Tag Archives: building services engineering

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.

Hevac promotion for Darren Yourell

Darren Yourell, Commercial & Industrial Division Manager, Hevac

After a successful time as Dublin’s Business Development Manager for the company, Hevac has promoted Darren Yourell to Commercial & Industrial Division Manager. Darren is widely known in the industry and comes from a mechanical engineering background. He is presently an executive MBA candidate at UCD Smurfit Business School.

With nearly 20 years experience and the qualities he has shown while working as part of the senior management team over recent years, Hevac sees him as the ideal candidate to lead the growth and development of the commercial and industrial division.

Contact: Darren Yourell, Hevac. Tel: 01 – 419 1921.
Mobile: 086 – 803 0398; email: darren.yourell@hevac.ie

Conor Quigley joins RVR

 

Conor Quigley

RVR Energy Technology has appointed Conor Quigley as Technical Sales Representative based in Dublin. Conor holds a Master’s Degree in Building Services Engineering from Sydney University and has over 30 years’ experience in the Irish building services industry.

Conor has worked extensively in consultancy, sales and contracting and brings this wealth of knowledge and experience, especially in the commercial heating sector, to the RVR team. Contact: Conor, Quigley, Technical Sales Representative, RVR Energy Technology. Tel: 087 – 707 7552; email: cquigley@rvr.ie

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.

Excellent presentations at SDAR Awards 2018

Back Row: Michael McDonald (DIT) with Charles Dunn (CIBSE/RPS), Dr Avril Behan (DIT) and Gerry Farrelly (DIT)
Front Row : Padraic O’Connor (SISK) with Thomas Shannon, Mona Holtkotter, Camila Dbastiani and Dr Kevin Kelly (DIT)

The SDAR awards promote collaboration between industry and academic institutions. The idea is to encourage applied research and ensure quality and value in innovation projects. The more research papers and post-occupancy evaluations undertaken, the more sustainable design and energy efficacy in future and existing buildings can be encouraged.

The role of CIBSE in this regard is to facilitate this process and disseminate the findings. The event was opened by Dr Kevin Kelly,Head of the School of Multidisciplinary Technologies and Vice-President, CIBSE, and Michael McDonald. Michael is the event organiser, a member of the CIBSE Ireland Committee and alecturer at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

The expert judging panel consisted of Gerry Farrelly and Dr Avril Behan, DIT and Charles Dunn, RPS and CIBSE Committee. First prize went to Mona Holtkötter of the International WELL Building Institute and Secretary of CIBSE Ireland. Mona’s research on the potential impact of the updated Building Regulations Part L on current building design strategies, using a Dublin city centre office building as an example, was a narrow but deserved winner following her excellent presentation. The title of the paper was The new Irish Building Regulations Part L 2017: the impact on city centre developments. Padraic O’Connor, Building Services Department Manager at Sisk & Son, presented her with a cheque for €1000.

The two runners up (in no particular order) were as follows.

— Influence of the biogas generated on the mixing of UASB bioreactors: Comparison of CFD and experiential results by Camila D’Bastiani of DIT (Ph.D. Researcher);

— A case study into the integration of technological and engineering innovations in a manufacturing/distribution facility to support a sustainable future by Tommy Shannon of Excel Industries.

They each received €250 courtesy of CIBSE Ireland, the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the School of Multidisciplinary Technologies.

Lighter/Young Lighter competition                                                                                                                     The second upcoming major event is the CIBSE Irish Lighter/Young Lighter competition. This is well established as a premier national and international lighting competition, and will be accepting abstracts from mid-June.

Contact michael.mcdonald@dit.ie or kevin.kelly@dit.ie

Paul Fagan joins Grundfos

Paul Fagan, Grundfos Sales Engineer

Paul Fagan has been appointed Sales Engineer, Residential Building Services, Grundfos Ireland. Paul has a strong background selling to the building industry and he is also well known in GAA circles.

His duties will cover the full Grundfos range of domestic and light commercial products and will involve dealing with the residential market, contractors, consultants, specifiers, developers and merchants.

