Dogs, cats and BEMS; a day in the life of a Kendra engineer

A day in the life of a BEMS engineer is always going to be unique, given that no two days – or engineers – are the same. Our engineers travel from site to site, constantly facing – and conquering – new challenges. In fact, many consider ‘variety’ to be the biggest perk of the job because it keeps things interesting.

To give you a flavour of what our engineers get up to, on any given day, we asked Matt, our Senior BEMS Principal Engineer, to keep a diary for one whole day. Matt joined Kendra five years ago but has been in the industry for a lot longer.

His truly unique story – featuring six dogs, two cats and Big Ben – makes for an interesting read. Here’s Matt’s personal account of what he got up to.

4:30 Start My Day

I wake up barely able to stretch my legs. The cats have had a busy night mousing and have come in for a nap. On my feet.

After saying good morning to the two cats, I shower and throw on my dog walking clothes. All six dogs wait patiently in the lounge for their morning outing; a 30-minute race around the fields.

When we get back, I feed the animals their ‘raw food’ breakfast (it’s messy!) and put my Kendra gear on. On the way out, I grab some fruit and fill my water bottle.

Once the dogs are in their secure kennels, I double check my work diary so I know where I’m headed. I can’t be the only BEMS engineer who worries about turning up at the wrong job, seeing as most of us travel from place to place.

Today I’m working in central London. Not too far from Essex, where I live. So, I make my way to the London underground and grab a metro newspaper – yes, they do still exist!

8:30 Get to Work

I arrive at Westminster Station. My destination is just a short walk from here. It’s Friday, which is ‘treat day’ for Kendra engineers; our work phones are on O2 and with O2 Priority you get a free sausage roll from Greggs. Luckily, there’s a Greggs at the station, so I swing by on my way out. As I walk to work, I can hear Big Ben chiming in the background.

I arrive before the main doors open but because I’ve worked here before, I know the drill. I go around the back of the building and make my way through the usual security checks. The metal detector beeps as it passes my steel toe caps. One thing that stands out to me about this place is the unique carpet (see picture).

I’m escorted to a plant room. The first thing I do is plug my laptop into the BEMS network, change my IP address for the site and take a backup of all the main Trend IQ4E variant controllers. I then look at my planned preventative maintenance (PPM) schedule and decide where I fancy working. The ideal spot is somewhere I can easily navigate to controls etc to carry out checks on them, but also somewhere that’s slightly warmer. There’s nothing worse than a cold well-ventilated plant room in Spring!

I like to start reporting my findings straight way. The sooner the better, or you’ll end up relying on your own memory and photos, which isn’t the most reliable method. So, I quicky tap away, knowing I can tidy it up later.

My Work Day

At around 9am I have a meeting with the site engineer. We’ve met before so we’re already on friendly terms. We chat about the issues he’s having and how I can assist. We also talk about his impressive tool collection. He’s always buying more tools for work; walking into his office is like entering Screwfix.

The engineering manager always keeps the building operating at a high standard. His knowledge of BEMS engineering is pretty good, which helps. It means we can have detailed, productive chats about what needs to be done to improve site operation – whether that’s a fix or a project – and come to an appropriate solution together.

That’s why this is one of my favourite sites. There’s nothing more deflating than writing the same report with the same issues and adding to it every visit. It’s nice when people heed your guidance and take action. It will, after all, help keep their buildings operational, save energy and even make employees feel more comfortable at work.

Afternoon update: Today I’m working on the air handling units (AHU’s) and checking them for any obvious mechanical issues. I carry out checks on the main panel and tests with the BEMS strategy (aka the ‘control philosophy ’ governing plant operation). For example, if we want to heat or cool air going to a certain area, I can check whether the setpoint is being achieved and make sure heating and cooling is not letting by and wasting energy. Or if the fan was to stop running, I can check whether the BEMS would flag this and trigger an alarm to the main head end PC.

I fine tune the air and temperature controls, improving the overall efficiency of the plant. We’re always reviewing temperature setpoints on sites because we often find setpoints have been increased for fan coil units serving meeting rooms. Once changed, they are usually forgotten about. Changing it back down to 21°C can be a quick win for the client when it comes to energy savings.

No seat today, which keeps me moving around. I don’t tend to stop for lunch anymore. I do drink a lot of water, though, which means a fair few toilet breaks throughout the day.

Sometimes in the afternoon, my amazingly efficient BEMS Service Team Coordinator rings to let me know about any last-minute changes to my diary. We usually discuss up and coming parts deliveries if we haven’t already noted it in my diary.

15:00 Finish Onsite

Today was a good day. The plant rooms here are clean, so my hands don’t look like I’ve been digging for coal. Honestly, most facilities management-controlled plant rooms rarely see a mop. It’s amazing what a well looked after plant room does for an engineer’s moral.

I make sure I haven’t accidentally left any plant on test – it would be embarrassing if I got called back in because I left it on 100 percent heating or something! I then pack up my tools and get going.

I travel home on the underground, tidying my report so it’s ready to send to the office. At Kendra, we like to be efficient and get the information to the client whilst it’s all fresh in their mind. I spend the rest of my commute people watching – which is always interesting in London – and I think about what I’ll have for dinner. I’m always ravenous at this time of day.

16:45 Home for the Evening

Get in touch

If you have any questions or enquiries about our engineering solutions, contact your nearest office or email

We are currently hiring BEMS engineers – Check out our vacancy page.

I’m greeted lovingly by the cats, who wait for me in their usual spot by the garage. After also greeting six excitable dogs, we all head out for our evening walk – and yes, the cats come too!

Tonight, two of my dogs will prove how well-mannered they are by completing the Kennel Club Silver Assessment. One of the tests they’ll need to complete involves sitting for two minutes with me at a distance. It’s such a great feeling to see them achieve such steadiness.

Update: They PASSED and we got an award.