BSRIA’s Information Centre – Delivering Knowledge for the Future.

image028The traditional view of libraries is somewhat staid but BSRIA hopes to buck the trend with a keen, energetic team who is constantly thinking ‘out of the box’ and looking for new ways to deliver information. Blogs, tweets, apps, newsletters, YouTube videos and webinars – you name it – are just some of our newer services.
Our mantra is “How can we deliver value to our members and customers?” How do we deliver what you want and need without information overload, and how can we continually make our services fresh and interesting?

This is where you, as members and customers, are pivotal. This is your information service and you need to tell us what you’d like. Call us on 01344 465571, or email:


Click on our mini video to find out more about us:


image009 HISTORY

In brief, we offer the largest dedicated building services library in Europe, with
over 80,000 items. Started in 1955, and originally part of the Heating Ventilating Research Association (HVRA), BSRIA’s information centre has grown from small beginnings and amassed stock from various other specialist libraries, along the way. This year we are proud to celebrate our 60th Anniversary.

Our current online library of books and journal abstracts was originally inherited from the
National College for Heating, Ventilating, Refrigeration and Fan Engineering in 1960 and has been maintained and updated by BSRIA ever since. During this time there have been some key
milestones such as computerising our catalogue in 1980; launching our ‘Statistics Bulletin’ (now Business Bulletin) in 1976; and moving to a new information centre, also in 1976.


Who answers enquiry when you call or email? Meet the team: Jayne, Nevena, Jo and Maria.

Jayne Jo Maria Web


Welcome to Jayne Sunley, BSRIA’s new Information Manager.

Some of you will have spoken to Jayne on the phone or communicated on email, but have you wondered what she is really like?

Jayne, tell us a bit about yourself

Well, I was born and raised in Corby, Northamptonshire or as some people like to call it little Scotland. I graduated from university in 2012 with a BA (Hons) in History and found my way to BSRIA where I’ve been ever since. I started as Information Assistant but I’ve recently been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to lead our Information Centre.

What is the best thing about working at BSRIA?

By far the best thing about BSRIA is the people, staff and members alike. As cheesy as it sounds it’s rather like joining a family, the support network is there throughout.

What plans do you have for BSRIA’s library?

There are a few plans in the making for the Information Centre in coming years both internally and externally. We’re intending to improve our e-delivery services as well as introduce a new legislation service for our members. Internally we will be amalgamating the library into one system as opposed to several organisation methods we have now. There is also an intranet development project in the making.

What is your favourite food and

I have a real weakness for anything Italian. Drink wise I’d have to say Irn Bru but I think that’s due to being half-Scottish.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I’m currently studying for my MSc in Library Science so a lot of my free time is spent on reading an awful lot. But for purely enjoyment purposes I like to swim and going to gigs.

Where will you be for Christmas?

For Christmas this year I’ll be heading back towards home which is Northamptonshire where I’ll be consuming too much chocolate.

What films/books/music do you like?

I’m a big fiction fan ranging from classics to science fiction but sadly don’t get as much time to indulge anymore. Music is a big part of my life but it tends to be more rock or indie orientated whatever that means!




Global BEMS Market set to Approach $7 billion by 2020

This blog was written by BSRIA's Henry Lawson

This blog was written by BSRIA’s Henry Lawson

If I could point to a market which is already worth some $3.5 billion, or 3 billion Euros, and which is growing globally at well over 10% per annum, at a time when growth in building automation is a fraction of that, I suspect that many investors and industrialists would bite my hand off. This is the industry that we explore in BSRIA’s newly updated report BEMS Opportunities.

Even Europe, which currently accounts for almost half the current Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) market, is growing at around 10%, while North America has been growing faster, and the rest of the world substantially faster still.

BSRIA forecasts that the global BEMS market will almost double, to more than $6.8 billion by the year 2020. This impressive growth is set to occur in spite of numerous obstacles and uncertainties. This is partly because the factors driving this growth differ from one region to another.

In Western Europe, gas prices almost doubled between 2005 and 2013, while at the same time major economies like Germany became increasingly dependent on import of gas from politically sensitive countries like Russia and the Gulf states, raising the spectre of uncertain supplies.

While the rise in electricity prices has been less dramatic, Germany faces the huge task of fulfilling its commitment to

henry dec2shut down all nuclear power generation by 2022, and the UK faces similar challenges as its ageing, coal-consuming and CO2-spewing power stations reach the ends of their lives, with the ghost of Christmas back-outs rising like a Dickensian spectre to haunt the business and political worlds.