Contact: Paul Fagan, Grundfos Sales Engineer. Tel: 01 – 408 9800; Mobile: 087 – 915 7551; email: pfagan@grundfos.com

Building Services Engineering Graduate Builds Career from Level 6 Start

Paul Martin, SEAI Programme Manager and CIBSE Ireland Chairman

Looking back to his Leaving Cert subjects — accounting, geography and business studies — Paul comments that they weren’t “traditional” engineering subjects but his interest in engineering was evident from an interest in how things worked … much to the detriment of his sister’s CD player. From his Level 6 Higher Cert, Paul progressed onto a level 7 add-on and, from there, he went to the UK to do further studies.

“Now that that the economy and construction are picking up“, notes Paul, “and there is a huge demand for building service engineering graduates and says that, compared with traditional engineering qualifications, building services engineers are paid more.”

Paul is now a Chartered Engineer and Programme Manager for Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and in charge of Technical Standards Development. “My day to day job is developing standards that will insure that we will live in a more sustainable country, and in influencing other EU countries to follow our lead,” he explains.

In 2017 he was elected Chairperson of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Ireland Region. “This position will allow me to help influence our members (and beyond) in the latest and greatest engineering developments.”

“I am a very proud graduate of WIT and I was delighted to see the standard of the course held high (20 years on) when I judged the Building Services Student Awards last year in WIT. The lecturers always had time for their students and in particular were always helpful when I couldn’t get my head around some of the aspects of the course.

“I couldn’t recommend the Building Services course in WIT more. I know talking to employers that graduates from WIT are held in high esteem”, concluded.

Related Courses in WIT

Higher Certificate in Engineering in  Building Services Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering in  Building Services Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in  Sustainable Energy Engineering

 

BUILDING SERVICES NEEDS SERIOUS WAKE-UP CALL!

joe-hogan-1-of-2What prompted this article was that many of us at the table had in fact been in class together at various times and had gone on to serve in various sectors of the industry. When we started in the industry there were no full-time building services courses. The majority of would-be engineers went to the UK to do the IHVE exams. The City and Guilds Course in the 1960s and early 1970s served many who went on the become leaders in various sectors of the industry. They (both guys and girls) went on to work in consultants’ design offices on drawing boards, behind the counter in merchant providers, as sales engineers and as junior contracts managers.

In the early 1970s Don Byrne and Pat Benson set up the Building Services Course in DIT Bolton St which, in the main, served the industry well up to the recent construction industry crash. Many of the current principals of consultancy practices and directors of M&E contracting firms attended DIT courses and qualified as Chartered CIBSE Engineers. A significant number started with the part-time courses before going on to attend full-time courses and obtain a full engineering degree in building services.

A large percentage of these people also freely gave of their time through the various industry bodies such as MEBSCA and CIBSE Ireland to devise and establish the structures that have served the sector so well. Many consulting engineers gave lectures in DIT colleges to augment the full-time lecturers.

However, that scenario has changed dramatically. While the intake to the DIT first-year common engineering programme still attracts a healthy 100 plus students, the numbers opting to study building services as opposed to the other engineering disciplines is but a handful. The present incumbents involved in the colleges, I am informed, are doing some serious soul-searching with even the title “Building Services Engineering” being called in to question.

Either way, the industry needs a call to arms to ensure we promote the opportunities to not just school leavers but people already in the industry. There has always been a demand from people on site, or in sales, or in various businesses in the industry to further their education and these people need to be encouraged and accommodated within the various Institute of Technology courses and systems.

The present position is that the sector needs everything we can get from our colleges, from more apprentices, craftsmen  foremen, trainee engineers, technician engineers and qualified engineers to meet the demand of the broader building services sector. Recently, a significant Irish firm went on national radio and announced it was looking for some 500 engineering personnel.

So, if they need – and attract – that many from a diminished pool, what will be left for the rest of us? Our destiny is in our own hands. It is inconceivable that the established building services course in DIT might disappear, or indeed the relative newer programmes of WIT and CIT. The industry needs to support those involved in running these courses.

Equally so, the colleges need to devise courses, and perhaps more importantly a manner of delivery, that attracts young people into the industry. It is obvious young people are still interested in engineering … it is now up to all in building services to sell it as a desirable career choice.

The Government has stated that it wants to encourage more people into engineering courses and the current system can accommodate this intake … all we now need is the willpower to stand up and fight for what we know our industry needs.

Garvin Evans — An Appreciation

Garvin Evans

Garvin Evans

It is still hard to believe that he is gone from us, as he was incredibly special to everybody who met him, and you always felt the better for being in his company. He was a man of tradition and standards and always wore a tie. He regularly berated his golfing friends for not wearing a tie in the clubhouse.

