It is heartening that there are so many that wish to share the story of their experiences, and with such passion. Kandasamy Anbalagan of UAE-headquartered Proleed Engineering Consultants is the latest amongst long-serving MEP professionals working in the GCC region that chose to write their thoughts. In his guest column, aptly titled ‘Then and Now, in this issue, he wistfully looks at specific instances of eroding engineering best practices. He bemoans the diluting of a system that encourages properly engineered and coordinated drawings. He tellingly says, “Today, the modellers that are being inducted into organisations hardly have any construction knowledge and are mere ‘software application handlers’.”
His words serve as just another example of how we perhaps are at times too caught up in the latest technologies that are available in the marketplace – to the extent that we forget the foundational principles that are so essential for ramping up energy efficiency, Indoor Air Quality and other desired attributes and outcomes.
Besides Anbalagan, there is Jeremy McDonald of New York-based Guth DeConzo Consulting Engineers. Writing exclusively on ‘building tracing for better IAQ’ for Climate Control Middle East, he speaks of how we, in an attempt to solve one problem, create a new problem that we didn’t expect – the Law of Unintended Consequences. He goes on to say that “there may be a correlation between the unintended consequences of reducing energy intensity and increasing the intensity of the pandemic. Interesting argument, that!
Before I wrap up this editorial, I wish to draw your attention to the cover story on fire-resisting ducts, a topic that drew a lot of interest and passionate discussion when we reached out to multiple sources.
Whilst praising the work of the Civil Defence authorities in enhancing life and fire safety, the sources expressed dismay over how some testing laboratories are inclined to bypass the objective of the widely used BS 476/24, which requires consideration of stability, insulation, integrity and compliance with test standards. The laboratories in question conduct tests only up to 400 degrees C – as opposed to real-life scenarii of temperatures crossing 1,000 degrees C – and claim compliance with BS 476/24 on the issued Certificates of Conformance (CoC), which some manufacturers, driven by a motivation to cut costs, use for Civil Defence approval. Please do read. And please do share feedback, so we can look to improve on our writing.