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Informative, impactful, and thought provoking - the CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium 2023
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Informative, impactful, and thought provoking - the CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium 2023

21 Apr 23

Following a packed programme on day one, attendees at the CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium were joined by members of the CIBSE Scotland regional committee members and CIBSE Scotland Young Engineers Network (CIBSE YEN Scotland) for a civic reception at the impressive, Glasgow City Chambers.

On behalf of the Lord Provost, guests were formally welcomed by Bailie Anthony Carroll, who emphasised the importance of furthering the conversation around this year’s Symposium theme, delivering safe and sustainable buildings for a net zero future.

Kevin Mitchell, CIBSE President responded to Bailie Anthony Carroll’s welcome, thanking him and the City Chambers for hosting us and providing drinks for the evening, along with Mason UK Ltd. who provided the food. In a surprise addition to the evening’s events, Hywel Davies, CIBSE Chief Technical Officer presented Susie Diamond with a CIBSE Bronze Medal. The medal was awarded in recognition of Susie's brilliant and ongoing voluntary work for CIBSE, including involvement in TM59 Design methodology for the assessment of overheating risk in homes and TM54 Evaluating operational energy use at design stage. On accepting the medal, Susie encouraged others to get involved and contribute where they can. It was a great atmosphere, as attendees continued to share their thoughts about the day’s presentations and enjoyed the grand surroundings and hospitality.

Day two started with an introduction from Hywel, who, after a short address from one of this year’s gold sponsors, Hamworthy Heating Ltd, handed over to Ian Yenney from AECOM, for the keynote address, Building 2050 – a unique insight into consumer views. The Building for 2050 project was carried out by AECOM, with funding from BEIS, aiming to understand and share drivers and barriers for increased uptake for the large-scale construction of low cost, low carbon homes. The project demonstrated the crucial role of consumer views and experiences in informing design and construction of low carbon homes to achieve comfortable, affordable, low carbon performance in practice. Similarly, a bespoke handover process with clear advice on the operation of services and controls, and demonstrations of how to operate systems, change settings and optimise performance, is vital.

M. Dennis Knight, ASHRAE vice president chaired one of two parallel sessions, focusing on evaluating retrofit opportunities and consequences. According to the climate change committee, it’s estimated that over 1 million buildings will need to be upgraded annually for the UK to meet the 2050 net zero carbon targets. Kristina Roszynski, from London Southbank University, presented Residential Retrofit Opportunities in conservation areas: A central London case study, exploring the challenges faced in tackling the urgent need for large-scale retrofit, with the prominence of conservation areas in the UK. It focused on findings from research focusing on high heritage value buildings in the London Borough of Islington, highlighting that fabric measures could be taken to significantly reduce thermal energy demand, with the intention to inform local authorities and planning officers about low-carbon interventions for conservation areas.

Considering designing towards low energy and net zero, Melody Wong from Arup delivered her paper, Taikoo green ribbon: advancing net zero. Taikoo Green Ribbon is an award-winning project, demonstrates the city’s aspirations to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Combining technology and nature, the result is a futuristic workplace which would achieve net zero within a decade. The case study outlines the journey toward achieving net zero focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; social interaction, wellbeing and health, biodiversity and ecology, net zero and carbon neutrality, and innovations.

Adrian Catchpole, CIBSE President-Elect chaired the final session for this year’s Technical Symposium. The first of two keynote presentations was delivered by Robert Prewett, of Prewett Bizley Architects, a qualified Passivhaus designer and founding member of the UK Passivhaus Trust, entitled Victorian towards net zero. Sharing the post occupancy findings of a deep low energy retrofit to a Victorian mews house in West London. It saw reductions to annual operational demand and the project is projected to yield a 90% improvement in terms of lifetime carbon. After two years the saving in operational carbon will have paid for the full embodied carbon associated with its delivery.

Chris Twinn led the LETI Retrofit-2 workstream, which is due to publish Retrofit at scale: how many, how deep, at what cost, later this year. Chris delivered the final keynote session, Home Energy Retrofit: LETI researches a new paradigm. His presentation outlined the aim of the research: to identify an alternative whole life minimum cost net zero carbon strategy, focusing on home energy retrofit to reduce heat demand and thereby reduce energy bills. The research showed that following the LETI basic retrofit minimum standard it delivered a 50% reduction for a third of the cost of typical deep retrofit, responding to economic and social drivers, as well as significantly reducing heat demand.

Adrian Catchpole delivered the closing remarks, thanking this year’s gold sponsors, ELCO Heating Solutions, Hamworthy Heating Ltd, and Swegon Group; silver sponsors, ADEY Commercial UK, Klima-Therm, and IES Ltd.; and bronze sponsors, Vexo, Glasgow City Council, and Mason UK Ltd. Adrian also thanked the speakers and the reviewers, along with the CIBSE staff for delivering an informative, impactful, and thought provoking programme and event.

Each year, attendees vote for the most effective delivery of material and the most significant contribution to the art and science of building services engineering. These were awarded to Reham Alasmar, UCL, for her presentation Evaluation of energy performance of the most prevalent housing archetypes in Jordan and Eshagh Goudarzi, London South Bank University for his paper, Integration of mine water into smart cooling and heating network systems, a case study respectively.

The date and location for the 2024 CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium will be announced soon. If you would like more information, please visit 

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