Low Carbon Building Services Engineering

In recent times, there has been a lot of focus on the environment. People are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and become more eco-friendly. This is because of the fact that pollution is causing several adverse effects on our planet and its inhabitants.


Many people and design consultants have started using green products to help them in reducing their carbon footprints. They have also started using renewable energy sources such as solar power and wind energy. The government has also taken steps to make sure that buildings are more sustainable and less harmful to the environment. If you are planning to build a new building or renovate your existing one, then you should know how to engineer building services even audio-visual systems for a low carbon footprint.




How should you design a building services package to improve the carbon emissions of a building? With the introduction of the Code for Sustainable Homes, it is important that a building services engineer can demonstrate to the client how they can meet this code. In addition, with the recent tax changes and government targets for zero carbon by 2050, we are all looking for ways to reduce our own carbon footprint. Designing an appropriate building services package to achieve these goals is not easy without sufficient understanding of how the various heating systems, audio visual, air conditioning and hot water systems work in harmony together.

It’s no secret that design consultants and building engineers are responsible for designing many of the components that will contribute towards a building’s carbon footprint. The health of the environment is a concern for everyone, but it is especially important for building services engineers who live and work in their creations. The question is that how you can design your building services so they meet current standards without sacrificing performance or efficiency. The building services engineering is one of the most important factors in achieving a low carbon footprint.

The low carbon building services engineering process is a systematic approach to designing building services that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The process is an essential component of achieving certification to the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard in the UK, NABERS, Green Star and other international standards such as LEED.

The steps involved in this process are:

  1. Identify all energy using systems in the building, including lighting, audio visual, ventilation, heating, cooling, hydraulics, hot water, refrigeration and electrical systems.

  2. Identify all energy sources used by these systems including electricity, natural gas and other fuels such as oil and LPG.

  3. Calculate the energy demands of each system based on actual operating conditions and consider any other factors which may affect them (for example occupancy levels).

  4. Calculate the amount of energy used by each system over a year based on their hourly demand profiles (hourly load profiles).

  5. Decide how much renewable energy should be used to meet your target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (usually 30%). Use this figure to calculate how much renewable energy must be provided by each system including the building services components.

  6. Design each system using appropriate technologies which reduce greenhouse gas emissions while meeting your performance targets.





There are many areas that have to be considered when checking if building engineers are producing a low carbon construction. None of this stand alone and can be dealt with in isolation. If a contractor or design consultant is only looking at one or some, they may miss a key component that contributes to the overall goal. The construction industry is moving at a fast pace, with new innovations coming along all the time. With these considerations is mind and our changes in legislation, there will be an increasing number of opportunities for your business. First and foremost, aim for zero carbon and make sure you are working with a qualified design and construction, hydraulics engineers, design consultants and reputable engineering firms to ensure if you can achieve this.

The ultimate goal of this is to get the mechanical, electrical and hydraulics engineers to consider the big picture and take an integrated approach by reducing carbon footprint whilst not sacrificing performance.

Want to know more on how to reduce carbon foot print of your next project? Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements: info@sustena.com.au | 1300 883 685

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