For an engineer, Building Services, Energy and Environmental Engineering opens up a separate, particularly varied field of activity involving interesting and demanding tasks. An industrial society depends on qualified Building Services, Energy and Environmental engineers for its structural progress: trade and industry, households and public institutions require a secure and inexpensive supply of energy, and they have to be able to fall back on optimised technologies for the economical and environmentally friendly conversion of these energies into heating energy and process heat as well as cooling power. Building services and environmental engineers are required not only when the issue is the supply of energy and water, or heating, air-conditioning, sanitary and control technology, or facility management - they are also in demand to tackle tasks relating to waste disposal and environmental protection, too.
Traditionally, building services, energy and environmental engineers have worked mainly in the domestic market:
Within Germany, the rapid industrial progress being made requires new, high-quality technical solutions; and any redevelopment tasks require a lot of specialist know-how about building services engineering. Moreover, the European market and markets outside Europe are gaining in significance
A jack of many trades
Technology has a great impact on our everyday lives: we use a wide variety of energy services almost everywhere and almost all the time. We have a comfortable environment at home and at work, we use hot and cold water, employ numerous technical systems and devices; in addition, waste water and waste is disposed of in accordance with environmental legislation.
Energy savings and environmental protection are key tasks here. They can only be solved with advanced technologies. Since energy and environment are meanwhile of great importance to us, building services, energy and environmental engineers are increasingly having to cope with new, demanding fields of activity and greater responsibility. This means: a building services engineer has great career prospects. Planning engineers, companies providing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling technologies and services, those supplying gas, water, district heating and electricity, industrial companies whose operations require huge amounts of energy: they all require building services, energy and environmental engineers. And the outlook is improving all the time.
Rethinking our approach to energy
Energy savings and environmental protection are two important fields of research which are being tackled in order to further develop heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technologies. Boilers and burners with greater levels of efficiency, new more economical energy technologies such as combined heat and power plants and heat pumps, systems to use renewable energies, improved technologies to generate cooling and refrigeration, optimised hydraulic networks in heating systems, more economical ventilation and air-conditioning systems, intelligent solutions for heat recovery and waste heat utilisation, optimised measurement and control technologies, integrated building services solutions, the centralised management and supply of large properties: all these are tasks which fall to the building services, energy and environmental engineer who has specialised in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning engineering. And they team up with construction engineers and architects to reduce the heating requirement through energy-efficient construction.
Example heating engineering: In recent years, energy-efficient boilers and burners have gained broad acceptance. Low-temperature special heating boilers and gas condensing boilers use energy efficiently and are optimised for low emissions. In addition, heat pumps and small combined heat and power plants ensure our energy exploitation is even more effective.
Example office and administration building: Comfortable yet energy-saving air-conditioning concepts play an important role here. And new solutions for building automation ensure that the different technical components interact in the optimum way.
Example accommodation: Low-energy houses offer a high level of user comfort yet have a very low energy consumption. Crucial contributions to these developments are made by building services, energy and environmental engineers - in the form of better components for the building shell and new heating, ventilation, heat recovery and control technologies.
Foundation of our industrial society
The grid-based supply of electrical, gas and district heating energy is based on a complex interaction of technologies which serve to generate, convert, transport, distribute and utilise energy. Usable final energies are produced from raw primary energies in power stations, cogeneration plants, refineries, coal beneficiation plants, and by means of gas processing technologies. The transport and distribution of these energies requires ramified electricity, gas and district heating grids.
National, regional and municipal energy supply companies have technically demanding, capital-intensive installations. Engineers working here are also faced with interesting tasks. New power stations with enhanced levels of efficiency, improved environmental technologies in respect of electricity generation, the use of renewable energies and waste-to-energy systems to generate electricity and heat, the construction and operation of gas, local heating and district heating grids, the planning and implementation of energy supply concepts, improvements in the various fields of energy utilisation. These fields also open up opportunities for building services, energy and environmental engineers to play their part.