Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers

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Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
Cibse logo.jpg
Formation1976 (1976)
Merger ofInstitution of Heating and Ventilating Engineers
Illuminating Engineering Society
TypeBuilding services engineering professional engineering institutions (PEI)[1]
Professional title
Chartered Building Services Engineer
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Region served
ServicesProfessional accreditation
Award and bursaries
Conferences and events
approximately 20,000
Cost: £136 (or more depending on grade of membership). Free for full-time students. Edit this at Wikidata

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE; pronounced 'sib-see') is an international professional engineering association based in London that represents building services engineers, also commonly known as mechanical and electrical engineers, architectural engineers, technical building services engineers, building engineers, or facilities and services planning engineers. It is a full member of the Construction Industry Council,[2] and is consulted by government on matters relating to construction, engineering and sustainability.[3] It is also licensed by the Engineering Council to assess candidates for inclusion on its Register of Professional Engineers.


The Chartered Institution of Building Services (CIBS) was formed by the 1976 merger of the Institution of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (founded in 1897) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (founded in 1909), receiving a Royal Charter in the same year. The word 'Engineers' was added in 1985, and hence the Institution became CIBSE.[4]


The Institution's objective, as defined in the Royal Charter, is to "support the Science, Art and Practice of building services engineering, by providing our members and the public with first class information and education services and promoting the spirit of fellowship which guides our work".[5] The Institution is primarily focused on:

  • Promoting competence through education, training and registration.
  • Delivering up-to-date knowledge of the art, science and engineering of the built environment through its membership networks, publications and research.

With a dual focus on both the engineering and the construction sectors of the economy, CIBSE provides a coordinating role for the application of multi-discipline science and engineering principles in the built environment and promotes the delivery of integrated projects by working with others in construction.[6]


As of June 2019, CIBSE claimed a membership of over 21,000, from 94 countries. The Institution is organised on a regional basis; with 16 regions in the United Kingdom and four regions overseas:

  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
  • Republic of Ireland
  • United Arab Emirates

There are also CIBSE International Chapters in:

  • Canada
  • China (Shanghai and Chongqing)
  • Qatar
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka

CIBSE has eight grades of membership, with the upper four granting designatory postnominals. These are:

  • Fellow (FCIBSE)
  • Member (MCIBSE)
  • Associate (ACIBSE)
  • Licentiate (LCIBSE)

Below this there are four grades of membership with no designatory postnominals:

  • Graduate
  • Student - full and part-time
  • Affiliate

Members assessed by CIBSE for professional registration may be granted the following designatory postnominals by the Engineering Council:

  • Chartered Engineer (CEng)
  • Incorporated Engineer (IEng)
  • Engineering Technician (EngTech)


Four societies and one institute exist within CIBSE to reflect special areas of expertise that exist within the field of building services:

  • Society of Facade Engineering (SFE) was set up in 2003 as a Society of CIBSE but with the support of the IStructE and RIBA. Its aim is to advance knowledge of and practice in facade engineering.
  • Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) acts as the professional body for lighting in the UK. It represents the interests of those involved in the art, science and engineering of light and lighting in their widest definition and has over 2,000 members in the UK and worldwide.
  • Society of Public Health Engineers (SoPHE) is to provide a higher profile and focus for public health engineers within CIBSE.
  • Institute of Local Exhaust Ventilation Engineers (ILEVE) was established in 2011 to promote air quality in the workplace and to reduce ill health and death due to airborne contamination and hazardous substances in the working environment.
  • Society of Digital Engineering (SDE) was formed to provide a home for those involved in digitising the built environment, either as designers, contractors, manufacturers, clients, facility managers or software vendors

Special interest groups[edit]

CIBSE lists a number of special interest groups that operate within the Institution The CIBSE groups are free to join either as a member or non-member. :[4]

  • Building Simulation
  • Chimneys and Flues
  • CHP & District Heating
  • Daylight
  • Electrical Services
  • Energy Performance
  • Young Energy Performance Group
  • Facilities Management
  • Healthcare
  • Heritage
  • Homes for the Future
  • HVAC Systems
  • Information Technology (IT) & Controls
  • Intelligent Buildings
  • Lifts
  • Natural Ventilation
  • Resilient Cities
  • School Design
  • Young Engineers Network (YEN)
  • Women in Building Services Engineering (WiBSE)[7]


In recent years there has been an increasing focus on sustainability and green design by the UK government. The implementation of Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) of the U.K. Building Regulations in 2006 led CIBSE to set up the Low Carbon Consultants Register to ensure that a body of competent and trained professionals was available to implement the various requirements of the regulations, specifically in undertaking the relevant calculations to demonstrate the required reduction in carbon emissions from buildings both in design and operation. Members of the Register must undertake specific training and examinations to demonstrate their competence in various aspects of the regulations.

