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Topic Title: The Savoy Place Upgrade and Energy Efficiency
Topic Summary: You know a project is going to fail when the people involved refuse to answer simple questions!
Created On: 14 January 2013 12:18 PM
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 15 January 2013 02:56 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

I repeat...yet again

Therefore in regards to the Savoy place upgrade, can you let me know:

1. Can the membership obtain access to the historic energy consumption data of the Savoy Place building? In what form is it available?
2. Can the membership obtain access to the historic room occupation data of the Savoy Place building? In what form is it available?
3. Do you keep a maintenance log that records time periods when heating and air conditioning systems have failed? Are they available for inspection?
4. Is there any historic temperature data for the building available internal/external? In what form is it available?
5. Is it possible to list rooms in terms of expected energy consumption and type and use some temperature logging devices to record day night variations, and differences between when a particular room is unused or used to near maximum capacity? Vertical temperature profiles would be interesting especially in the large lecture theatre?
6. If the current systems are not working or fail where do building workers and visitors notice the problem most?
7. Will the ventilation systems be changing radically e.g. from larger ducts with slow moving air volumes to small ducts with fact moving air (and perhaps noisier fans systems)?


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James Arathoon
 16 January 2013 05:35 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

My understanding is that this is a matter for the Board of Trustees to manage.

Proceedings, powers and duties of the Board

72. The Board shall manage the property and affairs of the IET in accordance with the Charter and these Bye-laws, and may exercise all such powers of the IET as are not required to be exercised by a General Meeting of the IET.


Of course, you may wish to raise this matter with the Board, but my understanding is that they are under no obligation to respond to requests from individual members (although of course they may decide to do so as a matter of courtesy).

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 16 January 2013 06:05 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19592
Joined: 23 March 2004

I suspect they cant rather than won't - other than point 1, point 6 (anecdotally) and point 7 (by the design team) it's not probable the data exists.

regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 17 January 2013 08:35 AM
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ectophile

Posts: 541
Joined: 17 September 2001

I rather suspect the answers are:

1. No, 2. No, 3. No, 4. No, 5. No, 6. No records kept, and 7. Not yet decided.

Though I could be wrong on 1. And, perhaps, 2.

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S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 17 January 2013 01:05 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Originally posted by: amillar

My understanding is that this is a matter for the Board of Trustees to manage.



Proceedings, powers and duties of the Board



72. The Board shall manage the property and affairs of the IET in accordance with the Charter and these Bye-laws, and may exercise all such powers of the IET as are not required to be exercised by a General Meeting of the IET.




Of course, you may wish to raise this matter with the Board, but my understanding is that they are under no obligation to respond to requests from individual members (although of course they may decide to do so as a matter of courtesy).


At the meeting on 20th September (Open evening at IET London: Savoy Place) there were plenty of members uneasy about the project and concerned to know exactly what was going on with the refurbishment project.

I also went to a more recent meeting on Energy Efficency in Buildings, which included a short presentation on the Savoy Place Upgrade. There must have been under 10 members from the wider membership at this second meeting, and I am perhaps one of less than 5 to attend both events. If people had introduced me to the trustees attending either event I would have been one of the first to welcome their presence.

I am sure there are similar clauses in the Royal Institution founding papers; it didn't stop the refurbishment of their building almost bankrupting them. At the end of the day if those in charge mess up, it is the membership that is on the hook to make up the difference.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 17 January 2013 04:42 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "on the hook": If the IET makes a costly mistake in refurbishing Savoy Place and wishes to recover that money from members then it puts its fees up, and we can then decide not to pay them and to leave the IET. No-one can demand the extra money from us, and no-one can force us to stay as members!

More to the point, as a charity the IET has strict rules governing its conduct in administrative and financial affairs, which gives clear processes for raising concerns. So if you feel that yourself and "plenty of (other) members" have serious concerns about this programme then you are most likely to get a result by following those procedures. Posting on these forums is not the best process by a long way. And there is no point waiting for the IET to approach you, as from their point of view it is not for the members to vet every decision, that is what the staff, council and trustees are for.

