I followed Mel Starrs twitter feed for quite some time and I can’t but marvel at how she was able to memorise so many acronyms and abbreviations. She posted an entry in blog Elemental back in 2008 under the title Acronym Spaghetti, where she wrote: “As an industry, we love acronyms. For newcomers this may be confusing”.
For sure, this language is definitely confusing to me but sometimes amusing as well, because in the short space of a tweet, an acronym has greater importance than in a typically longer text. Most of the time the acronym becomes the protagonist of the tweet and if you don’t know what that sequence of letters means you can pretty much discard the whole message.
I collected all of the acronyms tweeted by Mel from January to April this year. I counted quite a lot, 117 acronyms in total. Shorthand forms of writing like acronyms can only multiply in the future. With so many of us communicating over mobile devices with small screens and small keys, plus spatially constrained interfaces like twitter’s, the use of acronyms will be growing over fertile ground. They are part of the professional language and we have to get acquainted with them so that instead of facing an acronym spaghetti we can confidently play an acronym Scrabble game.
Scrabble board with acronyms
Here is the full list of acronyms:
ACD – Accredited Construction Details
AECB – The sustainable building association (Association of Environment Conscious Builders)
ASA – Advertising Standards Authority
ASHP – Air Source Heat Pump
ASHRAE – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
BCSE – British Council for School Environments
BEAN – Building Environmental Assessment Network
BIM – Building Information Modelling
BIS – Department for Business Innovation & Skills
BRE – Building Research Establishment
BREEAM – BRE Environmental Assessment Method
BSF – Building Schools for the Future
BSJ – Building Services Journal
BSRIA – Building Services Research and Information Association
B&ES – Building & Engineering Services Association formerly HVCA
CCC – Committee on Climate Change
CE – Constructing Excellence
CESP – Community Energy Saving Programme
CERT – Carbon Emissions Reduction Target
CfDs – Contracts for Difference
CHP – California Highway Patrol – just joking… Combined Heat & Power
CIBSE – The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
CIC – Community Interest Company
CIH – Chartered Institute of Housing
CIL – Community Infrastructure Levy
CIOB – Chartered Institute of Building
CoC – Chain of Custody
CPD – Continuing professional development
cSAP – Consultation SAP Software
CSH – Code for Sustainable Homes
CRC – Carbon Reduction Commitment
DCLG – Department for Communities and Local Government
DEC – Display Energy Certificate
DECC – Department of Energy and Climate Change
DEFRA – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
DER – Dwelling Emission Rate
DGNB – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (German Sustainable Building Council)
DM – Daily Mail
DS – Design Stage
DSM – Dynamic Systems Modelling
EEDO – Energy Efficiency Deployment Office
EEPB – Energy Efficiency Partnership for Buildings
EPBD – EU Performance and Building Directive
EPC – Energy Performance Certificate
EPUK – Environmental Protection UK
EST – Energy Saving Trust
EU – European Union
FEE – Fabric Energy Efficiency
FITs – Feed-in Tariffs
FSC – Forest Stewardship Council
GB – Great Britain
GBB – Get Britain Building Fund
GD – Green Deal
GG – Green Guide to Specification
GHA – Good Homes Alliance
GIS – Geographic Information Systems
GLA – Greater London Authority
GSHP – Ground Source Heat Pump
HA – Housing Authority
HBF – Home Builders Federation
HCA – Homes and Community Agency
HoC – House of Commons
HQI – Housing Quality Indicators
IES – Integrated Environmental solutions
IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
iSBEM – Software Interface for the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM)
MCS – Micro-generation Certification Scheme
MFP – Max Fordham and Partners
NBS – National Building Specification
NEAT – NHS Environmental Assessment Tool
NEF – National Energy Foundation
NHBC – National House-Building Council
NPPF – National Planning Policy Framework
NSIP – Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects
LA – Local Authority
LCA – Life-Cycle Assessment
LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
LES-TER – Landlord’s Energy Statement – Tenant’s Energy Review
LPA – Local Planning Authorities
LZC – Low and Zero Carbon
OFGEM – Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets
PCR – Post Construction Review
PFI – Private Finance Initiative
PH – Passive House
PHPP – Passive House Planning Package
PHT – Passive House Trust
PPS – Planning Policy Statement
PV – Photovoltaics
RBKC – The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
RHI – Renewable Heat Incentive
RHPP – Renewable Heat Premium Payment
RIBA – Royal Institute of British Architects
RICS – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
RMI – Rocky Mountain Institute
RSL – Registered Social Landlords
RTB – Right To Buy
SAB – SuDS Approving Body
SAP – Standard Assessment Procedure for the energy rating of dwellings
SBEM – Simplified Building Energy Model
SMEs – Small to Medium Enterprises
STBA – Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance
SuDS – Sustainable Drainage Systems
SWMP – Site Waste Management Plans
TAS – Thermal Analysis Simulation
TER – Target Emission Rate
TSB – Technology Strategy Board
TWFY – They Work for You
UCL – University College London
UKGBC – United Kingdom Green Building Council
USGBC – United States Green Building Council
VAT – Value Added Tax
WMS – Written Ministerial Statement
ZC – Zero Carbon
ZCH – Zero Carbon Hub

* Mel Starrs sadly passed away last month, I never met her but I learned a lot from reading her words.
A Justgiving page has been created for donations to her favourite charity, Cancer Research. Please consider giving a donation.

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