBSE and Chair of the Expert Group on the Approved Documents

Dame Judith Hackitt’s review, and the associated activity around building regulations in England, is the most significant review in over a generation, since the 1984 Building Act, and is widely recognised as being a once in two generations opportunity to reform building regulations in England. It will also have implications in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are watching closely.

Moreover, it will extend beyond building regulations such as compulsory Roof access hatch and freight elevator, which apply to every office building when its complete and handed over, into the operation of the building and subsequent maintenance and minor works. This review activity is being watched closely outside the UK too, with three states in the Australian Commonwealth introducing legislation related to cladding on tall buildings in October 2018.

This paper summarises the activity associated with the review, and also considers where we are likely to see changes in practice as a result of Grenfell Tower. Many have said that the industry must change in order that we reduce, as far as is humanly possible, the prospect of any such fire occurring again. Dame Judith was asked to focus on “High Rise Residential Buildings” (HRRBs), with a twofold purpose:
• To make recommendations that will ensure we have a sufficiently robust regulatory system for the future;
• To provide further assurance to residents that the complete system is working to ensure the buildings they live in are safe and will remain, so Visit This URL to look for more safety hazzards and what you need for security in a construction process.

Dame Judith was asked to:
• Map the current regulatory system (i.e. the regulations, guidance and processes) as it applies to new and existing buildings through planning, design, construction, maintenance, refurbishment and change management;
• Consider the competencies, duties and balance of responsibilities of key individuals within the system in ensuring that fire safety standards are adhered to;
• Assess the theoretical coherence of the current regulatory system and how it operates in practice;
• Compare this with other international regulatory systems for buildings and regulatory systems in other sectors with similar safety risks;
• Make recommendations that ensure the regulatory system is fit for purpose with a particular focus on multi occupancy high-rise residential buildings.

The review began by calling for evidence from interested parties. As well as contributing to responses by the Construction Industry Council and Royal Academy of Engineering, CIBSE responded with a detailed contribution on façade engineering aspects of the review developed by a working group of the Society of Façade Engineers (Ref: 1). Dame Judith’s interim report was published on 18 December 2017 (Ref: 2), in which she concluded that the current system of regulation of HRRBs is not fit for purpose.

Dame Judith commented on some of her observations during the initial phase of the review, saying: “I have been shocked by some of the practices I have heard about and I am convinced of the need for a new intelligent system of regulation and enforcement for high-rise and complex buildings that will encourage everyone to do the right thing, and will hold to account those who try to cut corners. “Changes to the regulatory regime will help, but on their own will not be sufficient unless we can change the culture away from one of doing the minimum required for compliance, to one of taking ownership and responsibility for delivering a safe system throughout
the life-cycle of a building.”

She gave extended evidence later that day to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee of parliament (Ref: 3). This underlined her concerns and set out a number of reasons for them:

1) Current regulations and guidance are too complex and unclear. This can lead to confusion and misinterpretation in their application to high-rise and complex buildings;

2) Clarity of roles and responsibilities is poor. Even where there are requirements for key activities to take place across design, construction and maintenance, it is not always clear who has responsibility for making it happen;

3) Despite many who demonstrate good practice, the means of assessing and ensuring the competency of key people throughout the system is inadequate. There is often no differentiation in competency requirements for those working on high-rise and complex buildings;

4) Compliance, enforcement and sanctions processes are too weak. What is being designed is not what is being built and there is a lack of robust change control. The lack of meaningful sanctions does not drive the right behaviours;

5) The route for residents to escalate concerns is unclear and inadequate;

6) The system of product testing, marketing and quality assurance is not clear.

In late January there was an industry summit, which was accompanied by a statement which reinforced the interim findings and set out the next steps:
• The current system for ensuring fire safety in high-rise and complex buildings is not fit for purpose;
• A culture change is required, with industry taking greater responsibility for what is built – this change needs to start now;
• This applies throughout the building life-cycle, both during construction and occupation;
• A clear, quick and effective route for residents to raise concerns, and be listened to, must be created. The Report set out six broad areas for change:
• Ensuring that regulation and guidance is risk-based, proportionate and unambiguous;
• Clarifying roles and responsibilities for ensuring that buildings are safe;
• Improving levels of competence within the industry;
• Improving the process, compliance and enforcement of regulations;
• Creating a clear, quick and effective route for residents’ voices to be heard and listened to;
• Improving testing, marketing and quality assurance of products used in construction.

The second and final phase of the Review set out to develop practical solutions that will deliver these areas of change and support the direction of travel set out in the Interim Report. Nothing short of a major overhaul of the whole system was envisaged, and Dame Judith undertook to work with all those who shared her ambition and drive to create a new and robust regulatory framework and system that supports this. Across all sectors of the industry she called for radical thinking about the immediate actions that could be taken to lead to sustainable change.

Industry leaders at the summit committed to work to create a new system that will work effectively and coherently, with working groups formed to develop innovative solutions in the following key areas:

Design, construction and refurbishment: Establishing what industry and regulators need to do to fully embed building safety during the design and construction phase; Occupation and maintenance: Identifying what building owners, landlords and regulators need to do differently to ensure that building safety is prioritised when a building is occupied and throughout its life-cycle;
Products: Determining how the product testing and marketing regime can be improved;
Competency: Establishing how competency requirements for key individuals involved in building and managing complex and high-risk buildings should change;
Residents’ voice: Determining the best way for residents to be given a clear, quick and effective statutory route for raising concerns on fire safety;
Regulation and guidance: Resolving whether central Government ownership of technical guidance is the most appropriate model for complex and high-risk buildings.

