Q&A with Lewis Locke, regional manager at BGES London

Lewis Locke is regional manager at BG Energy Solutions (BGES) and heads up the company’s new offices in London. We spoke to Lewis about working at BGES, and the next big trends in building management.

Tell us a bit about your career so far.

I started my career in the Royal Navy, which gave me a really good, solid foundation in mechanical and electrical engineering. I’ve been in the building controls industry for a long time, and I’m excited to be taking the next step in my career by leading a new team in London with BGES.

Why has BGES opened offices in London?

We’re seeing a growing number of clients and opportunities in London and the South of England. Tighter regulations and higher energy costs mean that the drivers for improving the energy efficiency of a building are increasing.

Retrofits and upgrades to existing building management systems can really tackle energy waste, so it’s a good way of cutting out avoidable cost.

What do you like about working at BGES?

The company is known for its really high standards of engineering, and provides excellent training for staff to maintain this. That’s why we’re able to maintain a consistency of approach, but we also apply innovative solutions to customer challenges.

BGES is also known for its integrity, and as we’re not tied to one single BMS manufacturer, we’re able to offer technologies and solutions that are right for the customer.

What do you see as the ‘next big things’ in building control and management?

We’re seeing service and maintenance tasks becoming more automated – this is great as it means less of people’s time is spent on servicing. It allows more time for proactive interrogation of plant performance – harnessing your building’s data to deliver real cost, carbon and comfort wins. We call this ‘enhanced engineering’ and it’s about getting extra value out of your building controls.

Also – the role of ‘healthy’ buildings in boosting occupant wellbeing – that’s a topic that’s really gaining traction and a lot of businesses will be looking to invest in this over the next few years.

Building controls will play a big part in this. It’s important to educate clients about what’s possible, particularly when it comes to retrofitting existing buildings.

What’s BGES doing in the ‘healthy buildings’ space?

We’re ahead of the curve, and believe building analytics are key to improving a building’s health – this is where IoT (internet of things) comes in. Our VISTA building management tool, together with our 24 hour energy centre is collecting, monitoring and analysing building performance data.

This helps inform decisions on occupant health and wellbeing. Not only can we help provide precise control of a building’s internal environment, we can also provide real analysis that makes the case for investment in healthy buildings.

What can we expect to see from BGES in the near future?

We’re launching a new version of our VISTA tool – so expect to see news on that soon.

We also want to tackle the performance gap – i.e. the difference between how a building is designed and how it performs. We’re looking at specific building data streams and analysing these to discover how we can help close the gap.

Finally, are there still quick wins available for companies looking to save on their energy and maintenance bills?

Yes, and common pitfalls too. We often see plant being left on when it shouldn’t be, for example a boiler or chiller left on over the weekend, or coming on earlier than it needs to be. We’ve also seen boilers and chillers operating at the same time and fighting against each other. It’s such a common mistake that can cost the client thousands of pounds over a year. It’s a simple fix, and analytics can pick up the underlying reason and save a company thousands of pounds in wasted energy every year! 

Get in touch with Lewis if you’d like advice on improving the efficiency and performance of your building: