Building Systems Engineering

February 23, 2024

Engineering for building systems is a multidisciplinary effort that involves the design of all the systems that secure, power, and condition a building. The systems that require engineering design include HVAC, electrical power, lighting, plumbing, fire protection, and renewable energy.

Building systems engineers need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the principles and practices of their specific fields of engineering, as well as the codes and standards that regulate the building industry. They also need to have skills in communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and creativity, as they often work with other professionals, such as architects, contractors, owners, and operators to deliver optimal solutions for complex projects.

The following is a list of the most commonly designed systems across most buildings:

  1. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning): Engineers in this field design systems that control the indoor environment, ensuring a comfortable and healthy atmosphere. This involves considerations for heating, cooling, ventilation, and air quality.
  2. Electrical Power: Building systems engineers design electrical distribution systems to ensure a reliable and efficient supply of power throughout the building. This includes lighting, outlets, and other electrical components.
  3. Lighting: Engineers work on lighting design to enhance both the aesthetic and functional aspects of a building. This includes artificial and natural lighting, taking into account energy efficiency and user needs.
  4. Plumbing: Plumbing engineers design systems for water supply and drainage. This involves considerations for sanitary systems, water conservation, and ensuring safe and efficient water distribution throughout the building.
  5. Fire Protection: Ensuring the safety of occupants is a critical aspect of building systems engineering. Engineers design fire protection systems, including alarms, sprinklers, and other measures to mitigate the risk of fire and enhance occupant safety.
  6. Renewable Energy Systems: With a growing focus on sustainability, building systems engineers are increasingly involved in integrating renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal systems to reduce the environmental impact of buildings.
  7. Codes and Standards: Building systems engineers must stay up to date with building codes and industry standards to ensure that their designs comply with regulations and best practices. This is crucial for safety, functionality, and legal compliance.

In summary, building systems engineers play a crucial role in creating functional, comfortable, and sustainable buildings by applying their expertise and collaborating effectively with other professionals in the design and construction industry.

Founded in 2003 and re-branded in 2018, HTW is an Arkansas-based firm specializing in architecture, engineering, planning, and interiors. Since its formation, HTW has become one of Arkansas most innovative and fastest-growing architecture and engineering design firms, providing services to clients across the United States.