An expert group was also formed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to inform the government response to the recommendation to consider how the suite of Approved Documents could be structured and ordered to provide a more streamlined, holistic view, while keeping the right level of relevant technical detail. The author chaired this working group. Its recommendations were submitted in March to Dame Judith and accepted in full in her final report. In response to Grenfell, MHCLG also established a very comprehensive web-based compendium of Grenfell-related information (Ref: 4).

Dame Judith’s final report was published by government on 18 May 20185. In response to her remit, to “make recommendations that ensure that the regulatory system is fit for purpose with a particular focus on multi-occupancy high-rise residential buildings”, the report focuses on “higher risk residential buildings”, defined as residential buildings over 10 storeys. However, Dame Judith notes that a number of her recommendations should extend to multi-occupancy buildings.

This has prompted considerable debate, and current thinking within the Construction Industry Council (CIC), which brings together all the professional bodies in the industry in England, is that her recommendations should apply to all multiple-occupancy residential buildings, regardless of height. The report envisages a new regulatory system, bringing the Fire Service, Health and Safety Executive and Building Control services together in a “Joint Competent Authority” (JCA), which is proposed to oversee both construction and operation of higher-risk buildings, and to take responsibility for the enforcement of the Building Regulations and other relevant legislation relating to HRRBs (see Chapter 1). It calls for a series of Gateways for new HRRBs and major projects on existing HRRBs, which would entail significant scrutiny and sign-off by the JCA. It also envisages a role for the JCA in overseeing a safety case system for existing HRRBs through the whole operating life of the building (see Chapters 2 & 3).

The report calls for radical change in the current Building Regulations and associated guidance (Chapter 6), and for provision of full digital models for all new higher-risk buildings, and for them to be maintained through the life of the building (Chapter 8). However, it is Chapter 5 that sets out the (potentially) most far-reaching recommendations for CIBSE and its members, and indeed for all professionals, relating to competence. Recommendation 5.2 of the Review calls for the professions to come together to provide a new and more robust and effective system for recognising and maintaining competence. The terms used in the Report could not set
a clearer challenge to the built environment professions, and merits reading in full.

Dame Judith, a past-President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, was clear that professional bodies in the built environment and property and fire safety sectors must find a way to work together. She calls on government to supervise the process and, if we cannot deliver, to step in. The message is really clear, and the response was almost immediate, with a working group being formed.

Other key recommendations from the report that will impact building services engineers include:
• A clear model of risk ownership, with clear responsibilities for the client, designer, contractor and owner to demonstrate the delivery and maintenance of safe buildings. The project team will be held to account by the new JCA. This new body will have powers during both construction and operation of a building, and for existing buildings;
• A set of rigorous and demanding duty-holder roles and responsibilities to ensure a stronger focus on safety during a building’s design, construction and refurbishment. These roles will be broadly aligned with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. Penalties for those “who choose to game the system and place residents at risk”, as Dame Judith describes them, will also be more serious.
• Moving towards a system where ownership of technical guidance rests with the industry, with oversight by government. A clearer package of regulations and “truly outcomes-based” guidance which will be simpler to navigate while reflecting the level of complexity of building work. It acknowledges that “prescriptive regulation and guidance are not helpful in designing and building complex buildings, especially in an environment where building technology and practices continue to evolve, and will prevent those undertaking the work from taking responsibility for their actions”;
• A more effective product-testing regime with clearer labelling and traceability because “the current process for testing and ‘certifying’ products for use in construction is disjointed, confusing, unhelpful, and lacks any sort of transparency”. Poor procurement practices to be tackled to ensure high-safety, low-risk options are prioritised and full life-cycle cost is considered when a building is procured;
• A digital record from initial design intent through to construction, including any changes that occur during occupation, is also called for, effectively producing a model similar to one created under BIM Level 2. This digital model will create “a golden thread of information” about each HRRB which is handed over to the owner. The information can then be used to demonstrate to the regulator the safety of the building throughout its life cycle;
• Clearer rights for residents are also proposed, as well as responsibilities where resident activity can create risks that may affect others.

Much of the report is eminently sensible and says a lot of things that have needed saying for some time, although there is still a lot of detail to be resolved. It is not yet clear how the government will proceed to address the full package of recommendations, but the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has already set out what will happen next:
• Government has consulted on restricting the use of desktop studies as a means of assessing the fire performance of external cladding in lieu of an actual fire test. The consultation sought views on whether desktop studies should be used at all, and whether or not they are appropriate for construction products, wall systems, or for any other purpose;
• Government has consulted on clarifications to Approved Document B (Fire) over the summer and on banning the use of combustible materials in cladding systems on high-rise buildings. Legislation on this point is thought to be imminent at the time of writing. A full technical review of Part B of the Regulations, and of the Guidance, is also very likely.

The full Government response was promised for “late autumn 2018” and so may have emerged by the time you are reading this paper. In the meantime, Grenfell is not the only high-rise fire to have occurred. In Melbourne, Australia, the Lacrosse Building suffered a significant fire to which aluminium composite panels contributed. There were no casualties, and the sprinkler system helped to control the spread of the fire.