This, and increasingly aggressive environmental targets, at national and EU level, mean that even a Europe which has been in or near recession for more than five years continues to invest in energy efficiency. At the same time, there are signs that organisations at all levels are beginning to understand the full potential of BEMS to save money while meeting obligations and improving the brand.

In North America, the pressure of energy prices has been less relentless, especially since fracking of shale gas has got underway. The movement towards environmental regulation has also been patchier – often varying at local and state level, and has faced more opposition. At the same time, the proportion of energy consumed by office buildings has been rising inexorably at a time when energy used in such areas as transport, industry and homes has been either stable or falling, placing office buildings firmly in the sights of those wishing to make savings. North America also benefits from the plethora of firms developing innovative energy management solutions in both the USA and Canada.

In the rest of the world the picture is extremely varied, from developed countries like Japan and Australia with widespread adoption of BEMS, to major emerging economies like China, where energy has hitherto been seen as rather less of a problem but where the pollution associated with fossil fuels is becoming more pressing.

This growth presents huge business opportunities but also as many gauntlets thrown down. The mainstream building automation suppliers are all active, unsurprisingly, given that the two are so genetically interlinked that building automation was originally widely referred to as building energy management. They can offer the benefit of relatively easy integration of energy management into the building’s wider functioning.

Against this, as virtually every device, appliance and component of a building becomes capable of generating and communicating data, the advent of big building data has opened huge opportunities both to enterprise data and IT suppliers and to an army of smaller newer suppliers of advanced analytics, allowing building managers to predict and pre-empt problems that degrade a building’s energy performance.

Some of these new entrants will fall by the wayside, especially given the level of overlap between many of the offerings, others will be ripe for take-over, but a few are likely to emerge as major disruptive players. In our report we identify the leaders and challengers, along with the niche players and some of the most likely acquisitions. As always, there is an implicit conflict between the move towards integration on the one hand and the desire for innovation on the other, and we look at some of the standards that are emerging to address this.

The prize is most likely to go to companies that can combine innovation in new technologies, and understanding of how a building’s occupants interact with the building, with a deep-seated understanding of how buildings function. This report should help to shine a light on who will be left holding a torch for others to follow if and when the lights really do threaten to go out.

This is the industry that we explore in BSRIA’s newly updated report BEMS Opportunities.

“Building services maintenance contractors have a key role in reducing carbon emissions from our existing building stock”

This blog was written by Mitch Layng, M&G Real Estate, Associate Director : Portfolio Energy Management

This blog was written by Mitch Layng, M&G Real Estate, Associate Director : Portfolio Energy Management

The title of this blog may sound like an obvious statement, but this is one area that if not managed correctly will have a dramatic effect on energy consumption.

The UK has a target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and this target cannot be achieved without reducing our energy consumption in our existing non domestic buildings. These 1.8 million buildings account for 18% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, with a consumption of 300TWh.

In addition to regulatory requirements that are in place to assist in the operational performance of buildings, such as building log books, metering strategy, air conditioning inspections, DECs for public buildings, ESOS, to name a few, there are many standards and good practice guides from recognised and respected bodies available to the industry to help in optimising energy performance.

However, even where these are put into practice properly, the actual performance really comes down to the operational staff in control of the building and the services, and at a more granular level, depends on the competence and performance of the maintenance engineers.

There are two key elements that need to be considered when agreeing maintenance contracts, understanding the design intent of the building services, and ensuring the clients’ needs and business operations are clearly understood and a suitable maintenance regime is put in place.

It is challenging enough to ensure even with a new building, that the design intent is transferred across to actual operation, let alone in a building that has services twenty plus years old with little or no information available, and that may have had scores of different tenants and many different maintenance contractors. Studies have shown the performance gap between design and operation exists due in part to a lack of understanding by the operational staff of how the building should operate, and the fact that the process involving the design, commissioning and handover does not involve the maintenance contractor. If the industry struggles to get a new building to operate as it should, even when processes such as TM54 and Soft Landings are included, what chance to we have with older buildings?

Operational responsibility for many commercial buildings is often outsourced to maintenance contractors through contracts that vary in detail from a simple proposal letter from a contractor, to complicated and detailed maintenance bespoke contracts. It is therefore common to find that standards vary, and client requirements are often not met, even with the most basic contracts and uncomplicated buildings.

There are a few important elements that should be considered and implemented. In order to understand how a building should operate, information is crucial, and it is important to gather all relevant information related to the operation, such as O&Ms, log books, asset lists. It is unlikely that the original design information will be available, and so, depending on the size and complexity of the building it is worth considering using a specialist to survey and report on the design. However this can be cost restrictive and many clients rely on the maintenance contractor’s advice and expertise.

