As you’ll see from our front cover, MBS is celebrating 15 years of bringing its readers the broadest coverage of this sector, with insights from experts in all areas of building services - designers, contractors, installers and end-users.
Our anniversary issue reflects many of the reasons that the original team of Ken Sharpe, Charles Keel and David Wade established MBS. In the very first issue, my predecessor wrote: “We are motivated by the wave of new thinking in the industry that the role of building services engineers needs to change if they are to have a role in the future.” That publication covered the hot topics of energy efficiency, building performance, the supply chain, and legislation on refrigerants.
Of course, these issues are still with us. But I think we are dealing with a lot of these things more directly now. Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards are finally drawing a straight line between energy use and property value. MEES may not be perfect, but it’s a statement of intent about how important it is to reduce our energy waste while moving to non-fossil fuel energy sources.
And of course, we’re still battling with supply chain issues, yet now we see BESA and ECA heading the charge to Parliament to drive through a law that will ring-fence retentions cash - a huge step forward for SMEs throughout the sector.
I think it’s safe to say that in the past 15 years, many aspects of the role of professionals in our sector have changed but that requirement for continued adaptation remains very much front and centre.
The challenge we face in decarbonbising our heating, for example, is clear (see our feature). We rely heavily on gas, so moving away from that source will require development of new thinking, as well as new products. Government is exploring options such as district heating, hydrogen and biogas. All of these potential solutions require a rethink on system design.
We are also hearing a great deal about the impact of buildings on occupants, and how buildings can support health and productivity. Biophilic offices, wellbeing and indoor air quality are all impacted by building services, so this is yet another new field that’s opening up for this industry.
Our aim is to continue to deliver news, analysis and in-depth features for many more years to come so that our readers can be on top of the latest developments, and we hope that they will be playing their roles in delivering the future of building services.
Karen Fletcher, Editor