Last edited 08 Jul 2021

The importance of building services

Building services are the systems installed in buildings to make them comfortable, functional, efficient and safe. They can include fire safety, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), lighting, plumbing, ICT (information and communications technology), and so on.

Building services play a central role in contributing to the design of a building, not only in terms of overall strategies and standards to be achieved, but also in façade engineering, the weights, sizes and location of major plant and equipment, the position of vertical service risers, routes for the distribution of horizontal services, drainage, energy sources, sustainability, and so on.

Building services engineers influence a building’s architecture and can have considerable influence on the sustainability and energy demand of a building, as well as the health and wellbeing of its occupants.

In an interview with Designing Buildings Wiki, BSRIA’s CEO Julia Evans explained the increasing importance of building services:

Architects can design the most beautiful or complex building, but without building services being introduced effectively it's not going to work.

“It won't give Generation Z the kind of environment they expect - natural light, air conditioning which is not intrusive, clean air, and so on. The flexibility of buildings needs to be constantly at the forefront of the architect, builder and any other subcontractors' minds - they need to be thinking about what else the building might look like or be used for in the future.”

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