Study Building Services Engineering

Start to change the world choose the field of Building Services Engineering.

Study Building Services Engineering

Look around you, what do you see, how do you feel? Chances are that you are sitting reading this in a comfortable environment, but just what makes it comfortable?

There must be enough light so that you can read the words – not so bright that it dazzles you but again not so dim that you strain your eyes. What about the noise – hopefully there are no annoying hums or vibrations distracting you. And then of course how hot are you - warm or cool? So to work out whether you are comfortable there are clearly many things that should be considered. And this is not even including such things what you’re sitting on, the colour of the walls, whether you’re hungry, thirsty, tired etc etc etc

If you are not comfortable then it can be really difficult to work well - you may find your mind wanders, you might get distracted, or you just don’t get much done. Now if you think about this for your whole class, your school, your town. If everyone was feeling uncomfortable then they would not work well, they would be less productive, and they would consume more of the earth’s resources without achieving much.

Part of a Building Services Engineer’s responsibilities, as a leading part of the design team, is to engineer the internal environment so that it is not only ‘comfortable’ (and we’ve now seen that there are many things that come into that!) but also sustainable. Through the work of a Building Services Engineer a shell of a building will come to life. But this is not a matter of popping down to the local store and buying some lights, some heaters, and some windows - this starts much earlier in the design than that.

In the earliest stages of a building’s design the Building Services Engineer will use sketches, computer models and calculations to search out the best solution for the particular building. Every building is different. Such things as the direction that the building faces, the materials that are used to construct it, the types of glass and the interaction with the local climate will all need to be modelled and optimised to produce the most sustainable and productive environment. BUT this is only the start of the Building Services Engineers role. Apart from looking at how to make the building work as a shell the Building Services Engineers will develop the engineering systems that make the building come alive:

  • Making the building warm or cool – integrating efficient and effective heating, refrigeration and air-conditioning systems
  • Providing power and IT systems – integrating electrical supply, fire protection, security and computer systems
  • Bringing clean air to the building – using natural ventilation, as well as designing the fans and air distribution
  • Developing optimum lighting solutions – creating a safe, low energy and pleasing visual environment through design of windows and lighting systems
  • Designing people transit systems – without lifts and escalators tall buildings can not function
  • Using renewable or ‘natural’ energy sources – integrating wind generators, solar panels and heat pumps

All the time thinking about the effect on the environment, both inside the building (noise, light and heat) as well as the whole life impact of the building on the outside world – the building’s ‘carbon footprint’, its use of raw materials and energy and what will happen at the end of the building’s life.

All of these areas are covered in Building Services Engineering degrees. Ranging from the engineering and maths and physics that are common to many engineering courses, through to the understanding of the built environment, the harnessing and utilisation of natural and man-made energy sources to the advanced modelling a design of the engineering systems that provide the life to the built environment.

Many of the Building Services Engineering courses offer bursaries (extra cash!) for selected students. There are opportunities for all keen students who have studied science, maths or engineering at school – building services engineering opens up a secret world that can make a world of difference as well as set you up for an enjoyable and fulfilling career. The key organisation to get more information on what Building Services can offer is CIBSE - go and see how you can change the world.

FIVE good reasons for choosing to become a Building Services Engineer

Good Pay:

A serious shortage of qualified engineers is driving pay up – currently graduates are getting over £20k rising quickly to over £40k in their mid thirties

Good Career Prospects:

You will be joining an area that is in fantastic demand now, and with greater public concern in environmental matters is set to

The Chance to Travel:

Building services engineers work all round the world on prestigious projects – apart from UK based projects such as the Olympics and the massive Thames corridor developments, graduates are working on projects in places such as Dubai, America, China and India – and many more are needed!

Environmentally Aware:

You can play a major role in helping to save the planet. Sustainability is not just a buzzword for the Building Services Engineer it is a way of life.


Unlike so many other jobs, you’ll never get bored – no
two projects are ever the same and you’ll work with teams of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise.

comments powered by Disqus