CIBSE introduces new publication ‘Building for extreme environments: Arid’

With landmark building projects both in the Middle East and other arid environments gaining global attention, the new Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) publication ‘Building for extreme environments: Arid’ is timely. The rate of development of the built environment in the world’s hot desert and semi-arid areas is increasing, and brings with it specific challenges that need to be embraced in modern building solutions.

As ‘Building for extreme environments: Arid’ is climate-zone driven, guidance within the publication can be applied to building engineering in different parts of the world. Compiled by an international steering group of experts in their respective fields, it incorporates chapters looking at the arid climate; basic design data; building design and construction materials; equipment design data; and sustainability.

The new publication encourages an integrated design approach to building engineering in this climate zone. It also acknowledges issues such as sourcing materials, waste management and the logistical challenges that working within the more remote regions that this climate zone embraces can bring.

‘Building for extreme environments: Arid’ is the first of a three part series which will be available from CIBSE offering guidance on building design in particularly challenging environments; others will examine building design in ‘Polar’ and ‘Tropical’ climates.

With an ever-increasing number of CIBSE members working on international projects, or being based in locations unfamiliar to them, these documents have been designed by CIBSE to provide an introduction to topics that might be unfamiliar and to provide information upon which reasoned judgments may be made or lead to further research to be undertaken in support of their professional duties.

This new guidance is an important contribution to CIBSE’s efforts to make a positive difference to the built environment in the Gulf region. Lead author of the publication, AECOM’s UAE-based Sean McKeag said:

“Before I first came here in 2007, from Melbourne, I researched design guidance for the Middle East and came across the original CIBSE TM04*. After six years working here in the GCC, the opportunity to contribute to this new publication was an opportunity to share with other CIBSE members the latest insight and knowledge on working in this specific type of environment.”

During the last few years CIBSE has invested in a series of resources which aim to assist building professionals in considering weather and climate change in the design and running of their buildings. ‘Design for Future Climate – Case Studies’ presents current practice and understanding of carrying out building adaptation strategies, rather than commenting on best practice. Guidance that is also available includes: ‘Probabilistic Climate Profiles’ (ProClips), ‘TM55: Design for Climate Change’ and ‘TM52: The Limits of Thermal Comfort – Avoiding Overheating in European Buildings’.

In his inaugural Presidential Address, new CIBSE President Peter Kinsella who is based in Australia, called for global responses to global challenges. This new publication exemplifies Peter’s challenge to members that through the expertise, experience and networks that CIBSE provides building services engineers can help to deliver a built environment that meets the challenges of the years to come.