Tag Archives: ASHRAE

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.

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 organisations 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.

Through T Bourke Ted also supported and sponsored various industry events, especially those that had an educational element. For instance, shortly after Tallaght Town Centre was built he sponsored the CIBSE Ireland site visit and lecture to the centre, 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 unrivalled reputation for honouring 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 prioritised. 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 travelled 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 socialised 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.

Minimising ‘fuzzy edge’ disease in building services design

Ken Goodman

Ken Goodman, CEng MCIBSE, ASHRAE RAL Sub Region B Chair

One project consisted of a new 14,000 m2 building for the manufacture of vaccines on a greenfield site. At its peak, there were over 500 contractors working in the building, speaking over 18 different languages. There was a total of 36km of piping and over 24,000m2 of ductwork.

My role was as a multiple package owner on behalf of the client, ultimately responsible for ensuring systems were delivered operational  maintainable, efficient and safe. The project was designed using a 3D model, with multiple design reviews to capture all stakeholder requirements.

At the feasibility stage, the project scope incorporating client requirements was broken out into individual work packages and the battery limits and interfaces for each work package were identified and defined. Instead of the “typical” approach, where a contractor is assigned to a specific discipline, for example the mechanical contract, the package design and engineering was the responsibility of the EPCM, and the construction and commissioning of each package the responsibility of one contractor.

An RACI matrix was developed to clearly identify which stakeholder would be responsible for each project-deliverable for each package at every stage of the project. Contract documents were prepared to reflect this, defining the specific requirements necessary at each stage (mechanical completion, pre-commissioning, commissioning and handover). Any changes required after contract award managed to control scope creep, delays and cost over-runs.

Let us look at an example in the plant utilities package. This package consisted of all equipment (free issued and contractor purchased), the piping, the electrical and the automation (nominated BMS contractor). On  contractor was engaged to deliver it up to the pre-defined battery limits.

The plant utilities consisted of multiple systems including the chilled water, steam and compressed air, and had many interfaces to other packages on the site. One such package was the clean steam generator package, which required chilled water, compressed air and steam/condensate.

The plant utilities battery limits were the piping connections to the generator skid for chilled water and steam/condensate, and a vendor-supplied manifold for the compressed air. All control loops were specified as part of the generator scope and the plant utilities were to be provided at predetermined conditions (temperature, flow and pressure).

The interface between the packages was specified on both sides, for example using a PN16 raised face flange for steam and condensate. Isolation valves were provided on each utility line as part of the utilities package to allow for isolation for pressure testing and flushing, and for maintenance after handover. A balancing valve was also included in the plant utilities package to allow for balancing the chilled water and a trap station for the condensate.

This mode of thinking was duplicated across each interface, allowing the utilities package to be completed, tested and commissioned without having to wait on the package to which it was connected. Although this may seem to some as very intensive, the final outcome justified the efforts. The end users got a package they were very willing to accept and the package was delivered in line with the budget due to limited change after contract award. Clearly defining the scope and the limits of responsibility early will reduce, if not eradicate, the “fuzzy edge disease”[1] that can be associated with some projects and help deliver systems that satisfy the true expectations of the client.

Parsloe C J., BSRIA TN 14/97. The allocation of design responsibilities for building engineering services – A code of conduct to avoid conflict. September 1997.

CIBSE/ASHRAE Technical Symposium, DIT Kevin St, Dublin — 3/4 April 2014

‘Moving to a New World of Building Systems Performance’                                                                        

ASHRAE President Bill Bahnfleth

The abstracts received from around the world included a mix of academic and industry submissions, reflecting the aim of the symposium to facilitate information-sharing and networking across practitioners and those developing understanding and knowledge across the built environment.

The symposium will commission around 50 authors to present, all of whose papers will be peer reviewed.

CIBSE is seeking volunteers to act as referees so members or Fellows who are willing to review papers should contact CIBSE providing a few sentences by way of overview of their practical areas of technical expertise.

As well as helping to ensure that the papers presented are of a high standard, it will give referees a chance to find out about some of the developments that will be presented at the event. If you are interested in helping please email groups@cibse.org

The symposium’s main theme “Moving to a New World of Building Systems Performance” will give a platform to the latest practice and research from around the world in active and passive building systems that will shape the future for the built environment while striving to minimise resource impact.

CIBSE President George Adams said: “The CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium is an exciting two-day event which tackles a fascinating range of cutting-edge subjects. It is a unique opportunity for members and industry experts to share knowledge on, and debate, important issues in the built environment such as the adaptation of cities to the impact of population growth and climate change.”

ASHRAE President Bill Bahnfleth said: “ASHRAE is very pleased to collaborate in the continuation of this series of international technical symposia. I personally look forward to being in Dublin to participate in this forward- looking exchange on the future of building systems and the building industry itself. From modeling to cutting-edge systems for both new and existing buildings to workforce development, there is something for every built environment professional in this program.”

A joint enterprise with ASHRAE, the symposium is also supported by the Future Cities Catapult, a newly- established global centre of excellence on urban innovation.

For more information visit www.cibse.org/symposium2014

‘Moving to a new world of building systems performance’

Professor Tim Dwyer

The symposium will platform to the latest practice and research from around the world in active and passive building systems that will shape an effective future for the built environment with minimum resource impact. The principal aim of the symposium is to encourage the participation of young and experienced researchers, and industry practitioners, to share experiences and develop networks.

The organisers have now issued a call for papers for possible presentation at the symposium. The invitation is for papers concerning research and development that may address the following:

• Enhanced building engineering solutions through modelling and prediction;

• Innovation in passive and active building systems;

• Design and operation of future cities;

• Improving the operation of the built environment;

• Maintaining and improving legacy building systems;

• The development and impact of benchmarks, standards and regulatory measures;

• Communication, skills and workforce development.

This list is not exhaustive but provides the intended context of the symposium that will focus on aspects that are of interest to CIBSE and ASHRAE members. Material is welcomed based on recent or current research and application, as well as the actual or potential impact of that research on the built environment.

For the first time the symposium in Dublin offers additional opportunities for the presentation of relevant case studies supported by keynotes (as opposed to a formal paper).

All papers will be peer-reviewed and published electronically through CIBSE. Selected papers may be developed for publication in BSERT.

For details visit: www.cibse.org/ symposium2014