Tag Archives: DIT

SDAR Awards 2016 – Now Open for Submissions

SDAR Awards 2016 outlined logoShort abstracts (between 100/200 words max) for entry into the SDAR* Awards 2016 must be submitted by Monday, 14 December 2015, by email directly to Michael McDonald and/or Kevin Kelly of DIT at michael.mcdonald@dit.ie and kevin.kelly@dit.ie

The SDAR* Awards is a joint initiative between CIBSE Ireland and DIT, supported by Building Services News, and sponsored by John Sisk & Son. The awards are unique in that they are intended to disseminate knowledge, encourage research in sustainable design of the built environment and raise the quality of innovation and evaluation of such projects. Entries are required to critically evaluate real life data, and examine both successes and challenges within leading-edge projects throughout Ireland or further afield. This competition is open to architects, engineers and all professionals involved in construction projects.

Now more than ever as positive signs ripple through the built environment, this unique synergy between industry and academia allows greater potential for integration of modern low-carbon technologies and low-energy design methodologies.

The SDAR* Awards competition is intended to create a platform for the growth of applied research in the expanding green economy. Post occupancy evaluations and similar critical appraisal of low-energy projects facilitates the transition from ideologically-driven innovations, sometimes offering poor value, to evidence-based applied research that proves value or identifies weaknesses that the industry can learn from. These successes and failures help inform the professional community across all the building industry disciplines.

From the abstracts submitted by the Monday, 14 December 2015 deadline, a shortlist will be selected by peer review, and those selected will be invited to prepare final papers by 1 February 2016.

Candidates that present at the awards also have a chance of publishing their papers in the SDAR* Journalarrow.dit.ie/sdar/

Next year’s final will take place in March 2016 in DIT, Kevin Street.

For further information contact: michael.mcdonald@dit.ie or kevin.kelly@dit.ie

Doherty elected CIBSE Ireland Chairman

David Doherty, newly-elected Chairman CIBSE Ireland being congratulated by outgoing chairman Sean Dowd.

David Doherty, newly-elected Chairman CIBSE Ireland being congratulated by outgoing chairman Sean Dowd.

David Doherty, previously Vice-Chair, was unanimously elected Chairman of CIBSE Ireland at the recent annual general meeting in Dublin. In his outgoing address former Chairman Sean Dowd reported on the many successes of the last 12 months, and in particular on the emergence of CIBSE YEN as an active representative force for young engineers within the Institute.

As Sean’s “shadow” over the last 12 months David has been actively involved in all events and activities. He now intends to develop and build on recent achievements to further strengthen the membership, and authority, of CIBSE Ireland within the building services sector.

The CIBSE YEN technical evening and BBQ at the end of May signals the start of summer, the end of the CIBSE Ireland programme, and always attracts a great attendance.

This year was no different with the business end of the evening commencing with a number of lectures and discussion in DIT Kevin St before everyone adjourned to the famous (infamous?) Dicey Reilly’s in Harcourt St for burgers, pints, chat and craic.

Engineers young and old mingled together until late into the evening before the sensible “oldies” made their excuses and left, while those without sense tried to recapture lost youth and paid for it the next day!

Excellent Presentations at SDAR Awards Final

21. Dr. Mick McKeever (DIT, SDAR Winner), Padraic O'Connor (SISK, Sponsor)

SDAR Award Overall Winner Dr Mick McKeever, DIT, receiving his award from Padraic O’Connor, SISK,  the  SDAR Awards sponsor

Two of the presentations came from graduates of the DIT BSc Electrical Services and Energy Management programme. Stuart Dunne’s presentation covered energy management protocols he developed for the Mater Hospital while Aidan Byrne discussed his role in the certification of the Aviva Stadium to ISO 50001. Both completed these projects as undergraduate students.

Stuart’s work resulted in a saving of €115,800pa for the Mater Hospital, whereas Aidan’s work led to the Aviva being the first sports stadium globally to be accredited to the ISO 50001 standard. Aidan’s work is already published in both the SDAR Journal (arrow.dit.ie/sdar/) and the CIBSE Journal (portfolio.cpl.co.uk/CIBSE/201503/aviva-stadium/).