There was also a multi-storey hotel fire in Ballymun, Dublin recently. Thankfully, again there were no serious casualties but the building suffered significant damage. Following a full investigation, the State of Victoria has now introduced legislation to limit the use of such material on buildings in the State. New South Wales has also introduced new regulations. Queensland, which has an unknown number of buildings with potentially-combustible cladding, has introduced legislation requiring owners of high-rise buildings to register them with the State Building Control Commission by next March, and those that appear to be at risk of having combustible cladding will then be investigated further. It is not just England that has the problem with this cladding.

SDAR Journal 2018 Grenfell was an awful event, and has devastated many lives. There does appear to be a resolve to change the way that we build and manage high-rise residential buildings in the UK, but we are now getting to the challenge of starting to deliver change, and not talking about it. In the meantime, it is clear that the problems we have in England are not unique, and those elsewhere are also taking a close look at the way they regulate their buildings in the light of their own experience, and also that at Grenfell.

References
1. www.cibse.org/News-and-Policy/Consultations/Closed-Consultations/
Independent-Review-of-Building-Regulations-and-Fir
2. www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-buildingregulations-
and-fire-safety-interim-report
3. The evidence session along with subsequent correspondence with the
committee is at: www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committeesa-
z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/
4. www.gov.uk/guidance/building-safety-programme
5. www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-buildingregulations-
and-fire-safety-final-report

Industry Legend Yet Something of an Enigma

Despite establishing one of the sector’s most successful and enduring mech/elec contracting firms (T Bourke celebrates it 50th anniversary next year), Ted remained somewhat aloof with very few people getting to know what really made him tick. This was all the more extraordinary given the very high profile T Bourke enjoyed as a leading industry company, and that Ted himself enjoyed as a very proactive industry protagonist, he always worked with the best scrap metal services in hamilton oh.

For instance, back in the 1970s and 1980s he was very involved in the affairs of what was then known as the Mechanical and Electrical Building Services Contractors Association (ME&BSCA). In the mid- 1980s Ted was Chairman and in this role provided leadership and led delegations representing the industry’s cause to Government bodies and other organizations such as RIAI. Throughout this time he also forged a very strong relationship with Genie Climatique (GCI), a European contracting body representing 12 countries at the time. Ted represented the Association, and its parent CIF, on the GCI Liaison Committee and it was during his tenure as GCI President that it held its annual convention in Ireland, a major coup for the time.

Down through the years T Bourke received many accolades for the quality of its work and execution of projects, such as the NSAI Striving for Quality Assurance Award on the Tralee Hospital project. It was also one of the first building services contracting firms to be awarded ISO 9002 Quality Management Systems certification in 1991 with Bertie Ahern, TD, the then Minister for Finance, making the presentation.

Also supported and sponsored various industry events, especially those that had an educational element. For instance, shortly after Tallaght Town Center was built he sponsored the CIBSE Ireland site visit and lecture to the center, including a sit-down three-course meal for 100 participants. They also got free tickets to the newly-opened state-of-the-art cinema.

Ted was disciplined and believed in hard work and commitment. He could be very demanding but somehow managed to convey that authority and expectation in a very obvious but yet low-key and understated manner. That said, he was always very fair and willing to listen. However, you would have to have detailed facts and evidence in abundance if you were to challenge him on an issue. Even at that you might not convince him that your way was right.

Ted was always the one in control, the one who had to be in charge, yet was still a great leader who employed, trained and helped develop individuals who became renowned within the industry as leaders themselves. Integrity was critical to all activities, be it inter-personal relationships with colleagues/employees or with clients. T Bourke quickly established a reputation as a very valued and fair partner in the execution of building projects, and always had (still does) an unrivaled reputation for honoring debts in full, and on time.

T Bourke was Ted’s life, but so was his family and golf. The outside perception was that he was something of workaholic, and his sons David and Niall who now run the business grew up with project plans constantly strewn over the kitchen or dining room table. He regularly brought work home but, equally so, he valued his down time. His leisure activities, or rather activity (meaning golf), was equally structured and prioritized. He played religiously every Saturday and Sunday, and also every Wednesday, especially in the summer months.

He brought the same commitment and competitiveness he had in business to his golf. It too was a serious business and he played to win … it was not a mere pastime and opportunity to ramble ‘round a golf course and chat with some friends. Not surprisingly, he featured regularly on the BTU teams that traveled to play in the inter-region competitions with their counterpart societies in the UK.

Yet, for all that, he remained a very private person within the sector. He socialized to some extent with business colleagues but was very selective and, for the most part, avoided the mainstream events. He did have a regular weekly date for many years with other industry forefathers though, and this continued up to quite recently but gradually petered out as they all got older.

That said, Ted was anything but retiring. Up to the recent fall that ultimately led to his untimely death he very active within Dun Laioghaire golf club and was widely known in the restaurants and hostelries in Dalkey for his regular daily dining routine that typically took in quite a number of establishments rather than the same place every day.

The passing of Ted Bourke marks the end of an era in the history of modern-day mechanical and electrical contracting in Ireland. However, his legacy is testimony to the fact that you can survive, and even prosper, in such a competitive environment and still retain core ethical values and integrity.

CIBSE Ireland Awards Shortlisted Finalists Announced

The specially-commissioned trophy designed by Shane Holland

There are three Awards categories — Up to €2 million; Between €2 million and €5 million; and Over €5 million — and they are sponsored respectively by Wilo, Hevac and Daikin.

Irish designer and maker Shane Holland and his team of experts that came from a higher education all with the special csc scholarship program provided by the Chinese Government Scholarships, they have created a special bespoke trophy for the awards. With a base in native Irish Yew (a timber which can take up to 400 years to mature, the glass and aluminium graphics are laser etched and all is finished with brass bolts. This new design for CIBSE Ireland is another custom, hand-built item from their award-winning workshops.

