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Knowledge Help

You may find the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below helpful in answering any queries or contact us directly via our contact page

How to Access your Knowledge Portal PDF Downloads

  • If you are a CIBSE member and want to download a CIBSE publication PDF for free (as part of your benefits of membership) you will get taken through the CIBSE shopping cart.  Once you complete this process your download will be available on your Profile page via the "My Downloads" sub-menu link.
  • If you are a non-member and you purchase a CIBSE publication PDF this will also be available on your Profile page via the "My Downloads" sub-menu link.
  • Free to all PDFs will download for you directly to your device (without going through the shopping cart) and will also be available on the "My Downloads" page in your Profile.

Other Knowledge Portal FAQs

Q: I am having problems downloading documents eg I click download and nothing happens or I don't have free access to PDFs.

  1. Are you a member of CIBSE?  CIBSE publication PDFs are only availabe to paid up members of CIBSE and not users who have freely registered on the website as non-members.  If you have logged in as a non-member you will, however,  be able to download "free for all" content.  
  2. Have you checked the My Download page in your MyCIBSE page?
  3. If you are a paid up member of CIBSE but you cannot download PDFs email

Q. What if I’ve forgotten my password or don't know which email address is registered as my main email address?
Click the forgotten password link on the login page to get a reminder of your password. To check what your main email address is in our database email

Q. What if I don’t have a password?
If you do not have a password you will need to register via the CIBSE website here or follow the link on the login page

Q: I’m logged in as a member but can’t freely download PDFs?
Make sure you have renewed your CIBSE membership subscription - if you are unsure tel +44 (0)20 8675 5211 or email  If you still can’t get full access after paying please email

Q: I am getting a security message which does not allow me access to the site, what do I do?
Please email

Checkout Issues

Q. What cards do you accept?
Maestro, Visa and Mastercard.

Q. Why is the site not accepting my card details at the checkout?
Make sure that the address you enter at checkout is the same as the address associated with your debit/credit card.  If the problem persists please email or you can order by phone on +44 (0)20 8772 3618.

Using the Knowledge Portal

Q: What is the content of the Knowledge Portal?
The content within the Knowledge Portal comprises:

  • All CIBSE publications. CIBSE members are given access free access to full texts as electronic (PDF) files, where available, free of charge. Besides these normal CIBSE books there are a small number of CIBSE Briefings, Bulletins and similar documents included. CIBSE books can also be bought as hard copy by members at preferential pricing. Non-members must buy hard copy books or priced pdfs wherever available.
  • A large number of papers presented at the various CIBSE Technical Symposiums. These have all been peer revoewd as part of the submission requirements for the Symposium and are made available to all users free of charge..
  • A large number of titles from a range of other leading publishers that compliment CIBSE own published knowledge. These are only available to purchase as hard copy at present - but with CIBSE members generally benefiting from a generous member's discount..

All entries within the Knowledge Portal can be browsed by title or identified by using text search functionality.

Q: Am I allowed to print/save/cut and paste from documents?
The Knowledge Portal is designed to allow CIBSE Members ready access to CIBSE publications for their own use. PDFs can be downloaded onto member’s own devices.  

Documents and other text is copied from the CIBSE Knowledge Portal should not be changed within the context of the original document (implying the original was different from that held on the Knowledge Portal).

All usage of the Knowledge Portal is subject to a Fair Use policy. It is incumbent on CIBSE members to ensure that they do not abuse that benefit nor make their membership details available permitting abuse by a third party. Excessive or inappropriate use by valid users and other breaches of CIBSE copyright (without express permission) constitute abuse of this benefit.

Q: About PDF files
PDF files downloaded from the KP are stored on the users own equipment and may be large files. PDF files will benefit from enhance functionality built into their own document viewer (eg Adobe Reader) such as search, cut-and-paste etc. Note: PDFs downloaded from the Knowledge Portal are watermarked  to remind members of their responsibilities and CIBSE's ownership of the content. Responsibility to ensure downloaded documents are not abused nor CIBSE copyright infringed lies with the member making the download.

Q: What can a non-member gain from the Knowledge Portal?
Non-members of CIBSE can use the Knowledge Portal to search CIBSE publications, other CIBSE material made available of the site eg Technical Symposium papers and selected documents from other publishers - selected to be relevant to building services and to compliment CIBSE's own knowledge. Many titles and titles are free to all users. However, this does not permit online access to document texts of priced documents. Non-members can purchase these documents though the Knowledge Portal (or choose to join CIBSE).

Q: Can I copy and paste from a pdf document into my own reports etc?
Most of the PDFs that CIBSE supply do allow you to copy text of the PDF. To do this, you highlight the chosen area and right click to choose “copy” and then, moving to your document, right click in the area chosen to paste the text in, clicking on “paste”. Normal cut and paste options are that you should copy and paste no more than 25% of the document for referencing purposes and you should note on your document where the text has come from (eg CIBSE Guide A)..

Copying a graphic image eg a diagram, flow chart or table, you can use the snapshot tool (camera icon) in the menu, then select the graphic which will automatically save it to your clipboard, then paste the graphic in as above.

Q: Can I copy a PDF document file?
No. Electronic images of CIBSE documents (PDFs) are made available to both CIBSE members and to persons buying them on the condition that they are for their own personal use only. They may not be duplicated or circulated in any form, for use by others, for re-sale or for any other purpose. Under exceptional circumstances CIBSE may give permission for a partial relaxation of this but requires a specific written request to CIBSE by emailing and express permission has to be obtained.

Q: I am not able to download the PDF, what do I do?
PDF files are readable using a number of applications but the Knowledge Portal is designed to function with Adobe Reader (version 7 or later). Adobe Reader can freely downloaded from the Adobe website.  Further Technical queries should be addressed to or tel: 020 8772 3647.

Q: How do I suggest changes to existing publications or the need for new ones?
This is explained on the “knowledge generation” page under “propose an idea”. If you have a developed proposal you can use the more detailed forms which are also accessible from that page which can be found here