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Building services engineering

Arup has decades of experience, great strength and immense depth of expertise in building services engineering.


Integrating expertise in mechanical, electrical and public health engineering, we design the systems that support buildings and create a delightful environment for the people who use them.

We create, design and implement efficient, effective and elegant systems and infrastructure for heating, cooling, lighting and all the other systems a building needs. But we also use these systems to create stimulating, productive environments.

Creating delightful buildings

As a result, we can help architects realise their visions and take the design of a building beyond efficient – making it truly delightful. Great building services design transforms an office, residential, arts or building from an efficient machine into an inspiring environment.

It’s an approach we’ve taken successfully for many years, as our pioneering work on the Lloyd’s of London building shows. More recently, our building services engineering for BskyB Harlequin 1 HQ helped to create an award-winning, naturally lit, naturally ventilated environment for the broadcaster.

Meeting global challenges

Different areas of the world present very different challenges for building services engineers. For example, although natural ventilation might be a good solution for a data centre in the temperate climate of the UK, it wouldn’t be a good idea in the heat of the Middle East.

We draw on our global expertise to create the best possible building for the local environment, as we did for US client Citigroup’s new data centre in Frankfurt, Germany. Here we achieved a 72% reduction in energy use and a 30% reduction in water consumption to create the first LEED Platinum data centre in the world.

Many of our building services engineers have worked around the world during their careers at Arup, forging teams in our offices into a connected community of expertise. Our networks ensure that, wherever in the world they are, our clients always benefit from the latest thinking.

A creative approach

Indeed, fresh thinking helps us deliver even the most complex projects extraordinarily well for our clients, whether they’re architects or building owners. Advanced analysis enables us to confound convention and find solutions for seemingly impossible problems – such as how to keep a Qatar sports stadium cool in a sustainable way.

With a reputation for innovative design and technical solutions, we’re continuing to focus on effective, efficient designs. Adopting building information modelling (BIM) for all projects will enable us to deliver our projects even more effectively.

It’s this attention to detail, combined with our breadth of skills, that leads clients to choose Arup for building services engineering on some of the world’s seminal buildings – including the recently opened Shard in London.

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Global contact

Peter Bull
  • Peter Bull

    Peter Bull

    Peter Bull

    Global Retail Business Leader, Global Building Services Engineering Leader

    Your best solution to date?

    I enjoy the robust, efficient and flexible solutions. A good example is the HVAC concept for Bristol International Airport. It delivers comfort and energy efficiency and allows for the intrinsic refreshing and reorganisation of the retail and passenger spaces it serves!

    Why is it significant?

    It was one of the first displacement ventilation solutions conceived for large public buildings in the UK.

    Your particular skill?

    Low energy and low carbon solutions through the use of building physics.

    Enthusiasm?

    Demystifying building engineering! Creating comfort and excitement!

    Why Arup?

    Change is recognised and encouraged. I'm always encouraged to do things better!

    Anything else?

    Visiting Industrial Professor at University of Bristol, designer of the Engineering in the Built Environment modules.

  • Global Building Services Engineering Leader
  • Fiona Cousins

    Fiona Cousins

    Americas Region Board Member, Global Executive Board Member, Arup Fellow

    Your best solution to date?

    Princeton University Frick Chemistry Laboratory.

    Why is it significant?

    Throughout six years of design and construction, a large design team - two architects and 11 Arup disciplines, based both in London and New York - worked together to deliver a building that we believe really works for the chemists who learn and research there.

    Your particular skill?

    Co-ordinating design teams to get results that are more sustainable than they otherwise might be.

    Enthusiasm?

    Applying low-energy and sustainable design ideas to projects in ways that make a real difference to the outcome. This means consistently finding new ways to make energy use and sustainability targets tangible to clients, architects, colleagues and users.

    Why Arup?

    Every time I have needed a new challenge, Arup has found one, and has also helped find the people to work with to meet that challenge.

    Anything else?

    I have been elected to the USGBC’s national board, responsible for steering the organization’s market transformation efforts during a three-year term running from January 2012 through 2014. When not in the office, I can be found in a kayak somewhere off the coast of Manhattan.

  • t: +1 212 896 3000
  • e: Building-Services@arup.com
  • Arup New York USA - Design and Engineering Consultants [16:43]
  • Paul Sloman

    Paul Sloman

    Global Commercial Property Business Leader

    Your best solution to date?

    I have been fortunate to be involved in very many great projects, and because we work in design teams I wouldn’t claim any solution as my own, but ones that come to mind are the zero energy concept for the Nottingham university Jubilee campus in 1996, the natural ventilation strategy for the California academy of science in SF, the highly integrated structure services planning for the Hermes building in Tokyo, the hybrid a/c solution for the elliptical floor plates at 1 Bligh St, and the vertical villages concept for 8 Chifley Square in Sydney.

    Why is it significant?

    All these solutions add to the performance and architecture of the building, they are strategically considered and fully integrated into the form of the building.

    Your particular skill?

    A blend of design, creativity, communication, leadership, tenacity and energy.

    Enthusiasm?

    Lots of it, for whatever is next, I’m not interested in the past at all.

    Why Arup?

    We are the best engineering design firm in the world. We have great people, but so do other firms as well - it is the freedom to do what we do, in whichever way we think is best that sets us apart and keeps me here.

    Anything else?

    I am the Global Commercial Property leader, if you have an interest or need around commercial property then please contact me.

  • t: +61 (0) 2 9320 9320
  • e: Building-Services@arup.com
  • Sydney [06:43]
  • Mark Chown

    Mark Chown

    Mark Chown

    Your best solution to date?

    Centro Tecnológico Palmas Altas, Abengoa’s headquarters building in Seville with Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners

    Why is it significant?

    A very ambitious and challenging project which has delivered a highly sustainable design, with leading edge technology within the very economical construction budget set by the client.

    Your particular skill?

    Setting strategy, leading teams and encouraging a sustainable approach to what we do.

    Enthusiasm?

    Meeting the challenge of providing great design with added value and delivering in an efficient way, all in a very competitive market.

    Why Arup?

    The opportunities provided to stretch ones abilities with a wealth of technical knowledge within the firm to support you, and to work on great projects which are at the forefront of current thinking.

    Anything else?

    On the advisory board for BREEAM Spain.

  • t: +34 (0) 91 523 9276
  • e: Building-Services@arup.com
  • Madrid [22:43]

Explore our work


BSkyB Harlequin 1.

Project: BSkyB, Harlequin 1

The most sustainable broadcasting, studio and data centre building of its type.

Read more

Citi Data Centre. Image credit Christian Richters

Project: Citi Data Centre

This data centre in Frankfurt is Citigroup's largest outside of the USA.

Read more

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