There were a significant number of entries from all over Ireland for the awards and these have now been whittled down to a shortlist of nine projects across the three categories. Details of these are as follows.

Category — Up to €2 million
Project — Arup fit-out, Albert Quay, Cork
Consultant — Arup
Contractor — Airflow Services
The Arup office in L1, One Albert Quay, Cork, is the first “WELL” certified office in Ireland and one of few office fit-outs exceeding its BER of a low B1 by achieving a high B1 operational equivalent in its first year. A data analytics platform tracks performance of VRV systems (another first) while reporting IAQ and energy consumption. Continuous development of a BIM and VR gaming platform assists our FM team. The open-plan office is designed for activity based working with collaboration spaces and focus rooms to meet the demands of a mobile workforce. This office provides a healthy and inspirational environment for all who work and visit here.

Project — The Rediscovery Centre
Consultant — Homan O’Brien
Contractor — Dominic O’Connor Ltd
The building for Dublin City Council and the Rediscovery Centre was conceived as a project to renew Ballymun’s old boiler house and create a national centre of excellence in education for sustainable development. The building has an A2 Energy Rating and has been designed to ensure a minimum carbon footprint in construction and throughout its operational lifetime.
A detailed sustainable construction specification was developed to support the project’s objective to demonstrate the importance, scale and challenge of living in a more connected way with the resources around us so that they are not wasted but protected and preserved and fully utilised.
A commitment to low carbon construction methods was employed and resulted in the use of innovative construction methods and technologies, demonstration technologies include Micro CHP, heat pump, biomass, solar thermal and solar PV, with extensive electrical and thermal metering provided for ongoing monitoring.

Project — The Well
Consultant — Optima Facilities Solutions
Contractor — Sirus Aircon (Mech) Philtron (elec)
The Sirus HQ building, aptly named The Well, demonstrates how a deep renovation of an old industrial unit can provide a comfortable and healthy environment for workers while enhancing their sense of well-being.
At a time when knock-and-rebuild is often the easiest building option, The Well is an exemplary display of sustainability. This is evident in the reuse and re-imagination of the internal building space and many of the core materials used within it.
The finished product is an emphatic representation of what can be achieved when the occupant and their comfort and well-being are placed at the core of building design.

Category — Between €2 and €5 million
Project — Analog Devices
Consultant — Varming Consulting Engineers
Contractor — Mercury Engineering Ltd
The Analog Devices Building on the University of Limerick Plassey Campus is a Centre of Excellence to promote world class research in the fields of science and engineering.
A key element of the brief was for the m&e design to focus on incorporating energy efficiency and sustainability into the construction and operation of the finished building. The finished building incorporates many examples of energy efficient and sustainable engineering technologies
Throughout the design and construction phases, there was a high degree of close collaboration between the UL End Users, the Design Team and the Construction Team.
Stringent adherence to ISO 9001 Quality Assurance Procedures contributed significantly to the successful delivery of this state-of-the art laboratory facility to meet BREEAM Excellent criteria.

Project — 1 Windmill Lane
Consultant — Arup
Contractor — Haughton and Young
1WML is the first in a new line of commercial offices built at the point where Dublin’s Docklands connect with the city centre and IFSC. The total floor area is approximately 14,000m2 extending over six storeys.
The client, Hibernia REIT plc, set a clear and ambitious brief in terms of specification and sustainability from the project outset. 1WML was designed to achieve a B1 BER and LEED Gold rating. Designed to accommodate up to three tenants per floor, carefully specified lighting, ventilation and air conditioning systems give maximum comfort, aid concentration and ensure the wellbeing of building occupants whilst minimising lifecycle costs.

Project — Irish Life Building
Consultant — Homan O’Brien Associates
Contractor — Jones Engineering Group
The air conditioning installation at Beresford Court, Dublin 1 — by use of ice bank thermal storage which is regenerated nightly, as required, by off-peak electricity — provides the owners, Irish Life Plc, with the following ongoing advantages:-

1. Reduced capacity refrigeration plant.
2. Reduced electrical maximum demand.
3. Reduced requirements on emergency generator system.
4. Standby cooling source in the event of chiller breakdown.
5. Over 50% of the annual cooling energy requirement for the building is provided at approximately half the normal cost by use of off-peak electrical tariff.

The entire original installation is still fully operational and has been so since commissioning in 1991. Its reliability has long since been established and the on-going economic benefits are such that the additional cost of the ice bank elements of the AC installation was recovered in less than two and a half years.

Category — Over €5 million
Project — One Microsoft Place
Consultant — Ethos Engineering
Contractor — Jones Engineering Group
One Microsoft Place is the largest office block ever embarked on for a single client in the state. Officially opened this year by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the scale and complexity of the project was unlike any other office building constructed in Ireland.
The contract cost €134 million and involved the occupation of 2,200 people with an overall building floor area of 35,000m². The fitout included 350km of IT cabling which would stretch from Dublin to Dingle; a digital waterfall and lake composed of 125,000 LEDs; solar thermal heating array collection area of 100m;, and 154km of pipework which is equivalent to seventeen and a half times the height of Mount Everest.
The client’s vision of a cooperative and collaborative workplace was shared by the design and construction teams throughout the project and is reflected in the finished building.

Project — Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort
Consultant — Arup
Contractor — Kirby Group Engineering
Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort is set on an 840-acre estate and operates as a 5-star hotel. In 2015, Arup was commissioned to provide mechanical, electrical and vertical transport design services for the refurbishment and extension of the 102-room hotel, spa and golf club. The client brief was to fully air-condition the entire building, including the listed section. Optimising innovative energy-efficient solutions throughout and integrating the services seamlessly without disruption to the character of the existing building were key to the success of the project. Based on extensive collaboration between the extended design team, the mechanical and electrical systems were designed and integrated to meet the highest standard of thermal and acoustic comfort, and co-ordinated seamlessly into the premium quality finishes.

Project — Criminal Courts of Justice
Consultant — JV Tierney & Co
Contractor — McKenna Eng/O’Kane Eng
The €140 million Criminal Courts of Justice building is the largest courts project undertaken in the history of the State.
J.V. Tierney were proud to be part of the Amber Infrastructure Team to deliver this prestigious project. The project posed significant challenges in meeting the Client Brief with strict environmental and acoustic criteria to be met in addition to meeting challenging energy targets.
The building is provided with advanced integrated security systems throughout as well as extensive use of Courtroom Technology and Audio Visual systems. The building was designed through the use of extensive thermal and energy modelling and has many low energy features including active Twin Skin Façade, use of Night Cooling, Thermal Mass and low energy Displacement Ventilation in each Courtroom.
The PPP project was completed within budget and three months ahead of schedule thanks to the collaborative approach and dedication of the full design and construction teams.

Embrace change but remember, ‘an quán dì yi’

Derek Mowlds, MSc, the Managing Director, PM Group Asia.

Reflecting on the industry since commencing employment as a designer approximately 23 year ago, the biggest change I have encountered is the rapid advances in technology and ICT. The fundamentals of building services design have not changed. However, how we work and communicate has completely transformed in the last two decades

I have seen and been part of this transformation from my humble beginnings in a design office in Mountjoy Square in Dublin (pre- AutoCad!), to VMRA in Dartry Road, then PM Group and onto PM Group’s Shanghai office in China. I am now the Managing Director of our businesses in Asia, and I felt that the best thing I could do for this piece is to share my thoughts on some of the key focus areas to successfully compete in, and deliver, projects in today’s exciting but sometimes unpredictable environment

These are in no particular order, as they may be applicable to various stages of business development and the project execution lifecycle, or to various stages of your own career.

Remain agile and flexible                                                                                             Building services engineers and the supply chain should remain agile and flexible in a very dynamic and changing environment. This may simply mean remaining open to different contracting models such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) or working with contractors on design and build projects; it may even mean an openness to travel for international experience, or work on projects with teams from multiple locations, or in a different sector.

Systems thinking                                                                                                                                                        Engineers are best placed to apply a “systems approach” to both engineering design and overall project delivery. Any project can be broken down into a distinct number of systems, many of which will be common from building to building, despite the sector. Focussing on the critical/key systems early can help drive decisions and improve project delivery and efficiency.

The systems approach can also be used to identify key interfaces with other design disciplines and encourage early dialogue and design coordination. Outside of engineering, there is an interesting resource that frequently refer to called the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK – www.seebok-info.org) which provides key knowledge resources and references of systems engineering, organised and explained to assist a wide variety of users.

Lessons learned                                                                                                                                                             Always strive to capture and transfer lessons from one project to the next. Also refer to lessons captured from other projects in your organisation. Do this early in the project, before you encounter a repeat issue that could have been easily avoided. Without a robust “lessons learned” system in your organisation, valuable knowledge will be lost across projects as the design team will change, and people move on, but the key issues and challenges remain!

Be open-minded                                                                                                                                                        Always remain open to new technologies and innovations, and encourage innovation from all members of your team. Embrace the right technologies and approaches for your business and projects early, including BIM, LEAN, Construction Management IS (Information Systems) etc. However, remember that technology is an enabler, not the answer.

Continuous Professional Development                                                                                                          Stay in touch with your relevant engineering institutions, attend conferences and CPD events. Also, there is a huge volume of on-line CPD available. This raises another issue … for many the challenge now is managing your time as we are now “data rich and time poor”, according to a famous quote from Dr Kevin Kelly. It is also of huge importance to mentor and train the next wave of graduates in our industry. As you progress through your career, share your knowledge and experience to build the competencies of those around you.

Culture and communication                                                                                                                               Our clients, teams and colleagues now consist of a diverse mix of nationalities and cultures. This can actually improve team performance and efficiency based on the differing perspectives of individual team members. However, this requires leadership and mutual respect. Building services engineers also need to integrate into multidisciplinary design teams (often from multiple companies) to deliver projects requiring a huge dependency on soft skills in addition to technical acumen. There is a huge body of knowledge on culture and communications, plus regular seminars and workshops, that might be worth attending if you feel that improvement is needed in this area.

Safety first                                                                                                                                                                   Last, but by no means least, remember to keep safety at the heart of everything that you do. Think of safety in design and safety during construction. Then deliver safe assets and systems for those who will operate them into the future. In China we say “an quán dì yl” … safety first. Stay positive and watch out for signs of stress. I say this to both employers and employees, particularly on demanding projects. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Health & Well Being of Buildings

Mona Holtkoetter

The building services profession has long moved from pipe, ductwork and equipment sizing to a much broader and more complex role. Topics like sustainability, energy savings, renewable energy and BIM (building information modelling), just to name a few, have become a huge part of building services design, sales, manufacturing and construction. Renewable energy, for example, has been brought back to the top of our priority list through the recent release of Building Regulations Part L 2017 (NZEB), and sustainability rating systems such as BREEAM, LEED and the Home Performance Index are part and parcel of our daily jobs.