The CIBSE scheme further offers accreditation as a Low Carbon Energy Assessor (LCEA), again subject to specific training and examinations, who are then able to provide the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and Display Energy Certificates (DECs), as required under the Energy Performance in Buildings Regulations (EPB Regulations). These certificates can only be provided by accredited energy assessors who are members of an approved scheme such as the Low Carbon Energy Assessors Register. Furthermore, assessors are required to update their training regularly to ensure that continued high standards of competency are met.

The LCC scheme has been expanded in recent years to include for the grade of Low Carbon Consultant: Energy Management Systems, these LCC's having been trained and tested by CIBSE to ensure they have the relevant competencies to assist organisations to implement BS EN 16001.

CIBSE also offers certification for Air Conditioning Inspectors, to perform inspections as required by the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007.


Many training options are available through CIBSE, with the aim of providing specialised courses, conferences and seminars for those within the building services industry. and the provision of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training, to improve and enhance the skills required to be engineering professional. Included are a range of courses from fire safety and mechanical and electrical services courses, to facilities management and business skills-focused training. Online modules can also be completed which can be used to contribute towards the Edexcel Advanced Professional Diploma in Building Services Engineering.


CIBSE publishes several guides to building services design, which include for various recommended design criteria and standards, some of which are cited within the UK building regulations and therefore form a legislative requirement for major building services works. The main guides are:

  • Guide A: Environmental design
  • Guide B: Heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration
  • Guide C: Reference data
  • Guide D: Transportation systems in buildings
  • Guide E: Fire safety engineering
  • Guide F: Energy efficiency in buildings
  • Guide G: Public health and plumbing engineering
  • Guide H: Building control systems
  • Guide J: Weather, solar and illuminance data (now withdrawn)
  • Guide K: Electricity in buildings
  • Guide L: Sustainability
  • Guide M: Maintenance engineering and management

In November 2011 CIBSE made its full range of published guidance (including all the CIBSE Guides, CIBSE Commissioning Codes, Applications Manuals, Technical Memoranda, Lighting Guides) available for free to its members through the Knowledge Portal.[8]

CIBSE publishes a monthly magazine, the CIBSE Journal (formerly the Building Services Journal). Two quarterly technical journals are published in association with Sage: Building Services Engineering Research & Technology (BSERT) is free online to all CIBSE members and Lighting Research & Technology Journal (LR&T) which is free for Society of Light and Lighting members only.[9]

Past CIBSE presidents[edit]

Past presidents (2000–present) include:

  • David Wood CEng FCIBSE 2000
  • Max Fordham OBE CEng FCIBSE FREng 2001
  • Doug Oughton FREng FCIBSE 2002
  • Terry Wyatt FCIBSE 2003
  • Graham Manly CEng FCIBSE MInstR 2004
  • Donald Leeper 2005 OBE BSc(Hons) ARCS CEng FCIBSE FIMechE FRSA FConsE
  • Eur Ing David Hughes CEng FCIBSE 2006
  • John Armstrong MPhil CEng FCIBSE MIMechE MBIFM 2007
  • Professor John Swaffield FRSE FCIBSE 2008
  • Mike Simpson BSc CEng FCIBSE FSLL FILE FIET 2009
  • Rob Manning CEng FCIBSE 2010
  • Andy Ford CEng FCIBSE 2011
  • Professor David Fisk CB FRAEng FCIBSE FRIBA (Hons) FIoP 2012
  • George Adams CEng FCIBSE 2013
  • Peter Kinsella CEng FCIBSE 2014
  • Nick Mead CEng FCIBSE 2015
  • John Field CEng FCIBSE MEI CMVP 2016
  • Peter Y Wong CEng MCIBSE 2017
  • Stephen Lisk FCIBSE FSLL 2018

The current CIBSE President, Lynne Jack (Director of Research at Heriot-Watt University, Malaysia campus), took office in May 2019. She is the first female President of CIBSE.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "CIBSE Consultation Responses".
  4. ^ a b "What is CIBSE?". CIBSE. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  5. ^ "About CIBSE". CIBSE. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  6. ^ "CIBSE Strategic Plan 2011–16". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Women in Building Services Engineering (WiBSE)". Archived from the original on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Knowledge is Power". CIBSE Journal. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Technical Resources".
  10. ^ "Director of Research named first female President of CIBSE". Heriott-Watt University. Retrieved 28 April 2020.

External links[edit]