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CIBSE unveils 'Building Performance Reimagined' project

CIBSE has launched a groundbreaking initiative titled Building Performance Reimagined, a visionary project aimed at transforming the landscape of building engineering and sustainability.

Commissioned by CIBSE and researched by Arup, the Building Performance Reimagined project diverges from conventional engineering paradigms. Rather than focusing solely on system sizing, maintenance or controls, the initiative takes a holistic, future-oriented perspective on building performance.

At its core, Building Performance Reimagined seeks to redefine the parameters of traditional engineering practices and equip CIBSE members with the tools to meet future challenges head-on. The project explores the dynamic and evolving nature of building performance, going beyond energy efficiency and carbon reduction to consider broader forms of value within the built environment. The theme of 'Building Performance Reimagined' was also central to the Presidential Address of CIBSE's new President, Fiona Cousins. In her address, President Cousins emphasised the importance of embracing future-focused approaches and reimagining building performance to meet evolving societal and environmental needs.

The report introduces four pivotal performance metrics designed to guide the industry towards enhanced health and resilience:

  • Variety: Optimising building services to promote space efficiency, adaptability and user diversity.
  • Readiness: Enhancing building services to anticipate and mitigate risks, ensuring resilience against unforeseen threats.
  • Connectedness: Integrating building services with local and wider systems, enhancing responsiveness to the environment and its contents.
  • Emergence: Enabling building services to contribute positively over time, learning and adapting as structures age.

Building Performance Reimagined expands the role of building services engineers beyond traditional boundaries. Engineers are now tasked with enhancing all aspects of life within and around buildings, fostering biodiversity, promoting social equity through design decisions and influencing urban contexts to harmonise with local and city infrastructures.

CIBSE invites industry professionals to embark on this transformative journey, leveraging futures and systems thinking methodologies to anticipate evolving needs, explore potential futures, and identify opportunities to shape a sustainable built environment. This forward-thinking approach aims to redefine 'high performance' in buildings by emphasising collective social value and multi-species stakeholder interests.

The Building Performance Reimagined report is available for free download at


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