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Biggest CIBSE Conference focuses on occupants

Building occupants and their health featured prominently, as the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) held its biggest ever Conference and Exhibition at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster.

Titled ‘Performance, Inspiration and Aspiration’, the Conference brought together over 500 delegates, speakers, visitors and exhibitors to hear presentations on a wide variety of topics, themed around President John Field’s theme of inspiring the building services industry.

The first day of the Conference saw a heavy focus on building performance, opening with two industry heavyweights Max Fordham and Patrick Bellew who gave their thoughts on how our attitude to performance has changed. The afternoon sessions then focussed on air quality, both indoor and outdoor, and how it impacts the built environment.

The building performance segments of the day were kicked off by making the financial case for building performance, including how to sell the benefits to the supply chain, and why you can’t afford to ignore whole life cost. This was followed by an update on the future of building performance legislation in light of Brexit.

Led by Richard Frances of The Monomoy Company, the air quality sessions covered the impact of external air pollution in homes and offices and ways to mitigate it, the impact of indoor air quality in homes and schools, and also took a look at indoor air quality case studies featuring Cundall’s well building standard.

The second day also saw occupants feature heavily, beginning with a focus on retrofitting as a way to improve the existing building stock. Speakers including Munish Datta of Marks & Spencer, and Joel Gustafsson of Max Fordham LLP presented their cases on how retrofitting can not only improve a building’s energy performance, but also make it a more pleasant environment to live and work in.

Day two was rounded off with a presentation by Digital Catapult’s Mat Colmer on the potential of technology to revolutionise the future of building services engineering, from advances in the potential of big data to the use of virtual reality, and the business benefits of a good data strategy.

John Field, President of CIBSE, said: “The CIBSE Conference is one of the biggest events of our year, and it’s an exciting chance to gather with some of the best and brightest in the industry to share ideas.

“This year we tackled many of the world’s most pressing issues, from energy security to climate change to health and wellbeing, through what we do we are making the earth a better place and even saving lives. The presentations at this year’s conference were a great sign that the industry is continuing to innovate and change to meet those challenges”.

Other Conference sessions included: ‘Are you ready for a digital future?’, ‘Build to Perform: Realising the commercial drivers and opportunities in high performing buildings, What the world could look like if all buildings achieved best engineering outcomes, Facilitating collaboration for optimum performance from teams and buildings, and High rise buildings on the up: What do the building services look like?

The CIBSE Conference and Exhibition was held between 17 and 18 November at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. The date for next year’s Conference has already been set, and will be held on 21-22 November 2017 at Olympia London in Kensington.