Over the past month I’ve enjoyed attending a number of events in my role as BCIA President where the conversation around #OneSmallChange was shared with a variety of audiences. One such event was in collaboration with the CIBSE FM Group where we discussed the opportunities for using BEMS to further improve Maintenance activity and performance. Speaking directly to FM managers was terrific in terms of realising the many opportunities for many small changes and the significant impact these changes have on the buildings they look after.

It was a real pleasure to be a part of this BCIA – CIBSE event and we look forward to holding similar events in the future, my thanks to all concerned.

Another event was the Smart Buildings Show which once again was a huge success in itself with a 45% increase on attendance compared to 2018 –congratulations to all involved, it is a great showcase for the excellence across our sector.

For the Smart Buildings Show, I was invited to facilitate a debate around the topical #OneSmallChange concept on behalf of the BCIA. I would like to thank Richard Meacham (Laing O’Rourke, Paul Rogers (Tridium), Richard Jubb (Sontay), Graeme Rees (Schneider Electric) and James Palmer (Global Associates) for taking part in an open, engaging and lively discussion.

With one or two pre-prepared questions to get the debate underway, it was great to hear the positive views from both the panel and the audience as the opportunities for the #OneSmallChange concept were given some serious consideration.

One question I asked both our panel and audience was what percentage of energy do you estimate could be saved by reviewing the control strategy and re-commissioning the entire UK building stock using efficient control strategies and reflecting how the buildings are now used?

Whilst the answers ranged between 8% and 40%, the majority of answers sat between 20% and 30% and whilst this isn’t scientific evidence it serves to demonstrate that even if 8% was set as a target, it is a significant quantity of energy and relatively easy to achieve.

The discussion then moved away of % estimates to how simple changes could be made by both engineers and building users to reduce energy consumption and it is this debate that will move the focus towards it being a shared goal owned by each of us.

One comment that really caught my imagination was the idea that we commission buildings for compliance and rarely commission them for performance – another debate I think!

I should add that there are many companies already targeting this opportunity and recording significant savings, the concept of #OneSmallChange here is that all savings no matter how small they are and who they are made by are significant.

I was also intrigued to see what the responses would be concerning a statistic I had recently heard regarding the average percentage occupancy of university lecture theatres in the UK. Again, answers ranged from 25-50% with the actual answer being 35%. The ensuing discussion covered the opportunities for matching all building ventilation to better suit occupancy with some debate on whether there should be legislation on how rooms and buildings are managed, whether there should be incentives to motivate and reward people who are making positive steps to deliver energy reduction and whether ‘permissible’  setpoint could be implemented so that building users cannot run their buildings ‘too high or low’.

This was just a small taste of some of the positive discussions held during a short panel debate, but it was great to get the juices flowing with thought-provoking debate on #OneSmallChange and the clear feeling amongst everyone present that we are all seeking to be part of the solution.

A final word from me, on the BCIA stand at the Smart Buildings Show we were giving away reusable coffee cups branded with the #OneSmallChange hashtag. We know they were massive hit over the two day show and we would love to see your selfies with your cup. Why not share your photo on LinkedIn with the hashtag #OneSmallChange and tag the BCIA? Just let us know what your change would be, whether it’s turning down the thermostat or simply not filling your kettle to the brim? Let’s keep the conversation going in order make the big difference that we want to see…


Category: President's Blog