Tag Archives: Building Engineering

CIBSE YEN Ireland … making CPD fun!

Engineers preparing to take to the track in their weather-proof kit during the recent COBSE YEN Ireland CPD event at Glen Dimplex

The Zeroth Energy System is an innovative community heating network particularly suited to apartment complexes. It contains heat pump technology and utilises a refrigerant-free, water-to-water energy loop to provide heating, cooling and hot water. The unique design and operating temperatures allow a broader range of heating or cooling equipment to be used compared with current building design practice.

The site trip and CPD presentation involved a classroom-type interactive presentation followed by a tour of the purpose-designed, apartment-style demo installations. However, it was a site visit with a difference. It was not death by Powerpoint but rather a workshop format with the 16 young engineer participants divided into teams who competed for points based on the Zeroth presentation.

Scores were allocated and recorded at the end of the “workshop” element, and then carried over to the go-karting competition at the WhiteRiver outdoor go-kart racing circuit located just a few minutes drive from the Glen Dimplex complex.

On arrival the group once again assembled into their respective teams and, having been kitted out and briefed on the rules and safety regulations, got down to the serious business of racing. The excitement of the day was multiplied in spades by the fact the heavens opened just as the racing began, making driving conditions on the outside circuit like skating on ice!

The computerised timing system and the individual lap time printouts charted everyone’s progress so there was no possibility of cheating, save for the nudging that occurred on the track. On conclusion of the racing the exhausted participants re-assembled to witness the team scores being tallied and added to the scores from the earlier workshop session to determine the overall winners.

While it may be clichéd to say so, it was not about the winning on the day, the interactive formula of the occasion ensuring that it was all about the taking part … it really was a case of CPD learning made fun.

If you are interested in joining CIBSE YEN Ireland Branch – and participating in future YEN events – contact Ryan Loney at email: rloney@jvtierney.ie

Building Engineering on brink of revolution

Hannah Vickers, CEO, Association for Consultancy & Engineering.

Our industry now stands on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution. Led by data and technology, new tools are emerging, including self-monitoring infrastructure, offsite and modular construction, drones and virtual reality which enable engineers to monitor buildings from their desks, and digital design which takes minutes, rather than weeks. All of this is intended to help build the “smart” infrastructure society is demanding, such as more efficient turn-up-and-go transport networks and sustainable, yet affordable housing.

Engineering and technical consultancy remains the backbone of the economy as infrastructure investment is critical to ensure post-austerity growth. In this economic and political environment, our industry is more important than ever before. However, with the demands we are now facing, is our sector, collectively, ready to meet this challenge? It is clear that in order to do so a change is required – not just on a technical or project level, but on strategic, market and industry levels too.

It’s evident that within this new prism there are significant opportunities for firms to improve outcomes and deliver better-quality services for the end-users of infrastructure, but this must be enabled by the actions of the government and private sector clients. They are ultimately responsible for creating the environment which will allow us to bring forward the best the industry has to offer. Exploiting these new technological opportunities will improve the productivity of our sector and its export potential.

I unveiled ACE’s Future of Consultancy campaign in November 2018. This is a multi-year, two-phased campaign which will firstly scope new areas of opportunity, identify and explore new business models for consultancy, and analyse the sector’s changing needs in terms of skills.

Secondly, the campaign will pull together findings from phase one and focus on enhancing existing revenue streams and the development of new ones. We’ll also be looking at piloting tomorrow’s training, apprenticeship schemes and contracts, and creating effective and fit-for-future-purpose industry forums and partnerships to support a vibrant, profitable and sustainable sector.

All of this will help our members, no matter what their size, seize the opportunities that lie ahead of us. However, for this to happen, we will need to build a consensus for change, not just among ACE members, but with wider stakeholder and government bodies too. There are many possibilities open to us in supporting our clients, and we have divided these into three areas based on the asset lifecycle:

Strategic planning and placemaking                                                                                                                     A better understanding of user requirements helps clients to “optioneer” the best solutions, making trade-offs in what they value to get to the best-quality design for a community. An increase in data and digitally-enabled modelling gives consultancy the tools to apply its expertise in a more strategic way, requiring a maturity shift in client mentality away from capital cost to the ultimate objective of defining outcomes. Their willingness to pay for these outcomes enables industry to bring forward more productive solutions such as offsite manufacturing at scale across a programme.

Delivering integrated projects                                                                                                                              This touches on the importance of core disciplines of successful delivery in information management, programme management and production management, but we can go beyond this by exploring our remit as consultancy businesses in integrating funding streams across multiple clients, and perhaps finance across the whole asset lifecycle.

Data-led asset performance                                                                                                                        Combining data and technologies available in both buildings and infrastructure to understand and optimise asset system performance, often against changing user requirements, means bringing to bear our tools and expertise to share learning and optimise the benefits across sectors and clients at a system level.

While these areas themselves are not new, the opportunities we have to support our clients within them will change as a result of the tools and data available to use in a digitally-enabled environment.

The value is in bringing together our collective offer in an integrated way to get the flow of data, products and expertise working around the whole life-cycle, and seamlessly across multiple clients. A truly valuable client partner will understand and mitigate risks, not just on a project but in how assets contribute to the network and in turn the network of other clients.

For large firms this means building on the existing model of mentoring, developing and championing expertise within your firm and your supply chain partners to ensure your integrated offer is a compelling one. For smaller firms it’s about understanding where you add value in this model, often in multiple phases and perhaps in areas of the life-cycle that you don’t currently get invited into.

