In its contribution to BSj’s 30th anniversary issue, CIBSE acknowledges the people and the initiatives that have helped put it in the strong position it is today

History is an important factor in the making of an institution such as CIBSE. Without some of the major developments of the last 30 years, we wouldn’t be in the strong position we are now, and we have a number of past-presidents, loyal members and hard-working staff to thank for our continued growth.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers received its Royal Charter in 1976, starting life as the professional body that existed to:

“Support the Science, Art and Practice of building services engineering, by providing our members and the public with first-class information and education services and promoting the spirit of fellowship which guides our work.”

Over the years, the mission statement of the Institution has extended its reach to the sustainability message, acknowledging that it is now also…

“…the prime source of expertise for sustainable buildings, harnessing its members’ skills and knowledge to raise competence across the industry.’

Adapt quickly and our future is only limited to horizons we set. But fail to adapt and we, with 150 years of heritage, will fast fade into obscurity.

Quote from Adapt or Die: The major challenges ahead for the building services industry, Presidential Address 2003, Terry Wyatt

Terry Wyatt

Terry Wyatt, who recently retired after more than half a century in the industry, is one of CIBSE’s best known past-presidents, noted for his championing the sustainability cause.

Formerly a partner and head of research & development at Hoare Lea, he remains a consultant representing the firm on several government, EU and industry groups and councils.

During his presidency in 2003, Terry Wyatt drew attention to dramatic changes that would affect the building services industry. Many felt he was ahead of his time, warning of the dangers and opportunities that climate change would bring – a warning that some are only just heeding now.

The Low Carbon Energy Assessor scheme

Although a relatively recent development, the Low Carbon Energy Assessor scheme is already shaping the image and the status of CIBSE. CIBSE members are coming to the fore as the most competent people to take real steps to reduce energy use and carbon emissions of buildings, both in design and operation. Energy assessors like those above are accredited by CIBSE Certification Ltd, which is believed to have accredited two-thirds of all energy assessors so far.

Flexible Learning Programme

CIBSE’s Flexible Learning Programme addresses the growing shortage of qualified building services engineers by providing the means for new staff and graduate entrants to fill their knowledge gaps with the required practical and technical competencies which will allow them to progress through the industry.

The programme covers key topics such as cables, drainage, heating, pipes and ventilation with a combination of written material, e-learning and web-based resources. Early adopters include Arup, Faber Maunsell, Hoare Lea and Crown House (Laing O’Rourke).

For more information on all CIBSE’s initiatives, visit