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Leading industry experts gather for CIBSE Technical Symposium 2022
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Leading industry experts gather for CIBSE Technical Symposium 2022

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29 Apr 22
CIBSE

As the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineering (CIBSE) 2022 Technical Symposium draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on some of the highlights from the previous two days.

The Symposium was held at London Southbank University on 21-22 April 2022, with 200 delegates registering to attend.

The packed programme included 45 speakers from around the world, all delivering CPD presentations focused on the theme, ‘Delivering a Safe, Healthy and Sustainable Built Environment – Buildings that Perform.’

Day one of the conference featured three keynote speakers, Will Arnold, Head of Climate Action for the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) who delivered his presentation, Embodied Carbon and Part Z and Thomas Lefevre, Etude and Julie Godefroy, CIBSE Head of Sustainability who delivered a joint presentation entitled, Making SAP fit for Net Zero: the SAP 11 scoping report.  

In a powerful call to action, Will Arnold highlighted that the built environment contributes to 25% of the UK’s emissions, as reported in the UK Green Building Council Net Zero Roadmap (2021). Bringing the focus to whole life carbon, Will broke it down into embodied carbon – concerning the construction, maintenance and end of life of a building, and operational carbon – concerning power, heating, cooling and water throughout the operational lifetime of a building. By the end of the decade, most studies suggest that with modern, low-energy buildings, embodied carbon will make up the majority of a building's emissions. Citing resources and guidance including Approved Document L, Will highlighted the role of operational carbon regulation in supporting the decarbonisation of the grid and following that in helping to make sure we’re not using more green energy than is being produced.

In calling for urgent action, Will referenced the fact that younger generations are becoming increasingly discerning about potential employers' sustainable credentials. They want to actively contribute to tackling the climate crisis and are increasingly unwilling to work for companies that cannot demonstrate a positive role in this fight.

Whilst looking ahead, Will also highlighted the positive impact of guidance which has been developed by and for industry. He cited the London Energy Transfer Initiative (LETI) one-page documents on embodied carbon and whole life carbon, along with the work that they have done around retrofit and net zero targets. Additionally, Will cited CIBSE TM65 Embodied carbon of building services: A calculation methodology as resources that are helping to support professionals in delivering on targets and transitioning towards a net zero carbon future.

Within their joint presentation, Thomas Lefevre and Julie Godefroy presented the cross-industry collaborative report, designed to inform the development of Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and the Reduced Data SAP (RdSAP) 11, looking at how it can be enhanced to support net zero commitments for buildings. In developing the report, contributing organisations were tasked with reviewing current versions of SAP/RdSAP, reprioritising the key policy objectives which SAP is crucial for; net zero carbon, energy efficiency (including demand reduction and flexibility) and heat decarbonisation.

The report culminated in 25 key recommendations for SAP to make it fit for supporting the transition to net zero. These recommendations are split into the following categories; aligning SAP with its key objectives; improvements to methodology; improvements to SAP/RdSAP and its commitments to net zero; a better evaluation of energy use; and support for the decarbonisation of heat and electricity.

With 10 sessions in total, speakers presented the latest research on the following key issues; reducing infection risk through ventilation; the future of heat; assessing operational energy in practice; strategies for reducing viral concentration in indoor air; modelling performance for future heat networks; future opportunities for future benefits; modelling for the future; and finally the day was drawn to a close with a debate, which saw a panel of expert speakers discusses topics raised throughout the day.

Day two of the Symposium included a keynote address from Grace Foo, DeltaQ Pty Ltd. who presented the collaborative paper, Design for Performance: Lessons from the NABERS UK independent design review process

The paper focuses on the Design for Performance (DfP) agreement, whereby building owners and developers commit to post-occupancy NABERS UK rating targets during the design phase of a new building process. Grace outlined the lessons learnt from the NABERS UK independent design review process, reflecting on the design team and project owner motivations; integration of the DfP process into the RIBA Plan of Work from stage 2 onwards; and major risks inherent in the UK design, construction and building operation processes that threaten the achievement of the NABERS targets for new developments or major refurbishments with DfP Agreements.

Throughout the Symposium, delegates were encouraged to vote for the speakers they felt most deserving of the 2022 awards. With two awards up for grabs, they recognise the most effective delivery of material and the most significant contribution to the art and science of building services engineers.

The 2022 award for the most effective delivery went to Graeme Maidment, London South Bank University for his presentation, The generation gap! Are 5th generation district energy schemes better or just different?

Gareth Jones, Fairheat was recognised for the most significant contribution with his presentation, Field trial and design approach for improving hot water delivery time.

All of the presentations will be made available online, with further coverage of the event to be included in the CIBSE Journal.

The Symposium is made possible with the support of industry sponsors. This year’s sponsors were as follows:

Gold Sponsors:
ABB
Schneider Electric
Swegon

Silver Sponsors:
Elco
GPS
Hamworthy

Drinks and Buffet Sponsor:
Mason UK Ltd.

Find out more about this year’s CIBSE Technical Symposium and view the full programme and speaker list

If you would like more information about sponsorship opportunities you can register your interest via https://www.cibse.org/technical-symposium/sponsorship-opportunities