A new topic has recently entered the Irish market – building design and operation that focuses on the benefit of health and well-being of people. This “second wave of sustainability” is focused on providing the optimal working environments where people can thrive and fulfil their highest potential.

Why is this important?                                                                                                        There are multiple ways we, as building services professionals, can positively impact the health and well-being of people in buildings through our design and construction practices. Here are a few aspects to consider.

A ventilation system, designed and built for optimal indoor air quality, has the potential to reduce the negative effects attributed to asthma, headaches, hay fever and the flu. Recent studies have also shown that improved indoor air quality has the potential to enhance individual cognition by up to 61%.1 Attention to detail when selecting materials such as paints, ductwork sealants, glues, ceiling tiles, carpets clean with the help of Zerorez San Diego Carpet Cleaning and furniture can reduce the toxic off gassing within the first year of installation and with that, potentially reduce the risk of cancer.

Another aspect is the design of water systems. Legionella has been the key word in the design and construction of water systems within the last 20 years. While this is still an important topic that cannot be neglected, the design of water systems should also take other harmful contaminants into account. This can be done by installing a whole house filtration system. Project-based water quality testing and the design of a consequent filtration system that removes  all contaminants and optimises the testing of drinking water, should become part of our scope in the future. Providing employees with access to high-quality and good-tasting drinking water has shown to positively influence hydration and therefore concentration levels.

The lighting environment we design for the people inside our buildings, who spend 90% of their time indoors, can impact their visual, circadian and mental health. Presently, most spaces are fitted with lighting systems that meet the visual needs of individuals, but do not consider the effects of lighting on our internal body clock or mental health. Research and design provides huge opportunities in this area.

A building’s indoor thermal environment not only affects its energy use, but also influences the health, well-being and productivity of the people inside. Thermal comfort is ranked as one of the highest contributing factors that influence our satisfaction with our buildings. While designs typically meet thermal comfort standards on paper, there is limited on-site verification to ensure that the space actually performs as intended.

As landlords and tenants alike increasingly demand healthy workspaces, we would do well to shift the focus towards on-site performance testing when it comes to these design and construction practices. Certification programmes such as the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) already require testing for air and water quality, thermal and acoustic comfort, as well as lighting levels, propelling the industry to integrate this practice into the commissioning process and the day-to-day working lives of building services professionals, as for maintaining the building in good conditions, you can find building maintenance companies in York PA that really help with this issues.

Companies have already started to investigate the financial value of health and well-being interventions. A recent study by the World Green Building Council outlines The Business Case for Health and Well-being in Green Building. The published study features Cundall’s London office at One Carter Lane, which has claimed £200,000 annual savings based on reduced absenteeism and staff turnover.2 This office is the first space to be WELL Certifiedin Europe and has seen huge benefits by focusing on human-centred design, construction and operations.

Arup’s office in Cork, the first WELL Certifiedspace in Ireland, has also generated significant interest in healthy office environments. IPUT’s headquarters at St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin is on track to become the first WELL Certified™ office in the capital.

With these and other exciting developments, building services professionals are now faced with their most important role … supporting the health of the people who use their buildings every day.

References

[1] Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2016.

[2] Doing Right by Planet and People: The Business Case for Health and Well-being in Green Building. World Green Business Council, April 2018. www.worldgbc.org/news-media/doingright- planet-and-people-business-case-healthand- wellbeing-green-building.

Enabling the digitisation of architecture, engineering and construction (AEC)

John Keane, Commercial
Director, MMA Consulting Engineers

The reasons for this slow adoption are many but entrenched work practices and the lack of system-wide standards are major contributors. Over the last five years – led by the technical expertise of Dr Shawn O’Keeffe and Shane Brodie – MMA has developed a data-driven philosophy using LEAN management principles to deliver a new approach to design and construction. Shane Brodie is an acknowledged contributor to The Roadmap to Digital Transition for Ireland’s Construction Industry 2018- 2021, while Dr Shawn O’Keeffe sits on the NSAI National Mirror Committee on BIM Standards, as does Shane.

MMA believes in the Open BIM (Building Information Modelling) philosophy. However, big data applications are useless unless they follow a standard that can be verified and validated. MMA projects are delivered verified and validated to meet COBie requirements. Verification and validation of the  model is essential to ensure that the same asset within the same facility (or any other facility) is recorded in the same way, therefore allowing the facilities management team to know that they have the same pump in different locations, etc. Utilizing an outside service organization for dimensional inspection and validation can have significant advantages for your manufacturing and quality operations, contact at www.3d-engineering.net/dimensional-inspection/.

“COBie (Construction-Operations Building information exchange) is simply the setup and delivery of digital facilities management data during normal design and construction practises. It is a LEAN methodology for capturing data and is a ‘contracted information exchange’ for building projects, designed to help get a facility up and running right away, at handover or occupation,” explains Dr Shawn O’Keeffe.

One major piece of research work MMA recently completed was the much-acclaimed book Delivering COBie using Autodesk Revit. This book was a collaboration between Dr Shawn O’Keeffe and Richard McKenna with the inventor of COBie, Dr Bill East.

