Building services engineers work closely with other construction professionals such as architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors. They influence the architecture of a building and play a significant role on the sustainability and energy demand of a building. Within building services engineering, new roles are emerging, for example in the areas of renewable energy, sustainability, low carbon technologies and energy management. With buildings accounting for around 50% of all carbon emissions, building services engineers play a significant role in combating climate change. As such, a typical building services engineer has a wide-ranging career path:
- Design: designing layouts and requirements for building services for residential or commercial developments.
Design Management – Design management is the business side of design, which aims to create the right environment to control and support a culture of creativity and innovation, and to embrace the iterative nature of design involving the many disciplines that, collectively, will deliver design solutions – and all at the same time as ensuring that an organisation’s commercial goals and objectives are achieved and that all is done in an ethically sound way. Typically the building services engineering installation is worth 30–60% of the total value of a contract. Design management is not the same as project management. Project management focuses on a wider range of administrative skills but is not normally sympathetic to the peculiarities of delivering a fully coordinated functioning design, taking into account its unique nature and dealing with the changing requirements of clients and the external factors over which there is little control.
- Construction: supervising the construction of the building services, commissioning systems and ongoing maintenance and operation of services.
- Environmental: developing new energy saving methods for construction, designing new and improved energy conservation systems for buildings.
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC): specialising in the design, development, construction and operation of HVAC systems.
- Electrical technology: specialising in the design and development of electrical systems required for safe and energy sustaining operation of buildings.