Formation of the Society of Building Services Engineers

This journey has been some twenty years in the making and there are a number of people and events to recall as an integral part of the journey and the author apologises for not including everyone and everything:-

  1. Adj. Professor David Hood AM, Hon FIEAust, as Director Engineering for The Institution of Engineers Australia, saw both the importance and potential of having an engineering discipline called “building services engineering” in the mid. 1980’s and commenced a national body within Engineers Australia titled the Building Services Engineering Council (BSEC) to monitor this new and emerging discipline, which operated until the mid. 1990’s. Two of the members of the BSEC were Alan Obrart (NSW) and Kevan McGill (WA).
  2. In 1998, following the closure of the BSEC, EA authorized the establishment of a National Council for the SBSE and two of the representatives and also Vice Presidents of the inaugural Council were Alan Obrart (NSW) and Terry Spiro (WA).
  3. Initially SBSE’s home within EA was with the Mechanical College, then jointly with both the Mechanical and Electrical Colleges and finally/currently with the Electrical College.
  4. For a range of reasons the SBSE National Council went into recess between 2003 and 2008 and appeared to be around in name only. Except that Alan Obrart continued operating an SBSE Chapter in NSW and Kevan and Terry kept an SBSE Panel running in WA. There were also joint kindred groups operating in VIC, SA and QLD.
  5. Following an operational declaration, by the EA Director of Engineering in 2008, former EA Associate Director of Registration, Michael Bevan was appointed to establish ‘NPER – Building Services’ through the National Engineering Registration Board (NERB) and this proved to be a significant event. It would be remiss not to mention the work and support of National Manager Sheryl Harrington with her limited staffing resources and what they have achieved for The Society.
  6. In 2009 SBSE National Committee was reformed and Alan Obrart elected as National Chair and Terry Spiro as Deputy. Reforming SBSE turned out to be much harder than starting from scratch and there were times when Alan and Terry wondered what we had taken on but remained grateful for the high level support from David Hood, Dr Marlene Kanga and Alex Baitch who were all National Presidents of EA and greatly assisted this Society’s journey.
  7. Between 2012 and 2014 we were very busy with the re launch of SBSE at the EA Convention 2014 in Melbourne. To support SBSE the Electrical College elected to call their one-day seminar, which they fully funded, a “Building Services Symposium”.  

Current National Committee

Alan Coote                          National Chair & TAS Rep.             Specialist BSE Electrical

Alan Obrart                         Deputy National Chair                  NER-Mechanical and
Building Services

Terry Spiro                          National Treasurer                        NER-Mechanical and
Building Services

Graham Agar                      National Secretary, WA Rep.       Specialist BSE Practitioner

Prof. David Hood, AM      QLD Representative                       Engineering Sustainability

Ian Childs                            NSW Representative                     Specialist BSE and
Fire Compliance

Brett Fairweather             National & Liaison Rep.                BSE Mech. Standards &

Roger Blackwell                 National Representative              NER-Mechanical and
Building Services

Peter Murton                    SA Representative                          Building Services Design

Anthony Dorinko              VIC Representative                       Buildings Services Engineering

Re Launch of SBSE

The re launch in 2014 was a significant event and achieved the following:-

  • The total and unconditional support of EA directly from the CEO and National President.
  • Australia wide advertising for SBSE.
  • An article in the EA Journal ahead of the re launch.
  • Joint recognition on the platform for the release of EA “Sustainability” and “Climate Change Policies” driven by Adj Professor David Hood AM
  • A brand SBSE brochure prepared by Alan Obrart and the NSW committee.
  • Rewrite of the “Rules for Chapters” by Terry Spiro and WA committee.
  • Re instatement of the SBSE on the EA website, and is an ongoing project
  • Electrical College Board inclusion of SBSE, to have their own awards segment, in the prestigious ECB Annual Dinner and Awards Night, which is now a permanent arrangement.

BSE Certification

Over the last few years SBSE has moved quickly to be recognized as the only organization in Australia to have BSE Certification and achieve the following:-

  • Successful National Conference, Annual Meeting and National Committee Meeting in Brisbane 2016.
  • Having representatives in QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS, SA and WA.
  • Conducting the SBSE roadshow or similar in WA, VIC, QLD and NT.
  • Successful transfer of NPER – Building Services to NER – Building Services.
  • The important work of Adj Professor David Hood AM continues in reporting the impact of climate change.
  • Setting up the framework to create supplementary registers in Building Services for EA Associate and Technologist grades.
  • In 2016 the new SBSE web address was established, which directly feeds into the EA sbse website in the EA new societies web format and establishing the SBSE mailserver by Ian Childs, and this uses EA new Societies web format.
  • Establishing an SBSE National member’s register, by Chapter, thanks to Graham, with a total of around 700, accepting there may be duplication between SBSE and NER lists.
  • Finalizing of the SBSE Banners, Thanks to input from Alan Obrart, Graham and Sheryl.
  • EC Confirmation of ARBS as SBSE industry and members forum

SBSE Representation

 SBSE continues to grow and now has representation on a number of EA and Standards committees including:

  1. AS/NZS1668.1&2 Brett Fairweather,
  2. AS1682.1&2 ian Childs,
  3. AS1851 Ian Childs & Brett Fairweather,
  4. AS/NZS3666.1,2,3&4 Ian Childs

National Responsibilities Within EA

As a Society within Engineers Australia SBSE has responsibility to provide opportunities for its members to meet at least biennially and in that regard has elected to do that at ARBS so that our members can meet with kindred industry groups and encourage the widest possible cooperation, which is important for the growth of our industry which was founded from Air Conditioning to HVAC to Mechanical Services plus facilities management and now to Building Services Engineering whilst maintaining that focus on science and engineering being the key to the success and perhaps the survival of the industry into the future.

About ndibs

Officially a senior citizen. Husband, Father & Grandfather.
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