This collective vision about how we can add value makes for a more compelling proposition for those looking to a future career in the industry. Between us, we offer different corporate environments, employment structures and a variety of work for a fulfilling, life-long career within the industry. If we can develop and articulate a more integrated industry with a vision to an individual, we can find a place within it to suit their needs and ambitions. In turn, this makes us inclusive, representative and sustainable for the future – without a skills crisis.

Designing future-proofed buildings for next 50 years

Paul Martin, Chairman, CIBSE Ireland

In the intervening years the industry has learned from the many mistakes made back in the late 1960s and early 1970s in particular. Building stock constructed since then has shown marked improvement but, as we look to design buildings that will be here for the next 50, we should not be complacent.

According to an expert from Cambuild, buildings that are performing well now, and those currently being designed and built for the today’s climatic conditions, may become intolerable for occupants by 2068 (50 years time) unless we factor in concepts such as active cooling and associated high-energy usage. There is compelling scientific evidence that our climate is changing, and it is probable that average temperatures will increase by several degrees over the coming century.

These increases in temperature are expected to have a major impact on the indoor environment of buildings. It is essential that buildings being designed and built today are future-proofed so they can adapt to changes in external temperatures and humidity, light levels, energy usage and so on.

To be fair, the construction industry has already made significant steps towards tackling climate change through limiting the amount of carbon emitted – both in the materials used (embodied energy) and predicted energy usage – by using simulation programmes such as IES, along with BREEAM and LEED.

The energy message emphasis on heat-saving in winter using highly-insulated and airtight buildings also means there is a danger of overheating in the summer months. This presents a different challenge. CIBSE has produced quite a number of guidance documents in this respect, such as TM52 (The limits of thermal comfort: avoiding overheating in European buildings: Developed for “free-running” commercial buildings) and TM59 (Design methodology for the assessment of overheating risk in homes).

The health and wellbeing impacts of overheating (see Mona Holtkoetter’s article in October 2017 edition of Building Services News) can be significant for residents, resulting in stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation and even early deaths in heatwaves, especially in cases of vulnerable occupants. Learn more about white vein kratom and its ability to relieve anxiety.

Among the concepts now being embraced to combat these issues are highly-insulated pipework; insulated heat interface units; ventilated utility cupboards; LED lighting; and installing mechanical ventilation heat recovery units, with summer bypass and boost mode, to increase the ventilation rate when required.

Climate change is affecting how buildings will perform for occupants, both now and in the future. While overheating has emerged as a major concern, climate effects extend beyond the treatment of overheating. They also include flooding, drainage, water conservation and material durability. The CIBSE TM36: Climate Change & the Indoor Environment: Impacts & Adaptation (CIBSE, 2005) document again offers guidance and advice on these matters.

In considering the design of both commercial and residential buildings today we must address the known and anticipated challenges that lie ahead and consider, among other things, the following:

• To what extent will climate change increase the occurrence of summertime thermal discomfort and overheating in different types of buildings?

• To what extent will passive measures be able to improve summertime thermal comfort and ameliorate the increased tendency for overheating?

• How effective will different approaches to comfort cooling be?

• What are the energy-use implications of the various strategies?

While no one has all the answers, there is still a wealth of guidance freely available to all concerned in building services.

See www.cibseireland.org/membership/ for details, or contact CIBSE Ireland directly at contact@cibseireland.org

Paul McEvoy Joins John Sisk & Son

Paul McEvoy, Building Services Engineer, John Sisk & Son

Paul McEvoy has joined John Sisk & Son Ltd and is now working on a large mixed-use development project co-ordinating the mechanical and electrical services. Paul is widely-known and respected within the industry and, despite his young years, has quite a depth of experience across a number of industry segments.

After graduating from Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh) with a degree in architectural engineering (having previously studied building services engineering in DIT), Paul worked on the design and specification of building services plant for Hevac, before moving to sister-company Origen Energy to work on renewable energy technology systems.

Here his work focused mainly on heat pump and combined heat and power (CHP) system design, while also working with Polytherm Heating Systems (another Hevac Group company) on the design and specification of large commercial under floor heating projects.

He joined John Sisk & Son just before Christmas of last year and is now looking forward to the new opportunities and challenges this post will bring.

Contact: Paul McEvoy, John Sisk & Son. Tel: 087 – 614 2794; email: p.mcevoy@sisk.ie

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DIT-led initiative on building engineering

Ciara Ahern, Head of Building Engineering, DIT

The urgent need for building engineering graduates has resulted in key industry players joining forces with the ACEI and DIT to promote the Level-8 building engineering course being delivered by DIT in Bolton St. Among the companies supporting the initiative are Jones Engineering, Sirus, Haughton & Young, Designer Group, Ethos, Varmings, Axis, Dornans, OCSC, Metec, Homan O’Brien and Cundall & Partners.

The DIT-led initiative is spearheaded by Ciara Ahern, Head of Building Engineering at DIT and comprises a dynamic advertising and PR campaign taking in all media formats, from traditional print and radio through to Facebook and other online platforms.

In announcing the campaign Ciara highlighted the immense potential for career development in the area, pointing out that the discipline isn’t very well understood, but that it is now at the vanguard of a new engineering revolution that is key to meeting global climate change targets.

She also detailed the excellent career opportunities it presents, stating that building engineers are the highest paid engineers in the construction sector, earning a starting salary that is typically €5,000 more than other graduates”.

Jim Curley, Group Chief Executive at Jones Engineering Group, said: “DIT is an innovator in the building engineering discipline and we are delighted to support the Institute’s campaign. There is a shortage of graduates with the building engineering skills needed by industry and all sectors should actively get behind this initiative.

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