Building services engineering

Building services engineering is a professional engineering discipline that strives to achieve a safe and comfortable indoor environment whilst minimizing the environmental impact of a building.

Alternative titles: The term Building services engineering is also commonly known as Mechanical & electrical engineering, Architectural engineering, Technical building services, Building engineering, or Facilities and services planning engineering. The term Building services engineering is widely used in Commonwealth countries (incl. United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and Australia), but in the United States of America, the field is also known as Building systems engineering, Architectural engineering or Building engineering, though the latter two disciplines generally have a broader scope, also encompassing elements of Structural engineering and more traditional architectural tasks such as room planning and material selection. In India the engineers are known as facilities planners. In some countries, a building services architect is an engineer with experience in the integration of building services.


Building services engineers are responsible for the design, installation, operation and monitoring of the technical services in buildings (including mechanical, electrical and public health systems, also known as MEP or HVAC), in order to ensure the safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly operation. Building services engineers work closely with other construction professionals such as architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors. Building services engineers influence the architectural design of building, in particular facades, in relation to energy efficiency and indoor environment, and can integrate local energy production (e.g. façade-integrated photovoltaics) or community-scale energy facilities (e.g. district heating). Building services engineers therefore play an important role in the design and operation of energy-efficient buildings (including green buildings, passive houses, and Plus-houses, and Zero-energy buildings). With buildings accounting for about a third of all carbon emissions[1] and over a half of the global electricity demand,[2] building services engineers play an important role in the move to a low-carbon society, hence mitigate global warming.

The career path of a building services engineer can take a very wide range of directions. Within the broad field of building services engineering, new roles are emerging, for example specialization in renewable energy, sustainability, low-carbon technologies, energy management, building automation, and building information modeling (BIM). Building services engineers increasingly seek status as accredited LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method), or CIBSE Low Carbon Consultants (LCC) and Energy Assessors (LCEA) auditors, in addition to their status as chartered/professional engineer.

Building services engineering encompasses much more than just MEP or HVAC), but also the following:

Examples of roles/duties a Building Services Engineer may have include:

  • Consultant engineer: Designing layouts and requirements for building services for residential or commercial developments. Design management is the business side of design, which aims to create the right environment to control and support a culture of creativity and innovation, and to embrace the iterative nature of design involving the many disciplines that, collectively, will deliver design solutions – and all at the same time as ensuring that an organisation's commercial goals and objectives are achieved and that all is done in an ethically sound way. Typically the building services engineering installation is worth 30–60% of the total value of a contract. Design management is not the same as project management. Project management focuses on a wider range of administrative skills but is not normally sympathetic to the peculiarities of delivering a fully coordinated functioning design, taking into account its unique nature and dealing with the changing requirements of clients and the external factors over which there is little control.[3]
  • Contractor: Supervising the installation of the building services, commissioning systems. This includes tasks such as TABS.
  • Facilities manager: Operation, servicing, and continuous commissioning of existing buildings and plant.

Professional bodies

The two most notable professional bodies are:


Building services engineers typically possess an academic degree in building services engineering, mechanical engineering or electrical engineering. The length of study for such a degree is usually 3–4 years for a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) and 5–6 years for a Master of Engineering (MEng).

The list below includes accredited education programs. In the United Kingdom, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) accredits university degrees in Building Services Engineering.[4] In the United States, ABET accredits degrees.[5]


North America

  • BEng in Building Engineering, Concordia University (Canada)
  • BEng Building Systems Engineering, Conestoga Polytechnic (Canada)
  • BSc Architectural Engineering (ARE), Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas, US); Accredited by ABET 1936-61 and 1980, AEI
  • BSc Architectural Engineering, University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas, US); Accredited by ABET 1936, AEI
  • BSc Architectural Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, North Carolina, US); Accredited by ABET 1969, AEI
  • BSc Architectural Engineering, Tennessee State University (Nashville, Tennessee, US); Accredited by ABET 1977, AEI
  • California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo, California, US); Accredited by ABET 1975, AEI
  • Drexel University (Philadelphia Pennsylvania, US); Accredited by ABET 1991, AEI
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, Illinois, US); Accredited by ABET 2003, AEI
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US); Accredited by ABET 1988, AEI
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Missouri, US); Accredited by ABET 2006, AEI
  • Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, Oklahoma, US); Accredited by ABET 1986, AEI
  • Penn State University (State College, Pennsylvania, US); Accredited by ABET 1936, AEI
  • Texas A&M University-Kingsville (Kingsville, Texas, US); Accredited by ABET 2009
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Alabama, US)
  • University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio, US)
  • University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, Colorado, US); Accredited by ABET 1936, AEI
  • University of Detroit Mercy (Detroit, Michigan, US)
  • University of Miami (Miami, Florida, US); Accredited by ABET 1962, AEI
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha (Omaha, Nebraska, US); Accredited by ABET 2004, AEI
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman, Oklahoma, US); Accredited by ABET 1960
  • University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, Texas, US)
  • University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas, US); Accredited by ABET 1938, AEI
  • University of Wyoming (Laramie, Wyoming, US); Accredited by ABET 1986, AEI
  • Worcester Polytechnic University (Worcester, Massachusetts, US)



  • B.Tech in Building Services Engineering,[( Ansal University of Gurgaon Haryana India)]
  • BEng (Hons) Building Services Engineering, City University of Hong Kong
  • BEng (Hons) Building Services Engineering, Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong
  • BEng (Hons) Building Services Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • BTEC In Building Services Technology, UNIVOTEC, University of Vocational Technology, (Rathmalana, Sri Lanka)
  • B Arch, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (Bhopal, India)
  • BEng in Facilities and Service Planning (Buildings), School of Planning and Architecture, Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (Hyderabad, India)
  • BSc (Hons) Building Engineering, Hanbat National University (South Korea)
  • BSc (Hons) Facilities Management, University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka)
  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering Technology (Building Services) with Hons, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (Malaysia)
  • BEng (Hons) Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services). Singapore Institute of Technology


  • BEng in Energy Technology - Building Services Engineering Major, Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand)



  • MSc in Building Services Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • MSc in Building Services Engineering, University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka
  • MEngTech in Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services), Singapore Institute of Technology


Building services engineering software

Many tasks in building services engineering involve the use of engineering software, for example to design/model or draw solutions. The most common types of tool are whole building energy simulation[7] and CAD (traditionally 2D) or the increasingly popular Building Information Modeling (BIM) which is 3D. 3D BIM software can have integrated tools for Building Services calculations such sizing ventilation ducts or estimating noise levels. Another use of 3D/4D BIM is that empowers more informed decision making and better coordination between different disciplines, such as 'collision testing'.

See also


  3. Portman, Jackie (July 2014). Building Services Design Management. Oxford:UK: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1118528129.
  5. Search All Accredited Programs Archived 2011-08-17 at the Wayback Machine
  7. K. Mahmud, U. Amin, M.J. Hossain, J. Ravishankar, "Computational tools for design, analysis, and management of residential energy systems", Applied Energy, 2018,
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.