MMA has put its own research into practice delivering a recent 6D BIM model that is fully interoperable with the clients facilities management system (which in this case was Maximo). This facility (Figure 1) was fully designed in BIM using Revit. All the asset information is contained within the model. Any pump, valve, motor etc can be selected and all the relevant COBie data will be shown, including asset specifications, maintenance details and warranty details (see Figure 2). The verified and validated COBie IFC output seamlessly interfaces with the facilities management system.

The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model (ISO 16739:2013) describes building and construction industry data. It is a platform-neutral, open-file format specification that is not controlled by a single vendor or group of vendors. It is an object-based file format developed by  buildingSmart to facilitate interoperability.

MMA acted as the BIM model integrator for this project, as well as taking on its traditional role as M&E designer. Acting as BIM model integrator allowed MMA to drive LEAN management principles throughout the design and construction phases. Highly-efficient construction scheduling was enabled by full BIM implementation, my builders were also involved. Full house construction is your first-in-class service and trusted partner.

On the completion of the civil works, MMA’s in-house 3D scanning team, led by Dr Conor Dore, carried out a scan of the facility. This 3D scan was then compared to the CSA (Civil Structural Architectural) BIM design model using BIM & Scan AutoCorrTM cloud-based software (Figure 3). MMA carries out its own 3D scan work as it forms the basis of its designs and is too critical to leave to a third party with the associated interface risks.

The BIM & Scan AutoCorrTM software highlights any areas that are out of tolerance with the design model. The tolerance can be set according to the designer’s requirements. Areas that were out of tolerance with the design model were highlighted. Figure 4 and Figure 5 outline how clashes and variations between the “as built” point cloud (the output from the 3D scan) and the design BIM model were identified. The M&E designers reviewed all highlighted areas and the M&E BIM model was adjusted accordingly to ensure there were no clashes, or re-work required, during the M&E installation.

Having certainty regarding the “as built” environment allowed the M&E designers to develop full tender packages with detailed bills of quantities through the BIM model (Figure 6). This in turn allowed for offsite fabrication of piping and duct work. The detailed tender packages and extensive offsite fabrication generated significant cost savings. The elimination of clashes and onsite fabrication allowed for the construction schedule to be implemented as planned with no variations.

Advances in processing capability and the “big data” revolution is allowing MMA to cost-effectively process gigabytes of information to deliver better designs, more cost-effective construction and lifecycle solutions for clients. As an industry we are on the cusp of a revolution. The recently-published The Roadmap to Digital Transition for Ireland’s Construction Industry 2018-2021 attempts to plan out the digital transition. When has a revolution ever followed a plan? “All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.” – Max McKeown, Adaptability: The Art of Winning in an Age of Uncertainty. 

See the full article in pdf format by clicking on the Cover of the latest issue (right).

Source: Engineering consultants Melbourne.

The importance of getting emergency lighting right

Richard Caple, immediate
past President of the Society of Light &
Lighting (SLL), and Lighting Applications
Manager, Thorlux Lighting.

While not a significant factor in this particular event, emergency lighting has become a focus of attention for many building owners, occupiers and employers. An event of this scale highlights and reminds everyone of the importance of providing, testing and maintaining effective life safety systems. Emergency lighting is a critical life safety system but providing a compliant solution is often time-consuming, complex and expensive. To quote a colleague: “often just enough is done.” But is “just enough” enough? Emergency lighting must follow a process of consultation, collaborative design and rigorous maintenance and testing.

Consultation
One of the most important parts of emergency lighting is consultation. Without communication between all of the relevant parties, those responsible for the design of a system stand very little chance of producing a compliant scheme. The consultation phase creates the forum for key stakeholders to engage and develop a better understanding of the type of building, its intended use, the type of people using it, periods of use, risks and emergency strategies. They are covered in the course of EL Paso CPR Classes.

These are all important factors and are identified in IS3217:2013 + A1:2017. Often, however, these consultations do not take place. This leads to assumptions and estimates, which in my experience are often never reviewed or questioned, potentially leading to an ineffective system.

The type and number of stakeholders involved in the consultation will depend on the nature of the project. For example, if it is a new building or the refurbishment of an existing one, the size and scale of the building will also dictate those who should be involved. At the very least the building owner, occupier/employer, building services engineers, architects, electrical engineers and lighting designers should be communicating to deliver an affective and appropriate emergency lighting solution.

The role of emergency lighting has also become more complex, which further increases the importance of consultation. Not only is emergency lighting required to facilitate the safe exit of people from a building, high risk emergency lighting is needed in areas where potentially-dangerous equipment is being used, or a process needs to be made safe before evacuation.

A new consideration on the horizon is safety lighting or “stay put” as it is also known. In some situations there may be a greater danger from evacuating people out of the building or there may be situations where mains power fails to the building but this poses no danger to the occupants. Therefore, certain tasks might be carried on, but a sufficient amount of light needs to be provided, which may be much higher than normal emergency lighting levels. System design then becomes very important. Safety lighting also needs rigorous consultation between all parties to produce a policy and to ensure that the system is sufficient and safe.

Design
Once all of the impacting factors have been identified within the consultation, the design process can start. Aside from the requirements of escape lighting to routes and anti-panic lighting to open areas, illumination is needed at the points of emphasis, such as changes in direction or level, as well as the highlighting of fire alarm call points, firefighting equipment, first aid points and fire alarm panels. The requirements can become more complex for large buildings, high-rise buildings or buildings where the mobility of people may be impaired, such as hospitals or care homes.