DIT’s Dr Mick McKeever (also of Dragon’s Den fame) presented pioneering work in energy entrepreneurship. His paper considered how to build market sentiment for his “Phase Change Material Thermal Energy Storage Tank/Micro-CHP” project (including recently-patented technology) and how it achieves a factor 6.5 times more heat energy storage capacity when compared to a standard water thermal energy system.

Conor McManus, an MPhil candidate in the School of Construction Department of Construction Management, presented thought-provoking arguments on construction philosophies. He asked if the focus on reducing operational energy usage through technology is failing to consider national eco-systems and broader sustainable development goals.

Another example of energy entrepreneurship was presented by DIT lecturer Dr Niall Holmes. His work concerns a novel approach to sustain the integrity of steel concrete reinforcement through an innovative cement-based battery system to power cathodic protection in reinforced concrete structures.
The judges for the competition included Brian Geraghty, BGA and CIBSE; Paul Martin, SEAI and CIBSE; and Kevin Gaughan, DIT School of Multi Disciplinary Technologies (formerly of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering).

The standard of paper/presentation was excellent but there can still be only one winner. On this occasion Dr McKeever’s work was chosen. He was presented with his prize of €1000 by SISK Buildings Services Department Manager, Mr Padraic O’Connor, who is the main sponsor of the SDAR Awards.

All the other participants were awarded €250 runner-up prizes and certificates of participation.

SDAR Journal 2014 — latest edition of Ireland’s only dedicated building services research journal now available


Pat Lehane, Publisher & Editor,Buiding Services News with Dr Kevin kelly, Editor, SDAR Journal 2014 and Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive Officer, SEAI

Pat Lehane, Publisher & Editor, Building Services News with Dr Kevin Kelly, Editor, SDAR Journal 2014 and Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive Officer, SEAI

The latest edition of Ireland’s only dedicated building services research journal — SDAR Journal 2014 — was formerly introduced by Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive, SEAI at a ceremony held in DIT Bolton St recently.

The journal’s objective is to foster innovative practice in low-energy design of the built environment, and to encourage applied research among professional practitioners and new researchers in academia. The papers published are intended to inform design practice in construction and to assist innovative engineers striving towards optimisation of building integrated renewable technologies.

CIBSE and DIT came together four years ago to jointly publish this journal. The intention then was to disseminate insightful findings to the professional community involved in the built environment. This is still the case. The reader is taken to be a sceptic who will be convinced by evidence, not green bling on buildings, or unproven designs.

While the publishers want to hear what works well, they are conscious of the fact that the professional community can also be informed by what went wrong. Therefore they encourage critical reflection and objective evaluation of real-world projects. Post-occupancy evaluation of innovations that support more sustainable and energy-efficient practice leads to mainstreaming of good-quality, leading-edge projects.

The building services sector is data rich but sometimes time poor. SDAR Journal encourages and supports in practical terms synergies with academia. Academics are eager to support this applied research process and will provide time on task in exchange for access to useful data.

Would-be contributors are encouraged to submit abstracts for the annual SDAR Awards and Irish Lighter competitions. Both competitions are effectively feeders for this journal. The publishers particularly encourage novice researchers and industry professionals to submit short abstracts of their work, either to the above competitions or directly to the Editor.

Contact: kevin.kelly@dit.ie

DIT Advanced Plumbing and Heating Course

Professor Brian Norton, DIT Preisdent, with successful graduates of the Advanced Plumbing and Heating Technology Programme DT151a.

Professor Brian Norton, DIT Preisdent, with successful graduates of the Advanced Plumbing and Heating Technology
Programme DT151a.

Students who attended the Dublin Institute of Technology Advanced Plumbing and Heating Technology Programme DT151a were presented with their certificates at the DIT graduation ceremony which was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in November.

This is a two-year part-time Level 6 Higher Certificate programme run in the Bolton St Campus. The programme is available to qualified craftspersons who wish to advance to higher levels within the industry. It is designed to enhance and develop existing skills and to provide, within a modular framework, a sound understanding of the technology and techniques employed in today’s plumbing and heating industry.

The main emphasis of the programme relates to system design and plant selection, management, employment and communication techniques. The range of modules on offer gives graduates the capacity and confidence to face the challenges that are likely to confront them in the workplace.

