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Biggest CIBSE conference focuses on occupants

CIBSE recently held its biggest ever conference and exhibition at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster, where building occupants and their health featured prominently.

CIBSE recently held its biggest ever conference and exhibition at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster, where building occupants and their health featured prominently.

Entitled ‘Performance, Inspiration and Aspiration’, the conference attracted more than 500 delegates, speakers, visitors and exhibitors to hear presentations on a wide variety of topics, around president John Field’s theme of inspiring the building services industry.

At the first day of the conference there was a strong focus on building performance. It opened with two industry heavyweights, Max Fordham and Patrick Bellew, who shared their thoughts on how our attitude to performance has changed. The afternoon sessions then focused on air quality, both indoor and outdoor, and how it impacts the built environment.

The building performance segments of the day began by making the financial case for building performance, including how to sell the benefits to the supply chain and why you can’t afford to ignore whole life cost. This was followed by an update on the future of building performance legislation in the light of Brexit.

Led by Richard Frances of The Monomoy Company, the air quality sessions covered the impact of external air pollution in homes and offices and ways to mitigate it; the impact of indoor air quality in homes and schools; and also took a look at indoor air quality case studies featuring Cundall’s well building standard.

The second day also saw occupants feature heavily, beginning with a focus on retrofitting as a way to improve the existing building stock. Speakers including Munish Datta of Marks & Spencer, and Joel Gustafsson of Max Fordham LLP presented their cases on how retrofitting can not only improve a building’s energy performance, but also make it a more pleasant environment to live and work in.

Day two was rounded off with a presentation by Digital Catapult’s Mat Colmer on the potential of technology to revolutionise the future of building services engineering, from advances in the potential of big data to the use of virtual reality, and the business benefits of a good data strategy.

John Field said: “The CIBSE Conference is one of the biggest events of our year, and it’s an exciting chance to gather with some of the best and brightest in the industry to share ideas.

“This year we tackled many of the world’s most pressing issues, from energy security to climate change to health and wellbeing, through what we do we are making the earth a better place and even saving lives. The presentations at this year’s conference were a great sign that the industry is continuing to innovate and change to meet those challenges”.

Other Conference sessions included: ‘Are you ready for a digital future?’, ‘Build to Perform: Realising the commercial drivers and opportunities in high performing buildings, What the world could look like if all buildings achieved best engineering outcomes, Facilitating collaboration for optimum performance from teams and buildings, and High rise buildings on the up: What do the building services look like?

The date for next year’s Conference is 21-22 November 2017 and it will be held at Olympia London in Kensington.

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