He first came to Ireland from Wales in the 1960s with Plessey and settled in Malahide. He and Gwenda had three children Richard, Edge and Gill, and all were equally special to them. However, it was through the Edge’s success with U2, whom Garvin travelled extensively with on tour, that many of Garvin’s adventures and stories were lived. We have all heard he played golf with Bill Clinton and regularly met with Tom Watson who invited him to the Ryder Cup. He also sang with his idol Pavarotti.

When Plessey closed down Garvin set up his own consultancy practice and trained many fine engineers in his time. Singing was very important to Garvin and he sang both with his Church choir and the Welsh Choir, who also sang at his funeral. He was very much associated with his church, was a church elder, and deeply committed to his religious beliefs. How this latter position sat with the jokes he told I don’t know but he was a wonderful story and joke teller. Rotary also played a major part in his life and he was a founder member of Dublin North Rotary Club.

However, golf was his real love and passion and he will be remembered fondly by the BTU Golfing Society. He constantly strived for perfection, which we all know is impossible, but Garvin always thought he had mastered the game each time he went out. It was easy to tell how successful that was by the speed he walked.

Some of us were lucky to be on the latest Canaries golf trip which we have been going on for the last 38 years. On the trip he was nicknamed the peacock because of the flamboyant and vivid matching colours he wore on the golf course. Apart from the sunshine you would need sunglasses to subdue the colours. It was also on our 2015 trip that he forgot his razor and the beard commenced.

On one of our golf trips to Wexford eight of us went out to eat one night in Larkins. There was a lady’s birthday celebration at one of the other tables and when they were singing happy birthday Garvin joined in and drowned out everybody. Later when the lady was leaving she came over to our table to thank Garvin for his singing. However, as she turned to leave she said to Garvin: “by the way, are your underpants too tight?”

We his friends will remember him for many different and pleasant reasons and also because he fought until the end. He was a true warrior who always clung to life. He never gave up despite all he suffered. He leaves us a great legacy which teaches us to persevere no matter the circumstances.

While we mourn him, others are rejoicing to meet up with him again on the other side. I just hope he is not bringing all the money he won off us at golf with him. I hope he remembers it is easier for a poor man to get through the gates than a rich man.

On the few occasions that we did manage to take money off him he would hand it over saying: “you are not going to take money from a little wizen Welsh git.”

You and I will meet again 

When we are least expecting it

One day in some far off place

I will recognise your face

I won’t say goodbye my friend

For you and I will meet

Larry Kane

Pat Byrne — An Appreciation

Pat Byrne

Pat Byrne

Pat was a true gentleman in every sense of the word and his kindness and good humour were widely known and appreciated by all. Despite working in a tough and competitive business environment, he was a beacon of calmness and serenity.

In all the years I knew Pat I never once heard him raise his voice or lose his temper. He never used bad language and was always unfailingly courteous to everyone he met. Indeed, the closest he came to rebuking me – in spite of the many causes I gave him – was the day he loaned me his car and I returned it with his beloved music collection out of alphabetical order.

Pat was one of life’s optimists and during the different times I worked for him in the early nineties it was a quality we badly needed, and appreciated, as we faced year after year of low growth and increasing competition. At a tough sales meeting he would say “its fine, we will make it work”. We always did and this was in no small part down to Pat’s experience.

His patience and stoicism in the face of adversity was legendary and he passed on his considerable knowledge of the business to all who worked under him. He had a stellar career working for notable companies in the business such as Walker Airconditioning, Cofely, York international and Condair.

But Pat’s business achievements aside, it is his qualities as a man, a friend, a brother, a father and a grandfather that really distinguish him. His son Graham captured these perfectly in his wonderful eulogy for his dad at the funeral Mass.

Whenever I think of Pat I always smile because he was always a man who was in good form, always ready with a joke and certainly, in my case at least, always ready to help a friend when he needed it. Whenever we met his first question was always “how is your mam and dad?”.

Pat could always put matters into context. He knew that while work was important, it was simply a means to earn money to sustain a family life. So often in the business world this is forgotten. Pat never did forget that and, for me, it is as this humane gentleman that I will remember him most.

Philip McEvitt