This includes a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of mechanical building services principles, techniques and methods, combined with a high level of management competence in communicating, planning, organising, controlling, motivating and forecasting. Graduates may also seek progression to management and supervisory level within the mechanical services industry.

Anyone interested in participating on the programme should contact Michael Gleeson, Programme Chair DT151a, at email: michaelj.gleeson@dit.ie

DIT Postgraduate Certificate in BIM Technologies

Dr Kevin Kelly, DIT

Dr Kevin Kelly, DIT

DT9775 (Springboard) and DT9876 (self-funding) — The Postgraduate Certificate (BIM Technologies) (Level 9-National Framework of Qualifications) is a stand-alone qualification that also forms part of DIT’s multidisciplinary, collaborative MSc in Applied Building Information Modelling and Management (aBIMM).

This one-year, part-time, up-skilling programme is aimed at graduates of engineering and built environment programmes, including building services engineers, architects, surveyors (quantity and geomatics), architectural technologists, construction managers, and facilities managers.

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate programme learners will be able to:

Define and explain the principles underpinning a wide range of current and potential Building Information Modelling and Management technologies and processes.

Use BIM technologies and processes for a variety of tasks within their discipline (domain), and will have an understanding of how BIM will impact on other domains. They will be able to select appropriate technologies and methods for domain-specific and cross-domain tasks, with an ability to work with other professionals in a BIM context, to review the BIM work of others, to lead domain-specific teams, and to take responsibility for quality assurance.

Advise clients on small to medium-scale BIM projects, selecting appropriate BIM technologies and standards for project planning and execution of tasks.

Evaluate the performance of BIM projects and assess their compliance with specifications and standards, and recommend new approaches to domain-specific BIM, with due regard to collaborative BIM processes.

Evaluate their strengths and limitations in terms of their own knowledge through critical reflection on project performance and through possessing an appreciation of the beneficial and detrimental effects that BIM processes may contribute in relation to industry and society.

Programme delivery & application process: The programme will be delivered outside normal working hours, with classes taking place typically on evenings between18:00-21:00 (see www.dit.ie/bim for timetables).

A limited number of places are still available on this highly sought-after programme. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis with a final deadline of August 31st 2014.

Anyone interested can get further information from Programme Director Dr Avril Behan: Avril.behan@dit.ie or kevin.kelly@dit.ie 

CIBSE YEN Mix-‘n-Match

Michael McDonald, CIBSE YEN and DIT with raffle winner Paul Mooney

Michael McDonald, CIBSE YEN and DIT with raffle winner Paul Mooney

The CIBSE YEN dual-venue technical evening and social function proved an enormous success with a large attendance participating in the lecture/workshop in DIT Kevin St, before adjourning for food, pints and craic in Dicey’s Garden Bar in Harcourt St.

The CIBSE Young Engineers Network (YEN) is now coming of age with Michael McDonald of DIT and his YEN colleagues working very hard to devise and implement a programme of events aimed specifically at young engineers.

The final gathering before the summer break-up proved especially successful and augurs very well for the last quarter once the programme resumes in September.

Calling All Building Services Engineers — Get Published!

SDAR LaunchThe SDAR Journal is Ireland’s authoritative source of information for engineers, researchers, designers and all involved in building services, and the broader built environment. Its strength is that all the published articles represent exhaustively-analysed real-time data gathered over a significant post-occupancy period. In addition, all are peer-reviewed before being accepted for publication.

A key factor is that they report the good and the bad results, the objective being to disseminate insightful findings to the industry at large so that all can learn, and benefit from, evidence-based research data.

The SDAR Journal is a DIT-led initiative representing the successful collaboration between the building services professional community and academics and researchers in the education institutes. It is published annually and distributed with Building Services News by post.

It is also published online on the Building Services News website, and arrow.dit/sdar/, the DIT electronic publishing site.

If you have valuable/interesting post-occupancy information on a project to share with the building services community, then contact Dr Kevin Kelly at kevin.kelly@dit.ie or keith.sunderland@dit.ie  


Vincent Gibson

The origins of Lean lie in the automotive industry but the processes involved in producing a product are interchangeable across all industries. Lean itself is a process of continual improvement and, as will be outlined in this article, the newly-formed Lean Construction Institute Community of Practice (CoP) recognises this fact and intends to expand the knowledge of Lean through debate and education.

