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New CIBSE president calls for benchmarking

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The incoming CIBSE president, David Fisk, in his presidential address, Reality Check, has called for more real performance data and less ‘greenwash’ in building services systems.

Speaking at the CIBSE AGM, Professor Fisk said it was a time to rethink fundamentals.


The inauguration of the president, president elect and vice presidents took place last night (10 May 2012) at Imperial College London. David Fisk argued the right response to the industry’s uncertain times was to get back to fundamentals, reassert normal engineering values and challenge spin. Looking at issues from the Shard to Sustainability he asked why engineering institutions were reluctant to take on exaggeration and misinformation.

A ‘normal engineering’ approach he contended would probably have produced at least as much reduction in greenhouse gases by focussing on energy efficiency and UK’s emerging energy situation without any of the complication of many of the current low carbon schemes.

David Fisk said the industry now needed to concentrate on measuring and learning from the performance of real buildings not on greenwash.

He commented: “I urge DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) to unlock the rich benchmarking database that underlies the Display Energy Certificates to put the UK back in the lead in tracking building performance.”

The CIBSE Knowledge Portal was key to providing a basis of sound engineering Fisk said. The Portal had already received 40,000 visits that proved the appetite for a knowledge system for normal engineering and reinforcing it with real performance data was essential.

“CIBSE is about better building performance in the most rounded sense.  We need to make that clear in how we present ourselves in the role we play,” he continued.

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