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CIBSE Guide Recognises Engineers’ Role in Sustainability Outcomes

CIBSE Guide Recognises Engineers’ Role in Sustainability Outcomes
14 July 2020 | Updated 27 October 2020

An updated guide on sustainability, published by CIBSE, puts engineers at the heart of building better performing, sustainable buildings.

The guide is intended to empower engineers to influence decisions made on building projects, to lead to more sustainable outcomes. 

With increasingly challenging net-zero targets, sustainability and building performance need to be embedded in every building project. The updated “Guide L: Sustainability” outlines the principles for sustainability for engineers, wherever they practice and wherever projects and designs are undertaken.

CIBSE states that the guide will also be of interest to other professionals across the built environment chain, including architects, building surveyors, specialist contractors, clients and developers.


“Your actions as an engineer are pivotal to the successful management of our home planet ecosystem, the safeguarding of all species and the security and prosperity of our future generations.”

–Susan Hone-Brookes

Vice President, CIBSE 


Engineers Have a “Huge Influence” Over the Sustainability Agenda


Recognising the “huge influence” engineers have over the energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, health and wellbeing, water use and other sustainability outcomes of buildings and the wider projects in which they sit, the guide provides building services engineers with guidance on how to respond to the changing sustainability agenda.

The guide is an update on the previous 2007 edition and explores the actions that building services engineers should take to enable their projects to deliver sustainable results, giving clear focus on the areas of work where engineers have greatest control and influence.

Susan Hone-Brookes, CIBSE Vice President, is quoted in the guide’s foreword: “Your actions as an engineer are pivotal to the successful management of our home planet ecosystem, the safeguarding of all species and the security and prosperity of our future generations.”

David Cheshire, AECOM Regional Director, co-author and chair of the Guide L steering committee commented: “Having been involved in both the original and the new guide, it was inspiring to see how much has changed over the last 13 years and how engineers have used the increased awareness of the climate crisis to challenge and influence projects. 

“This new edition calls for engineers to use systems thinking, building physics and even ecosystems services to create a zero-carbon, circular and sustainable future.”

CIBSE publishes guidance providing best practice advice and is internationally recognised as an authoritative source of design guidance for building services. 

“Guide L: Sustainability” is available at the CIBSE Knowledge Portal or at the following link

Picture: A photograph of an engineer examining some building plans

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 July 2020


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