Lean construction concentrates on construction planning that uses Lean concepts that approach value rather than cost, and efficiency rather than schedule. LCI’s Community of Practice is a movement initiated to reflect and promote that for the benefit of all stakeholders in the construction process.

John French, Project Manager at Intel Ireland, has promoted Lean construction processes with his colleagues at the Co Kildare site for many years. Following a number of meetings with Paul Ebbs of PhathomHQ earlier this year, a group of like-minded people eventually formed a core group to set up LCI Ireland in March.

Core Team                                                                                                                                                         LCI core group corporate members include John French, Intel; Kevin White, Jones Engineering; Paul Sexton, SCEG Ltd; Raymond Turner, Construction Innovation Lab and Paul Ebbs PhathomHQ.

True to the core fundamentals of Lean, only two weeks were allotted to prepare for the inaugural meeting and official launch of LCI in the Glen Royal Hotel on 16 April. Keynote speaker was John Pemberton, Global Construction Manager, Intel Corporation and LCI Board member.

The LCI wants to transform the processes in the construction industry by eliminating waste when delivering capital assets. As John Pemberton pointed out, the clients the industry serves operate in highly-technical sectors where their customers expect better and cheaper products year on year. In response to this he urges that the construction supply chain be constantly reviewed to remove wasteful activities.

Leadership acceptance of the principles and value of introducing Lean takes time because of the added planning and buy-in from stakeholders but, once introduced, the results prove the system’s worth, says Niall Healy, MBA, Operations Manager and Lean practitioner. Because of its multiple professions, trades and sub-contracting practices, the construction process must work as a total industry, driving the Lean system from educational institutes and within companies from top down.

Mission of LCI                                                                                                                                                                             The mission of the LCI is to transform design and construction through new approaches to project design and delivery. Lean theory, principles and techniques, taken together, provide the foundation for a different, more collaborative and more effective form of project management. Lean design and construction represents a transformational way to design and build capital facilities. The Lean approach generates significant improvements in schedules with dramatically-reduced waste, particularly on complex, uncertain and quick projects. Key objectives are:

• Grow and sustain members;

• Develop knowledge;

• Create industry capacity;

• Develop collaboration and distribution channels;

• Create industry demand and cultivate relationships with other key associations.

The purpose of the LCI is to act as the catalyst to transform the industry so that projects are delivered using a Lean operating system centred on a common language, fundamental principles and basic practices.

LCI Community of Practice                                                                                                                                                     The LCI believes that the deep application of Lean principles improves the definition of needs, design, construction and operation of capital facilities. It also believes that the application of Lean principles to run the day-to-day operation of any organisation improves the ability of the organisation and its employees to deliver better services to their customers.

To apply Lean principles, conversations must include all members of the industry. It has been discovered that holding meetings to share what has been learned with representatives of the facility owner, designer, contractor and trade supply chain in a given region accelerates the benefits to the people and the projects in that region.

As processes continue to improve, these too are shared to advance the benefits to companies and projects. A Community of Practice (CoP) therefore accelerates and expands improvements to facilities, projects and companies in its geographic area.

The CoP also helps the supply chain in a region make this new way of doing business the “new common sense”. It enables the supply chain to learn rapidly and to continue to improve the value delivered to customers of capital projects, as well as the value to all who use the facility in the future.

Further to the inaugural LCI meeting in April, the Lean movement began to gather momentum and so a second public event was held in the Clyde Court hotel on 18 June. Sponsored and presented by Kevin White of Jones Engineering, it is testimony to the willingness of the sector to embrace new Lean processes that over 100 people from a cross-section of the industry attended.

Keynote speakers Dr Richard Keegan and Richard Donnelly delivered highly-informative and professional presentations. Both men are recognised experts in the field and very effectively made convincing arguments for Lean in construction.

Dr Keegan pointed out that Lean is shorthand for best practice and is a war on waste. In keeping with the ethos of Lean he reduced the explanation to four words – Quicker, Better, Cheaper and Together. Richard Donnelly is a consultant in Lean and he presented data from a fascinating case study that demonstrated examples of waste and the cost implications of waste. His presentation began with a simple slide showing … Activity = Work + Waste.