CIBSECareful consideration should be given to the maintenance strategy and the standards employed. The industry has carried out a lot of good work around maintenance management and standards, the recently launched CIBSE Maintenance guide M is an essential read, and the SFG20 specification provides useful information when considering a planned preventative maintenance regime.

The importance of good maintenance cannot be underestimated when it comes to ensuring energy consumption is optimised, and so implementing a standard such as this is an important first step. However, using SFG20 alone can lead to vital areas of good housekeeping being missed.

This area often falls between two stalls, and ends up being forgotten. For example, although annual checks are included in SFG20, more regular checks of time clocks and settings is good practice. It is so easy to change a time setting for operation over a particular weekend, and then to forget to change back. This can, and does, result in significant energy consumption which could have been avoided.

Maintenance contracts that include an incentive to improve energy performance are becoming more popular, and I believe will become even more so in the future. These can include condition based monitoring and maintenance, and can be structured to ensure both client and contractor benefit. However, many maintenance contracts are fairly short term, which does not allow enough time for a return on investment. In general longer term contracts, with elements built in to ensure value for money on a periodic basis, are more suited to ensure optimum energy performance. In the private sector three year contracts are very typical, this is something that needs to be addressed if we want to make a significant impact.

How do you ensure the planned activities are being undertaken? This can be difficult, particularly in a large and complicated building. Even where a process exists that includes detailed SLA’s and KPI’s, it is not unusual to find deficiencies in the maintenance. There are various reasons for this, some client driven, and some related to contractor management issues. Very often maintenance activities are reactive, and not planned to reduce reactive call outs, and the number of call outs can sometimes result in planned tasks being put back or not undertaken at all. Maintenance audits can often pay for themselves through identification of deficiencies, through energy savings and possible refunds in the short term, and equipment life in the longer term.

Mitch Laing blogAlthough lack of maintenance on most of the services in a building have can have an effect on energy efficiency, (examples such as poor water quality, scale build up, bacteria, blocked filters etc., will all have a significant effect), the brains of most buildings is the building management system, and it is the lack of understanding and continual checking of this system that can cause a majority of problems, not only from an energy efficiency perspective, but also occupant satisfaction.

It is common for the BMS maintenance to be sub contracted to a specialist provider, which adds another layer of management and complexity to the management of the system. Over complicated systems, lack of proper commissioning and regular building changes often lead to BMS systems that are not understood by the operational staff, and result in inefficient operation. The consequences can be dramatic, even a simple BMS strategy error or a set point that is not correct can result in major plant and equipment being brought on at times when not required, without anyone knowing. Even if the BMS is showing on screen that an item of equipment is not running twenty four hours when not required, a programming error can lead to the equipment actually running, and without physically checking (or separately sub metering), it is difficult to establish actual operation.

So, despite well-meaning regulations, standards and good practice guides, I believe one of the biggest challenges is to ensure the correct maintenance regime is put in place to suit the needs of the end user, that the correct level of service is actually provided and maintenance tasks are undertaken. Regular reviews and checks should be carried out to ensure not only the maintenance regime is appropriate, but also all time settings and set points are accurate to match the needs of the occupants and building.

Both client and maintenance contractor have a responsibility to ensure the above happens, a good working relationship is essential, and longer term contracts with incentives built in will definitely assist in achieving significant savings at no or low cost. Savings of 10% should easily be achievable in most typical non-domestic buildings, with savings of 20% being in reach for some buildings. These are instant savings, and if applied across all non-domestic buildings, would potentially save 45TWh, a significant proportion of the UK’s targeted carbon emission reduction.

Author bio

Mitch has a fairly unique experience of building services design and operation, stretching over 35 years, in both public and private sectors. He joined M&G Real Estate (previously PRUPIM) in 1999 as Managing Engineer, responsible for operation, maintenance and refurbishment of the portfolio of managed properties across the UK. Following a business re-structure, he took up his current role as Portfolio Energy Manager in 2011.

Mitch is responsible for setting the energy performance strategy across the managed portfolio of properties, and for overseeing the strategy to achieve the energy reduction targets. He provides technical advice on energy related issues, and ensures the business is kept abreast of new technology and good industry practice, including renewable energy. He is a Fellow of CIBSE, has been a member of the BSRIA Council for over three years, and was an inaugural member of the BSRIA’s Operation and Maintenance Benchmarking Network. He is also on the BSRIA publications panel and contributes to various technical publications. 

%d bloggers like this: