Historic Building Services in Education, Practice and Research

A symposium held at the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) on 25 July 2018

Historic principles of environmental design has received renewed interest amongst practitioners, teachers and academic researchers. This interest is driven by the belief that these principles could provide valuable lessons for modern practice. Moreover, knowledge of historic building services can be important to engineers working within the field of building conservation.

The symposium, ‘Historic building services in education, practice and research‘ aims to to explore the value of studying historic building services and how it can inform the practice and education of building services engineers today.

Through talks and discussions the event will provide a forum for practitioners, engineers and educators to investigate these questions. Speakers and panel chairs include Professor Dean Hawkes, University of Cambridge, Dr Neil Sturrock, Chairman of CIBSE Heritage Group, Caroline Cattini, Historic England, Phil Jones, Chairman of CIBSE CHP & District Heating Group, Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt, University of Kent, Andrew More, Senior Building Services Engineer, Historic England.

Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt, convenor of the symposium, will also present the findings of his recent study on the views of practicing engineers regarding the value of research into historic building services. This was based on interviews and a survey that he has undertaken in connection with his National Teaching Fellowship Award.

Please book via Eventbrite.

For further information about the event, including the programme, please see CIBSE Services Symposium. If you have any queries, please email C.Malkin@kent.ac.uk.


Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt is Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Architecture at the University of Kent, AHRC Leadership Fellow and member of the CIBSE Heritage Group. He is currently seconded to the Houses of Parliament to lead the research project ,Between Heritage and Sustainability – Restoring the Palace of Westminster’s nineteenth-century ventilation system’. Last year he has been made a National Teaching Fellow for his contribution to sustainability in architectural education. His work on the historic building services at the Houses of Parliament has been subject of feature article in the CIBSE Journal: http://portfolio.cpl.co.uk/CIBSE/201711/24/

Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt speaks at the Annual SCHOSA conference

Dr. Henrik Schoenefeldt will be giving a talk on Building Performance Evaluation in the context of education, research, and practice at the Annual SCHOSA Conference. This conference is held at the Royal Institute of British Architects on 9 and 10 April 2015.

The talk is entitled ‘Building performance Evaluation – an educational endeavour joining practitioners, students and researchers’ and it explores some of the challenges of using Building Performance Evaluations (BPE) as affective learning tools in architectural design, exploring the practical challenges of giving design a true empirical basis or of translating BPE findings into useable design knowledge for architects.

The idea of empirically-based design in practice and education will be explored, taking into consideration the role of both the social and physical sciences. Historical perspectives will also be provided to illustrate the role the cultural curriculum could take in illustrating to students the principles and origins of evidence-practice. Based on the his research on the ventilation of Palace of Westminster and climate control in nineteenth-century glasshouses Henrik will show some the earliest examples of building performance evaluations in which the recording of measurements, and experimental studies were combined with surveys on user perception.

Using two projects that Henrik has led at the University of Kent as examples, the second part of the talk will illustrate the potential of collaboration between academics, clients, practitioners, students and in addressing the some of challenges of performance-led practices of low-energy design in the UK.

For further information on the conference:

Research on Houses of Parliament featured in The Conservation

A new article by Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt was published by The Conversation and illustrates that the Palace of Westminster is actually a highly innovative building – despite its ‘crumbling fabric and antiquated network of environmental services’. The article, entitled How the Palace of Westminster gets rid of all that hot air in the House of Commons, goes on to explain that ‘the stack system which provided ventilation for the debating chambers for more than 90 years is one that is now being widely considered as a model for low-energy, sustainable ventilation in large public buildings’. Quite possibly to the extent ‘that the past could potentially inform the current renovation in a sustainable manner.’

To read article go to: