Building services engineering ensures that buildings do what they are meant to do: providing a safe and comfortable environment for people that inhabit them so that they can live, work, and thrive. It is the task of building engineers to transform architectural designs into concrete reality. In the words of Julia Evans, CEO of the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), “Architects can design the most beautiful or complex building, but without building services being introduced effectively it's not going to work.”
Building services engineers are also on the frontline of the battle to create a more sustainable environment by designing buildings that reduce energy consumption. The running of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment within a building can consume a lot of energy – accounting for 60% of energy use in commercial buildings according to the US Department of Energy. In response to environmental demands, the smart thermostat market is booming within building services. The market reached a value of $1.32bn in 2018 and is predicted to reach a staggering value of $4.07bn by 2024.
As we move into a new decade, there is no doubt that this industry will be a key participant in building the future of the modern world – and that building services engineers will continue to be in high demand. Salaries for the sector as a whole have increased on average 3.5% year on year, according to the latest salary guide compiled by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Nearly two-thirds (60%) of building services employers say they expect to increase employee salaries further within the next 12 months, making it an exciting time for those working in the sector.
Collectively US engineering firms are building new infrastructure, designing smart residential and office buildings, and creating digital touchpoints of connectivity between people and their vehicles, homes, and workplaces. For example, New York Engineers discuss how internet connectivity is no longer limited to computers and mobile devices, it is now expanding to devices such as vehicles, lighting fixtures and HVAC systems. Buildings can be expected to have much more sensors and connected devices in the near future, allowing building models to be linked with the actual construction. Organizations like the National Institute of Building Sciences and Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) are working to set industry best practices, provide ongoing education and training, and foster collaboration and modernization as data and technology drive the building services industry forward.