Technologies and techniques to deliver sustainable future environments was the overarching theme of the first day of the 2018 CIBSE Technical Symposium

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) hosted over 200 academics and industry experts at the event at London Southbank University. The speakers delivered a range of presentations including case-studies and academic papers to help drive the development of increasingly sustainable environments under the symposium theme of “Stretching the Envelope”. 

Tony Day from the International Energy Research Centre set the scene with the first presentation of the day on adding value and delivering impact through collaborative academic and industry research in the building services sector.  His presentation examined the main barriers to establishing research partnerships in the building services sector. He then looked at examples of best practice that encourage collaborative working. He said: “This sector is one that can achieve the most from whole system and supply chain research collaborations”. 

The symposium then split into parallel sessions to explore the technologies and techniques that would help deliver increasingly sustainable environments. This included a session on novel lighting design where Gordon Lowry outlined the work being undertaken to quantity the effect of lighting on occupant’s circadian rhythms and the implications for their health.

There was also a session on combined heat and power technologies, where Phil Jones made a compelling case to harness renewable energy from rivers and canals to provide low carbon heat to buildings. He explained the feasibility of the technology to provide the Henley Business School with sustainable heat from the nearby River Thames with a payback of ten years.

The theme of renewable heat was continued in the afternoon with Sharon Duffy of Transport for London who outlined the work being undertaken on overcoming the challenges of using waste heat from London’s transport systems and how the building services community can engage with the challenge.

Arguably the most thought-provoking paper was presented by Andrew Corney of Sefaira. He suggested that renewable electricity will become cheap and ubiquitous in the future which will change the focus of building services engineers from developing solutions that focus on energy use to changing the focus to reducing capital cost and maintenance.

The afternoon sessions concluded with a debate on the theme: the linear economy wreaks planetary havoc – stretching new ideas are vital for sustainable future cities.

The CIBSE Technical Symposium is an annual event featuring speakers and poster presentations from a range of disciplines. All papers and posters are peer reviewed. Anybody can submit a topic for consideration, which will then be assessed by a panel of reviewers to determine its suitability. The call for abstracts for the 2019 Symposium will be issued in June. 

Day two of the Symposium includes sessions on big data driven design and operation; harnessing and optimising utility of natural resources and moving cities towards the 22nd century.