I’m not at CIBSE conference – instead I am polishing the final draft of the MBA dissertation in anticipation of my upcoming career break (I finished paid employment on Friday) as I depart for distant shores next Monday.
But if I was at CIBSE, I would be quizzing folks on the following press release :
A new initiative ensuring accurate and complete carbon emissions calculations for compliance with Criteria 1 of Part L 2006 for buildings other than dwellings has been launched, offering a competent, independent approach to low carbon design.
The new simulation side of The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineersâ€™ (CIBSEâ€™s) Low Carbon Consultants Register was unveiled at the Institutionsâ€™ 2007 National Conference, 24th and 25th April 2007.
Following the success of the operation and design aspects of the register, the simulation category is for those who carry out energy performance calculations. All of the major simulation software providers will be participating in the scheme and users of these software products can now register their competence via CIBSE. Training and examination for this aspect of the register will be carried out by software providers Integrated Environmental Solutions Limited (IES), Hevacomp Limited and Environmental Design Solutions Limited (EDSL).
CIBSE has applied to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for approval to operate the Simulation element of the Register as an accredited scheme. This will allow Building Control Officers to accept CO2 calculations signed off by the Low Carbon Consultant without further checking or evaluation.
Welcoming the launch, CIBSE Chief Executive Stephen Matthews said: â€œWe are delighted that the success of the Low Carbon Consultants Register has allowed us to branch out into the simulation side and further build on the expertise offered by those on the register.â€
IES Founder and Managing Director, Dr Don Mclean adds: “As an alternative to the SBEM engine, CLG approved thermal simulation software, such as IES’s, offers building designers a more comprehensive and reliable route for assessing Part L2 compliance for complex and simple buildings.Â This scheme is particularly important in helping the industry understand how such simulation software can be used effectively not only to ensure Regulations compliance but also to achieve energy efficient building design.”
IES, EDSL and Hevacomp must be sighing with relief – after all their investment in their software has been somewhat more risky for them than the SBEM software.
It seems odd to me that SBEM, being primarily not-for-profit, is not ‘open source’. DCLG missed a trick here.Â By keeping the algorithms a ‘black-box’, engineers have had to resort to reverse-engineering to find out what the particular foibles of the methodology are.Â Had the algorithms been released, all that time and effort could have been channelled into improving the methodolgy and software.Â After all, there’s no fiercer critic than an engineer, as anyone who has presented a technical paper at CIBSE can probably attest to.