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A Song of Ice and Fire - Extreme engineering environments

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In May, Northrop Consulting Engineers hosted an outside the box session on extreme engineering environments. With people still reeling from the finale of Game of Thrones, CIBSE NSW presented its own version of a Song of Ice and Fire.


New CIBSE Yen Chair Melanie Finch ran the evening, while NSW Committee members, Martin Craig and Haris Moraitis, presented respectively on cold and arid climates.

Martin discussed Steensen Varming’s early design work on the redevelopment of Scott Base, New Zealand’s Antarctic research station. Key outcomes from Martin’s presentation - besides working on your polar bear self defence skills - included keeping the design as simple as possible so that site teams can maintain systems. Also, normal design rules of thumb need to get thrown out the window: psychrometric charts don’t venture into this territory, and material R-values can fundamentally change.

Haris gave insights into two mammoth Middle Eastern projects, namely the 2020 World Expo in Dubai and the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The sheer value of these projects is astounding. Despite the fact that they are creating significant temporary cities, sustainability remains front of mind with passive design utilised as far as possible, significant renewable energy generation and aims for carbon neutral development.

Given the sensitivity of these projects and the stage they are both at, neither presentation could be made available publicly.

The CIBSE Buildings for Extreme Environments series can be found on the CIBSE Knowledge Portal. These contain a wealth of information, including:

  • Basic design data (comfort, light, noise)

  • Building design construction and materials (thermal properties and performance)

  • Equipment data

  • Sustainability

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