Tag Archives: Sustainable

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.

SEAI Calling All Energy Engineers

Programme Manager – SME Support Programme                                                                                          This role will be required to create a new unit to work with SMEs on energy efficiency. Priority in 2018 will be to develop a strategy, design and roll out an expanded programme of support specifically targeted at the small and medium sized enterprise to leverage the opportunity presented by energy efficiency for this sector.

Programme Executive – Public Sector Energy Management                                                                        The role within the Public Sector and Business Department is to manage and co-ordinate the energy management support services that SEAI provide to the public sector to promote and accelerate energy management.

Programme Executive – Large Business                                                                                                        The role within the Business and Public Sector Department is to design and develop programmes, events and initiatives supporting those responsible for energy in client organisations with high energy use to adopt good energy management practices.

Programme Manager – EXEED Certified                                                                                                            This role will lead both the ongoing development of EXEED Certified and its supporting EXEED Grant programme. You will have ownership across the full EXEED value-chain.

Programme Executive – Market Surveillance Authority                                                                                This is a technical engineering role to support the operation and on-going development of market surveillance activities by SEAI. The role will principally focus on energy related products relating to eco-design, energy labelling and tyre labelling.

Programme Executive – Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme                                                                  This role will support the on-going Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme programme development and technical oversight activities.

Programme Assistant – Energy Policy Statistical Support Unit                                                                  This role will provide assistance in relation to statistical data management and analysis within SEAI’s Energy Policy Statistical Support Unit (EPSSU).

See   www.seai.ie/careers/ for full details

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Can you hear the Eco?

Cover square webIf not, then you are not listening. Contrary to what some commentators would have you believe, the building services industry is behaving in a very responsible manner when it comes to the environment, sustainability and energy saving.

The issue of Building Services News is awash with evidence of the sector’s determination not just to help Ireland realise its EU 2020 obligations, but also to honour the spirit of its objectives.

In addition to a wealth of information on all manner of innovative product developments from individual companies, there are also articles from leading regulatory bodies and industry representative associations pointing the way forward.

System designers, contractors, installers and other key decision-makers will find a wealth of advice, guidance and informed opinion in this latest issue of Building Services News. To Hear the Eco log on to issuu.com/patlehane/docs/bsnews_jan_feb_2017_web_file

C&F Quadrant appoints Hempenstall

Michael Hempenstall

Michael Hempenstall

C&F Quadrant has appointed Michael Hempenstall to the Commercial Heating Division of the company. Michael brings a wealth of experience to this role and will be instrumental in developing the company’s leading brands within the specification sector.

Michael’s contact details are Tel: 087 241 3384; email: michael@cfquadrant.ie

Jim Gannon appointed SEAI CEO

Jim Gannon, newly-appointed CEO of SEAI.

Jim Gannon, newly-appointed CEO of SEAI.

Jim Gannon has been appointed Chief Executive Officer by the SEAI. The appointment took effect on 23 May 2016 and Jim will lead the development and delivery of the Authority’s new five-year strategy. Mr Gannon is an engineering graduate of NUI Galway, has a Masters in Environmental Assessment from the University of Wales Aberystwyth and an MBA from the UCD Smurfit School of Business.

He has worked within the energy sector throughout his career, delivering projects at a European, national and regional level for public and private sector organisations. This has included projects across conventional and renewable energy, transmission and distribution infrastructure, energy demand management and technology development. Most recently, he held the position of Director at RPS Group, leading the Energy, Environment and Health and Safety sector.

SEAI Chair, Ms Julie O’Neill said: “Jim Gannon is an energetic and widely respected energy professional with a wealth of experience across all aspects of energy policy implementation. Working with the executive team, he will build on the successes of recent years and lead the organisation into the next phase which demands a rapid decarbonisation of our entire energy system.”

Speaking on his appointment, Mr Gannon said: “The new White Paper and recent commitments made at COP21 in Paris provide Ireland with both challenges and significant opportunities over the coming period. As a result, Ireland is likely to experience change at an infrastructural scale in addition to a technology-led democratisation of the energy system across electricity, transport and heat. I look forward to leading SEAI as it plays a central role in our transition to a more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable energy future.”

SEAI Appoints Dr Brian Motherway CEO

Dr Brian Motherway has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

Speaking of the appointment, Mr Brendan Halligan, Chairman of the Board of SEAI said ‘The Board is delighted that a person of Dr Motherway’s calibre will now lead the organisation through challenging times, something he is ideally equipped to do.  Dr Motherway’s appointment opens up an exciting new vista for SEAI.’

Dr Motherway holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Sociology. He first joined SEAI in 2006 and in his most recent role as Chief Operations Officer had overall responsibility for SEAI operations, performance and impacts, strategic planning, and its work in clean technology and enterprise.

Chairman Brendan Halligan continued: “Sustainable energy is now a core strategic issue for society and must be tackled with strong policies and actions which recognise the urgency of the challenges we face. SEAI will continue to lead with innovative thinking and action to support Ireland in creating jobs, enhancing competitiveness and ensuring clean secure energy for all. With Dr Motherway as our new Chief Executive, I am confident the Authority will continue to go from strength to strength.”