Building services engineers plan, design, monitor, inspect and maintain systems to make buildings comfortable, functional, efficient and safe. Typically these systems will include heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), water and drainage, lighting, power, ICT, lifts and escalators, control systems etc.. Specialist systems such as specialist gas distribution, humidity and bacteria control and so on may be required for more sophisticated buildings such as laboratories, hospitals, factories and airports. The building services industry is continuously evolving as new technology, materials and methods of achieving the latter are developed.
About Building Services
Building services engineers play a central role in contributing to the design of a building, not only in the overall strategies and standards to be achieved, but also in façade engineering, the weights, sizes and location of major plant and equipment, the position of vertical service risers, routes for the distribution of horizontal services, drainage, energy sources, sustainability etc.. This means that building services design must be integrated into the overall building design from a very early stage, particularly on complex building projects such as hospitals. Whist it is usual for a building design team to be led by an architect, on buildings with very complex building services requirements, a building services engineer might be appointed as the lead engineer.
Building services engineers are also central to the design and assessment of sustainable systems, assessing the life cycle of buildings and their component services to minimise the resources consumed and the impact on the environment during fabrication, construction, operation, maintenance and dismantling.
According to the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), “There are around 61,000 firms in this sector, of which 3,000 are design consultancies employing Chartered Engineers. The remainder are mostly manufacturers and contractors, ranging from multi-national companies down to small businesses with a high degree of specialisation. The sector carries out £20 billion of work each year, roughly 3% of UK GNP. In any new construction project, building services typically account for 30 - 40% of the total cost.”
Building services engineering systems have to react to both changes in external conditions and the patterns of behaviour inside a building - both of which are constantly changing. The design process is aided by the use of computer models and simulations which can simulate performance with respect to thermal behaviour, energy usage, lighting (daylighting and artificial) outputs, ventilation and renewable energy sources, all with very many variables. However, even the best modelling programs still cannot account for the unpredictable nature of occupants and can only give a snapshot based on a ‘what-if’ scenarios
What personnel are in demand who should contact us?
There are a wide variety of building services related jobs across a range of disciplines. Typically the following personnel can transfer with ease with a little assistance:
Project Managers, Project Engineers, Process engineers and designers, Piping engineers and designers, Electrical engineers and designers, Mechanical engineers and designers, HVAC engineers and designers, Structural engineers and designers, Instrumentation engineers and designers, Safety personnel, Technical Safety engineers, field and maintenance engineers, specialist technology provider engineers, operators, planning engineers, Technical sales engineers, document controllers, admin personnel.
There is also a demand for senior commercial and managerial roles (eg.. business development managers, country and sales managers, those with Technical Safety experience, environmental impact assessment, government relations and project management, in addition to this there is demand for HSE advisors.
In most instances no training will be required prior to placement, but we are able to assist where required. We will put you in touch with employers happy to engage you with your current skills and qualifications.