CIBSE’s new Guide B arrives

CIBSE, Guide B
Good practice in HVAC system design — Hywel Davies

You wait 11 years for an update to CIBSE’s highly valued Guide B on good practice for the design of HVAC services — and then it comes in five parts. Hywel Davies of CIBSE outlines how the new document has changed in response to changing demands.

The Institution of Heating & Ventilating Engineers, forerunner of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) was formed at the end of the nineteenth century when technical solutions to building comfort were first emerging. As the technologies and techniques for providing comfort evolved, so too has the accompanying design guidance.

‘CIBSE Guide B: Heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration’ represents a consensus on what constitutes good practice in the practical design of HVAC systems. It was first published as a loose-leaf volume in 1940. It deals with systems to provide heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) services. Over its lifetime, the content of sections of the guide has expanded, or reduced, in response to evolving technologies and changed priorities of engineers prevalent at the time.

This edition of Guide B is no exception. Its content has been drafted in response to recent regulatory changes, including the introduction of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, and the increase in voluntary energy efficiency and sustainability indicators. While these changes have influenced the content, the emphasis of Guide B remains on providing an overview of good practice in HVAC system design.

This latest edition of Guide B includes a new section, ‘Guide B0 Applications and activities: HVAC strategies for common building types’.Guide B0 is not a design guide as such but sets out to highlight features that are specific to, or particularly important for, a wide variety of activities and building types including offices, dealing rooms, supermarkets and food stores, commercial kitchens, hotels, schools, hospitals and healthcare buildings, sports centres, data centres, clean rooms and even farms.

Where relevant, some sections of Guide B0 include bibliographies to direct readers to the latest, activity-specific documentation such as Health Technical Memoranda in the hospitals section. ‘Guide B0 is aimed at engineers who might be coming to a particular activity for the first time, so it outlines the main issues that need to be considered and outlines typical solutions that are adopted,’ says Roger Hitchin. chair of the CIBSE Guide B steering committee and author of Guide B0. He explains that the section will be particularly useful to those members who have joined CIBSE with a more general engineering background.

While each section of the guide is available in both printed and downloadable versions, Guide B0 is only available online because CIBSE wants readers to add to the content. CIBSE member contributions already make up much of the content of Guide B0, and the hope is that they will add their experiences to areas where there is a current lack of knowledge, or where rapid technological changes are taking place, to enhance the document’s value.

Over time it is hoped the online document will evolve to become a comprehensive reference source of contemporary engineering solutions for a wide variety of uses and applications.

The introduction of the new Guide B0 is probably the most significant change to Guide B, which was previously revised in 2005. In addition to Guide B0, the document includes four other sections.

‘Guide B1: Heating’ deals with the selection, design, commissioning, operation and management of most types of heating systems in buildings. This includes a new appendix on hydronic system design.

CIBSE, Guide B

Guide B2 deals with ventilation and ductwork systems, combining guidance on both natural and mechanical ventilation.

Guide B3 brings together air conditioning and refrigeration in a single section. It emphasises that not only must cooling needs be met, but that the systems and their components should be selected and designed to be energy efficient.

‘Guide B4: Noise and vibration control’ provides guidance on the generation, prediction, assessment and control of noise and vibration from building services to enable them to produce systems which meet acceptable noise limits. B4 includes new sections on vibration control.

Throughout the guide, where comprehensive guidance from CIBSE or other sources is available, the guide references this and is relatively brief. This is the case for low-carbon systems such as heat pumps, solar thermal water heating and combined heat and power.

All sections in the guide note that regulations must be adhered to but because these vary between jurisdictions and because many of the regulations are likely to change more rapidly than the guide is updated, the document does not describe them in detail. Costs, too, are discussed but only relatively; no attempt is made to provide detailed cost information because these are subject to numerous variations, including project, time and location.

While the emphasis is on the UK, Guide B will be useful to engineers working or dealing with schemes in countries with a similar climate and regulations.

For more information and to download the documents go to the link below.

Hywel Davies is technical director of CIBSE.

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