The Building Services Engineer

The Building Services Engineer is responsible for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of mechanical, electrical and public health systems required for safe, comfortable and sustainable operation of modern buildings.

Building services engineering comprises mechanical, electrical and public health (MEP) engineering, all of which are further sub-divided into the following:

  • Telephones and IT networks (ICT)
  • Energy supply – gas, electricity and renewable sources
  • Escalators and lifts
  • Fire alarm and detection
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Lightning protection
  • Low voltage (LV) systems, distribution boards and switchgear
  • Natural, artificial lighting and building facades
  • Security and alarm systems
  • Cooling and refrigeration
  • Water, drainage, hot and cold water service

Building services engineers collaborate with other building professionals including architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors. They influence the architecture of a building and play a significant role in the sustainability and energy use of a building. Building services engineering  also encompasses renewable energy, sustainability, low carbon technologies and energy management. With buildings accounting for around 50% of all carbon emissions, building services engineers play a significant role in combating climate change.

A seasoned building services engineer has a wide-range of experience as follows

Design – designing the building services engineering for various sectors, for example residential, industrial or commercial.

Design Management – is the business side of design, which aims to create a productive 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 whilst meeting the companies commercial objectives in an ethical manner.

Project management – focuses on a wider range of administrative skills including programme, finance and resource.

Construction – supervising the construction of the building services, commissioning and setting to work of engineering services.

Environmental – developing new energy saving methods for construction, designing new and improved energy conservation systems for buildings.

Sustainability – defined as a requirement of our generation to manage resources such that the average quality of life that we ensure ourselves can potentially be shared by all future generations. Development is sustainable if it involves a non-decreasing average quality of life.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) – the design, installation  operation and maintenance of HVAC systems for the provision of healthy and comfortable internal environments.

Electrical engineering – the design,  installation  operation and maintenance of electrical systems required for safe and energy efficient operation of buildings.

In 1976 Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) was founded and received a Royal Charter in the United Kingdom, and formally recognising building services engineering as a profession. Its objectives of the Institution are 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.

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