Engineering and Technology for the Built Environment

Built Environment Executive statement: The IET is changing the way it works!

The IET is prioritising five sectors, Energy, Transport, Information and Communications, Design and Production and the Built environment to provide a focal point for people to exchange knowledge and find relevant information which will assist them as they progress there engineering career.

Read the Built Environment Executive statement to learn more about this sector, its strategic priorities and how you can contribute.


For the first time in human existence more than 50% of the world's population - that's over 3 billion people - is now living in urban environments, and this proportion is rising rapidly. The impact of this mass-urbanisation is clear to see: soaring energy consumption, major air pollution and CO2 generation contributing significantly to global warming, water shortage and pollution, transport and infrastructure overload, and massive waste management issues. Such issues will only be resolved by developing and delivering world-class engineering solutions on a global scale.

Engineering and technology underpins the objectives for innovative solutions to these global challenges including, climate change, energy and carbon efficiency and the management waste. 

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is partnering with the MBE Community and other professional institutions to provide a forum that enables access to information, networking of link minded initials, platforms of through processes.  Cross sector open forum for interdisciplinary thought though an informal platform of knowledge exchange.      

We are working closely on the following themes:

  • Intelligent Building Systems:There has to be a constant and conscious need for mankind to reduce its carbon footprint on the planet to provide a sustainable future for the generations that will follow us.To do this built environment technologies can assist greatly by reducing energy consumption at the point of use by providing intelligent integrated control of building services, more efficient equipment and lighting systems.
  • Energy Systems:this starts with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and extends into energy capture, recovery, conversion and storage to integrate buildings into local energy networks. Technologies such as trigeneration, heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and phase change materials are central to proposed reductions in carbon emissions and energy independence.           
  • Building Transport Systems: lifts, escalator systems and horizontal walkways are major consumers of power and yet essential to a building's operation.  However a significant percentage of their energy is wasted as heat.  It is here that intelligence can be applied with systems such as efficient control of banks of lifts and also energy recovery systems. 
  • Safety Critical Systems: large modern buildings need robust systems to ensure the safety and security of occupants. In addition the systems within buildings may underpin everything from international financial markets to critical infrastructure such as transport.There are a wide range of threats to buildings, both natural and manmade, which need increasingly sophisticated technical responses.
  • Environmental Conditioning Systems: environmental conditioning systems, as an integral part of the built environment, provide the means to modify the environment to suit the particular needs of the occupants or processes, taking consideration of technical, economic and increasingly environmental criteria. The options available to meet these core needs are ever more difficult to reconcile with the drive towards zero carbon buildings, resource scarcity including rising energy costs, an increasing recognition of our stewardship of the planet, climate change/adaptation and the reality that few of us will accept lower standards of comfort. In order to meet this challenge we must bring together best practice in an integrated way creating a 'virtuous circle' throughout the building life, understanding the needs of the occupants, modelling the solutions, applying appropriate solutions and technologies and making intelligent choices which will stand the test of time. 


These community themes are your opportunity to have your say, engage with other professionals in this area, and have you voice heard.

Key/hot topics

The following hot topics have been identified as possible areas to develop into their own theme. We would welcome your thoughts on this list. Have we missed something?

  • Positive energy buildings
  • Demand side management for Smart-Grids
  • Capita assignments
  • Off-side manufacturing
  • Prefabricated manufacturing including Prefabricated wiring systems
  • Power distribution systems
  • ICT
  • Fire systems and other such Emergency systems
  • Environmental approaches
  • Sustainable energy systems
  • Building management including asset management life cycle costing
  • Design installations and surge protection.