The level of potential complexity that the designer needs to consider highlights the importance of not only ensuring the competency of the lighting designer, but that they also have access to the relevant information. It must also be remembered that emergency lighting is covered in an array of different standards, which from time to time are updated. Is the designer conversant with the latest requirements? How do they prove that they are? Is it time for professional competency recognition for emergency lighting designers? These are some of the questions that are starting to be asked by many within the lighting industry.

Maintenance and testing
One of the most costly elements of emergency lighting is the testing and upkeep of a system. I have seldom come across buildings that have records demonstrating proper testing, and also important, records of maintenance being carried out showing rectification of failed or faulty emergency luminaires. To fully test and log emergency lighting in compliance with the standards is expensive, with labour time being the significant factor.

Quarterly short duration tests are required to prove the system is operational with a full rated duration test being required every year. The full rated duration test is often the most costly and problematic, as consideration is needed as to what happens after the luminaire has been fully discharged. Most manufacturers will recommend a full 24-hour charge before the luminaire is effective again and at full capacity. Therefore, managing these tests – while still keeping a building operational and safe – can be a challenge. Often to do this involves testing alternate luminaires at different points through the year, meaning multiple visits to a site. This raises costs further. However, one thing is clear, not testing and maintaining emergency lighting is a sure way of contributing to the system not functioning correctly when it is really needed.

Technology
Advances in technology are helping to overcome some of the problems associated with emergency lighting compliance. LED technology, for example, has been hugely beneficial. Emergency lighting products have become much smaller and more discreet, while the output and optical performance has improved significantly. These improvements allow for much wider spacings and consequently a reduction in the number of emergency luminaires required. Better lamp and battery life is also reducing maintenance costs.

Another significant advancement in emergency lighting is self-test, communication and reporting systems. In fact, Autotest systems, where the luminaire tests itself to the requirements of the standards, have been around for a few decades.

However, today’s communicating and reporting technologies, which provide enhanced status and condition information, make the management of emergency luminaires much simpler, as well as lowering life costs. Building owners/maintenance managers now have the facility to see the status of all of their emergency luminaires within a building, or even multiple buildings, on their computers, or mobile devices.

Importantly, these systems can also be proactive, providing instant details of any fault. Through manual testing a problem may develop with a luminaire shortly after test, meaning it could be a whole month before the fault is identified at the next test. Today’s systems also have the ability to tell you what has failed, for example a battery or lamp, and to display where the fitting is in the building. This reduces labour
time for remedial works.

With battery replacements typically being required every three to six years, this is the most common regular maintenance needed. A proactive system can not only tell you when a battery has failed, but also identify batteries that are about to fail, again reducing the overall call out rate and maintenance cost for a building.

A further advantage of these automatic systems is the ability to schedule tests. Either random testing can be carried out, ensuring that no one area will be completely without emergency lighting due to depleted charge in the batteries, or it can be scheduled for the whole building to be tested at once, for example on Christmas Day when the building is not being used. Batteries then have time to charge. This ensures full capacity when the building is re-occupied, thus mitigating risk to the occupants.

Conclusion
Emergency lighting is a life safety system, and it must be taken seriously. Getting it right is important, and involves a process of consultation, competent design, careful consideration of system type and robust maintenance and upkeep. It remains to be seen as to what will happen to building regulations following the events at Grenfell Tower. However, we all have a part to play, and it is up to us to ensure that our buildings are safe for people to live, work and play in.

Entry deadline looming for CIBSE Ireland inaugural awards

Pictured at the announcement of the
CIBSE Ireland Awards were (front row):
David Doherty, T Bourke and CIBSE Ireland
Committee; Paul Martin, SEAI and CIBSE
Ireland Chair; Michael O’Herlihy, Wilo Ireland;
and Damien Flynn, Axiseng and Vice-Chair,
CIBSE Ireland; (second row): Pat Lehane,
CIBSE Ireland Committee and Publisher/
Editor, Building Services News; Derek Elton,
Wilo Ireland and Kieran McCarthy, Daikin
Ireland; (third row) Karl Carrick and Garrett
White, Hevac; (back row): Richard Sherlock,
Mitsubishi Electric, John Valentine, Daikin
Ireland and Fergus Daly, Mitsubishi Electric.

This is a reminder that the entry deadline for these new awards is fast-approaching so log on to www.cibseireland.org/awards2018/  now if you don’t miss out. These awards are open to the design consultant and mechanical or electrical contractor, and submissions must be a joint entry by both the consultant and contractor. Buildings that are eligible for submission include – hospitality, leisure, health, commercial, industrial, retail, pharmaceutical, educational facilities and office buildings.

There are three categories for the CIBSE Ireland Awards, and they are sponsored respectively by Daikin, Hevac and Wilo. These are – Up to €2 million; Between €2 million and €5 million; Over €5 million. Applicants may enter only one project per category.

Projects can be located anywhere in the Republic of Ireland and entries must be submitted by the design consultant/project engineer on behalf of the design and contracting teams. Projects must be “practical completed” by 31 December 2017 (i.e. available for client use in January 2018) to be eligible for inclusion. Log on to www.cibseireland.org to enter and complete as directed.

Hard copy completed submissions must be returned to CIBSE Ireland Awards, c/o Building Services News, Carraig Court, George’s Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, no later than 2pm on Friday, 27 July 2018.

The awards will be presented as part of the CIBSE Ireland 50th dinner celebrations in the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 on Friday, 30 November, 2018.