He spoke of the “next customer” theory. He illustrated how concentrating on batch reduction theory achieves a better line of balance. Adding value is at the core of Lean and firms who refine their expertise in Lean gain competitive advantage and win repeat business. Their clients (owners) also gain throughout the operation and FM life cycle of the building because better quality is delivered.

The LCI Community of Practice encourages all-industry participation and membership, along with attendance at events, is free. There is now a recess for the summer months but the autumn programme will commence in September with an event sponsored by Mercury Engineering.

All the presentations delivered at the two events held so far this year are available to view through links on the LCI web site, www.leanconsgtriction.org.

There is also a LinkedIn Group. Contact: Vincent Gibson, Construction Innovation Lab, School of Surveying and Construction Management, DIT. Email: d12127244@mydit.ie


Presentation of BIM Diplomas & Certs at DIT

Ms Orna Hanly, Head of Architecture with Cormac Allen, Head of Architectural Technology andDuncan Stewart, former lecturer DIT;

Minister for Training & Skills, Ciaran Cannon, TD, recently officiated at the inaugural presentation of BIM diplomas and certificates to 65 mature students at DIT Bolton St. The evening was a major success with approximately 150 people attending to witness the awards ceremony, and to hear presentations from a diverse range of academic and industry experts.

Dr Kevin Kelly, Head of the new School of Multidisciplinary Technologies at DIT, opened the proceedings and put the occasion into context. He outlined how the demands of the construction sector have dramatically changed and explained that DIT has responded accordingly, devising a whole programme of courses to satisfy this new environment.

“BIM is especially important in this respect”, said Kevin, “because BIM is not just about software but is a paradigm shift that brings collaborative design forward in a way that combines the best design ideas with organised implementation and excellent communications. This allows for off-site construction and speedy delivery of low-energy projects in a cost-effective way.

“The creation of the School of Multidisciplinary Technologies breaks down silos between disciplines and builds collaborations, BIM being an excellent example”, continued Kevin. “BIM is not about the future … it is about now. Building professionals and contractors not adopting BIM are like airlines not using online booking … they will soon go out of business”.

Professor Gerald Farrell, Dean of  the College of Engineering and Built Environment, echoed and reinforced Kevin’s sentiments. He explained how, in response to the need for change, DIT amalgamated two areas, the Built Environment and Engineering. “One of the key drivers of this restructuring was to allow us to deliver more multidisciplinary education” he said, “reflecting a world where everything around us that we plan, build and use is developed by teams of people drawn from many disciplines.”

Following restructuring, the College now consists of seven schools. Each school covers a range of disciplines and one school in particular, the School of Multidisciplinary Technologies, demonstrates DIT’s commitment to provide all graduates with the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a diverse range of careers. The School of Architecture also reflects a strong multidisciplinary nature, through its combination of architecture and construction-related programmes.

Many of the graduates on the BIM course were funded through the Government’s Springboard initiative. This allowed DIT develop new technologies and techniques in building information management education to deliver useful CPD programmes, among them the BIM courses.

The BIM graduates have gained a fresh and very relevant set of skills and knowledge that will enhance their careers and employability. Of equal importance for Ireland is that they will, in turn, transfer their skills and knowledge into Irish industry, in particular construction. They will also redress the emerging skills deficits in the sector.

DIT will continue to collaborate in developing programmes and modules in areas with the potential not only to underpin successful careers, but also to help Ireland develop a sustainable construction sector capable of meeting the many challenges it faces. In this context teams in the College and the wider DIT have applied for further Springboard funding with a view to running these programmes, and others, again from next September.

In closing Professor Farrell thanked Minister Cannon for his support and for attending the proceedings. He also acknowledged the support of Government in providing the resources nationally for the Springboard initiative over the last few years, explaining that it was a critical component of the Government’s strategy to achieve full employment in Ireland by 2020.

Finally, he thanked DIT President Brian Norton and all his colleagues in DIT for their contribution to the success of these Springboard programmes, and in particular the staff of the College of Engineering and Built Environment. “I am only too aware that the development of new initiatives at a time of constrained resources and decreasing budgets is a very significant challenge”, he said. “However, I firmly believe that the graduates here this evening are tangible evidence of the ability, and willingness, of DIT to overcome constraints to the benefit of our stakeholders.”