Regarding various statements you have made in this thread regarding the IET staff and and their contracted engineers please also note the conditions of use of these forums:
5. Messages, whether posted by IET members or others, should comply with the relevant sections of the Institution's rules of conduct. This includes, but is not limited to, those rules that concern objectiveness, concern for the reputation of others, declaration of interest, and the making of statements outside one's area of professional expertise. In the context of a discussion forum, this stipulation is not intended to prevent the offering of informal suggestions, provided that it is clear on what basis these are made. Under no circumstances may defamatory statements be made in these forums. The use of swearing, or of offensive language or links, is not in the spirit of the rules and will not be permitted.
my emphasis


P.S. I should add that there are many, many things that the IET does as a body which I do not personally agree with (or at least where I wouldn't do it that way), but as a member you have to make a personal decision as to whether you want to spend the time sitting on the central committees, or else you accept that it's their problem. In any case, there is always more than one way to run any organisation: after all, why refurbish SP at all? Or why not sell it for immediate income? Or turn it into a hotel to raise more revenue long term? Or have many smaller meeting rooms? If the IET considered every members opinion and question on every possibility they'd never do anything at all (even worse value for money), which is why the majority of organisations run with the type of executive structure the IET has. Yes of course you need a "safety net" process for when questionable decisions get made, but I think anyone who has been anywhere near the IETs bureaucrocy would agree that there are a plethora of systems for this!

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert

Edited: 17 January 2013 at 05:33 PM by amillar
 17 January 2013 06:19 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Dear Andy,

My inquiry started in private on the 11th December 2012. It came out into the open on 14th January 2013, when I posted my questions on the forum.

I have no commercial interest to declare.

My interest is that I do not want the Savoy Place building to use more energy than before the upgrade, unless there are good engineering reasons for this.

If the building uses more energy without good reason, then we will all be potentially opened up to public ridicule - especially those professional engineers recommending energy efficiency measures for others. If we have no idea whether or not we are going to use more energy or not then this is evidence of professional incompetence for us all to share.

If the Savoy Place building is to use more energy after the upgrade, then I would like the membership to be clearly and transparently made aware of this design decision, before the project is given the final go ahead.

I am asking clear and simple engineering questions in English and am expecting clear and simple answers.

Best Regards,

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 17 January 2013 06:25 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19592
Joined: 23 March 2004

I am asking clear and simple engineering questions in English and am expecting clear and simple answers.


Actually, you're not - if only that you don't know what the predicted use is going to be. That's why we discussed EPC's (briefly) earlier - that will give an asset rating independant of actual building usage - it will use standardised profiles - which allows the comparisons to be made.

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 17 January 2013 07:57 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

I mentioned the Royal Institution, by complete co-incidence they have just updated their website concerning their future, following a story in the Times that their Albemarle Street property is on the market...

http://www.rigb.org/contentCon...ontent&id=00000006869

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 17 January 2013 08:21 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Royal Institution Building For Sale story

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/...ty/article3659815.ece

Of what use is Savoy Place to us if we have to sell it.

I would rather that the building remains a bit scruffy with the heating and ventilation systems updated, rather than a building we cannot afford full of esclators and glass lift bling that no one uses.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 25 January 2013 02:51 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

The Royal Institution have got themselves in a position whereby they cannot afford the running costs of their iconic building anymore, given their debt levels following the refurbishment of their building and the income that they can now sustainably generate.

Now this should give us all a little pause for thought.

Ultimately in what form the Savoy Place refurbishment goes ahead is a collective decision for the trustees incooperation with the chief executive and finance director etc.

I have talked to several people now on this topic including my father who is a retired member of CIBSE. At the open day meeting and a subsequent meeting I found it interesting to talk with various retired, working and unemployed members on the topic of the refurbishment.

In the process of talking with lots of people with different viewpoints (and perhaps agendas) I have become somewhat confused with what is actually going on and what the eventual objectives for the refurbishment need to be.

The technicalities have been bogging me down too much I agree, but this is not all due to my own stupidity and ignorance. In trying to learn about this I have been confused by others.

Some people have said that reaching certain named standards are legal requirements and other people have said they are not.

I have been told on several occasions now that comparing the overall running costs, noise and comfort levels of the building before and after the refurbishment is either something that cannot be done or is not nornmally done or is completely irrelevant from an engineering point of view, because so much of the internals are changing.

The finance director in charge of paying the the long term running costs of the building won't necessarily be thinking like this so how can I, as a generalist (or integration) engineer, agree with the stated views of my specialist colleagues in this regard, when they conflict with the points of view other people may have to apply in the course of their day to day work, in assessing the overall financial case for the project.

I have joined the Savoy Place upgrade community and may ask more questions there at some point in the future.

http://mycommunity.theiet.org/communities/home/357

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
IET » Energy » The Savoy Place Upgrade and Energy Efficiency

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