Building services engineering

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Building services engineering is a professional engineering discipline that strives to achieve a safe and comfortable indoor environment whilst minimizing the environmental impact of a building.

Alternative titles: The term Building services engineering is also commonly known as Civil, Mechanical, electrical engineering, Civil Engineering, Architectural engineering, Technical building services, Building engineering, or Facilities and services planning engineering. The term Building services engineering is widely used in Commonwealth countries (incl. United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and Australia), but in the United States of America, the field is also known as Building systems engineering, Civil engineering ,Architectural engineering, though the latter two disciplines generally have a broader scope, also encompassing elements of Civil Structural engineering and more traditional architectural Engineering tasks such as room planning and material selection. In India the Civil engineers are known as facilities planners. In some countries, a building services Engineer is a Senior Civil engineer with experience in the Buildings Construction, Building Maintenance, Management, integration of electrical, mechanical, fire, hydraulic, security and communications building services, who manages and delivers the integrated detailed design of multiple disciplines so as to ensure that the building is delivered in a "least cost technically acceptable" manner, with emphasis on both the construction costs and the operational costs.

Scope[edit]

Building services engineers are responsible for the design, installation, operation and monitoring of the technical services in buildings (including Civil Engineering, mechanical, electrical, also known as MEP or HVAC), in order to ensure the safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly operation. Building services engineers work closely with other construction professionals such as architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors. Building services engineers influence the architectural design of building, in particular facades, in relation to energy efficiency and indoor environment, and can integrate local energy production (e.g. façade-integrated photovoltaics) or community-scale energy facilities (e.g. district heating). Building services engineers therefore play an important role in the design and operation of energy-efficient buildings (including green buildings, passive houses, and Plus-houses, and Zero-energy buildings). With buildings accounting for about a third of all carbon emissions[1] and over a half of the global electricity demand,[2] building services engineers play an important role in the move to a low-carbon society, hence mitigate global warming.

The career path of a building services engineer can take a very wide range of directions. Within the broad field of building services engineering, new roles are emerging, for example specialization in renewable energy, sustainability, low-carbon technologies, energy management, building automation, and building information modeling (BIM). Building services engineers increasingly seek status as accredited LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method), or CIBSE Low Carbon Consultants (LCC) and Energy Assessors (LCEA) auditors, in addition to their status as chartered/professional engineer.

Building services engineering encompasses much more than just MEP or HVAC), but also the following:

Examples of roles/duties a Building Services Engineer may have include:

  • Consultant Civil Engineer: Designing layouts and requirements for building services for residential or commercial developments. Design management is the business side of design, which aims to create the right environment to control and support a culture of creativity and innovation, and to embrace the iterative nature of design involving the many disciplines that, collectively, will deliver design solutions – and all at the same time as ensuring that an organisation's commercial goals and objectives are achieved and that all is done in an ethically sound way. Typically the building services engineering installation is worth 30–60% of the total value of a contract. Design management is not the same as project management. Project management focuses on a wider range of administrative skills but is not normally sympathetic to the peculiarities of delivering a fully coordinated functioning design, taking into account its unique nature and dealing with the changing requirements of clients and the external factors over which there is little control.[3]
  • Contractor: Supervising the installation of the building services, commissioning systems. This includes tasks such as TABS.
  • Facilities manager: Operation, servicing, and continuous commissioning of existing buildings and plant.

Professional bodies[edit]

The two most notable professional bodies are:

Education[edit]

Building services engineers typically possess an academic degree in Civil Engineering architectural engineering, building services engineering, mechanical engineering or electrical engineering. The length of study for such a degree is usually 3–4 years for a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) and 5–6 years for a Master of Engineering (MEng).

In the United Kingdom, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) accredits university degrees in Building Services Engineering.[4] In the United States, ABET accredits degrees.[5]

Building services engineering software[edit]

Many tasks in building services engineering involve the use of engineering software, for example to design/model or draw solutions. The most common types of tool are whole building energy simulation[6] and CAD (traditionally 2D) or the increasingly popular Building Information Modeling (BIM) which is 3D. 3D BIM software can have integrated tools for Building Services calculations such sizing ventilation ducts or estimating noise levels. Another use of 3D/4D BIM is that empowers more informed decision making and better coordination between different disciplines, such as 'collision testing'.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IEA – International Energy Agency". IEA. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  2. ^ https://www.iea.org/buildings/[dead link]
  3. ^ Portman, Jackie (July 2014). Building Services Design Management. Oxford:UK: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1118528129.
  4. ^ https://www.cibse.org/membership/accredited-courses/list-of-accredited-courses
  5. ^ Search All Accredited Programs Archived 2011-08-17 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ K. Mahmud, U. Amin, M.J. Hossain, J. Ravishankar, "Computational tools for design, analysis, and management of residential energy systems", Applied Energy, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.03.111

External links[edit]