Reflecng on another spectacular evening of glitz, glamour and talent at the BCIA Awards, Jon Belfield, president of the Building Controls Industry Associaon (BCIA), explains why he believes the building controls sector is in a strong posion to lead the charge in tackling climate change

am writing this column just a week on from the BCIA Awards ceremony held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, it was undoubtedly another fantastic night. I would once again like to congratulate this year’s winners for claiming the top prizes in the industry. I would also like to quote the late, great Niki Lauda, who at an awards ceremony where he won a lifetime achievement award dedicated it to those finalists in the room who hadn’t won. He said “out of losing I always learnt more for the future”, so my sincere congratulations also go to all the BCIA 2019 finalists.

The BCIA Awards identify and reward excellence and in doing so they help develop a professional reputation within our sector that means clients know where to turn when they need a solution that will match both their requirements and their expectations. Building this reputation for excellence is critically important not only for commercial success but to drive a new professionalism, where we are entrusted to use our engineering skills to improve building performance and energy efficiency. These targets are our common business goals, but we are now all part of a much wider ‘shared goal’.

Climate change

The words ‘climate change’ can trigger a wide range of opinions so to try and create a narrative that we can all share, we don’t have to see climate change as one massive insoluble problem but break it down into billions of little opportunities. Even 0.5˚C off a setpoint or 20 minutes off a time

Night of pride I

zone – these are all small changes that can make an impact.

In all sorts of industries there is rarely a ‘one size fits all’ solution for everything, and communication with the end user at the design stage is crucial for any solution to be most effective. Every project is slightly different to the last one and new opportunities can be found in each with good contractor-client interaction. This is reflected every year in the BCIA Award for Independent Building Controls and BEMS Installer of the Year, which was won this year by Eton Associates.

Knowledgebased approach

A knowledge-based approach has helped Eton Associates develop relationships and win contracts with some of the world’s most innovative organisations, including Google. During the design phase on a recent project Eton Associates identified an opportunity to maximise performance efficiency of the overall system and save major costs. The innovation was to create a high level interface with the fire alarm system to monitor the end switches of the smoke dampers at a single interface point, rather than needing cabling to each individual damper. Looking to improve on an existing solution is another way we can make a difference, and just #onesmallchange can make a significant impact. The winner of this year’s Energy Management Award, Optimised Buildings, identified from a desktop study that although the latest technology had been adopted in Superdry’s fashion stores, they still weren’t operating as efficiently as they could be. Starting with 10 selected UK stores,


Optimised Buildings identified that a potential 10 per cent reduction was achievable by monitoring the energy being consumed through the existing fiscal metering at each store, and implementing the Optimised Analytics platform to monitor the BEMS and HVAC systems through intelligent algorithms and business rules. Since the control systems, assets and integrations in various retail stores have been optimised and the new optimisation strategies have been implemented, savings of over 11.1 per cent were achieved in the first six months.

I have mentioned just a couple of the examples that made up the list of winners at this year’s BCIA Awards, but the quality and innovation that was prevalent in all of the finalists reassures me that our industry is in a very healthy state. It gives me huge pride to be involved with so many professional people who are fully embracing the responsibilities and opportunities that we share.

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