The 139 days of Christmas

With half the calendar gone, it’s getting towards that time of year when you stop thinking of 2015 as the New Year, and you start the run up to Christmas! Luckily for me, I've still got some of CIBSE’s biggest events to look forward to before I can even begin to think about the festive The Young Engineers Awards, the YEN Conference in Hong Kong and, of course, the CIBSE Conference and Exhibition.

Th fabulous view across London from the tower of Pimlico District Heating Undertaking
It seemed like the world was conspiring against us early in the month, to prevent the launch of our first-of-its-kind Heat Networks Code of Practice. First the Tube strike on the London Underground, and then a record-breaking heatwave, but building services engineers are made of sterner stuff and turned out to fill the sell-out event. A unique opportunity to get under the skin of the UK’s longest running heat network in Pimlico was followed by a really interesting event, which put the new Code in context – and set out how it will achieve its aims.

This wasn’t the only CIBSE launch of the month; I was also pleased to take part in the unveiling of the new Guide A at the grand surroundings of London’s Connaught Rooms. But one of CIBSE’s flagship Guides deserves no less of a reception, especially after nine years of work to bring it up to date in 2015. The consideration and work that went into producing this latest edition served to bring home the idea that all our wise words on building performance must actually bring results; it’s not a box-ticking exercise, it must actually improve spaces and cut emissions.

Myself, speaking at the launch of Guide A

I also had chance this month to make contact with several member institutions when I met their CEOs at the Institute of Directors for the SOJACES lunch. Aside from the opportunity to meet and share ideas we were also able to speak with our guest, the Government’s Chief Construction Adviser Peter Hansford, who was able to provide us with a great deal of insight into what lies ahead for the industry in the next few years.

Internally, it’s been all hands to the pumps in planning for the next 5 years as we try to implement CIBSE’s ‘Vision’. I'm extremely fortunate in having been elected President during such a momentous year in the Institution’s immediate future and, following the board meeting in May where we agreed what the Vision should be, we now need a strategy for how to achieve it. We are looking at five key areas in which to deliver change; Membership, Knowledge, Services and Building Performance, and hope to make these our key focuses going forwards.

Speaking of the future, the day job is busier than ever in preparation for holiday season. It’s the time of year when you look across the Channel at our European cousins with envy, and wonder if they've got a better idea shutting down for the summer. Then again, who would want to spend the summer fighting for space on the beach with the rest of the country? We've also got the last round of interviews for our 2015 Graduate intake. We've also had a bumper crop of top talent apply to our 2015 Graduate scheme, and it’s going to be incredibly hard to select the successful applicants from the final round of interviews!


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