CIBSE Journal

by CPL Client: CIBSE

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has worked with CPL since 2009 to produce a monthly magazine and accompanying website for the 20,000 members of this professional body. CIBSE Journal is compelling, informative and now available in an optimised tablet-friendly edition.

The Brief

CIBSE Journal is the voice of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers: it is the leading monthly magazine for building services and related professionals and is the only publication circulated to all CIBSE members.

The brief to CPL, when we won a competitive pitch in 2009, was to communicate to readers with passion and expertise, calling on CIBSE members and industry leaders to contribute and share best practice wherever possible.

CIBSE’s brief to CPL also covers producing one-off supplements and video documentaries of key events.

Every issue of CIBSE Journal includes educational modules that contribute towards a readers’ continuing professional development. This contributes to the Institution’s ambition to raise the standards of professionals in the industry, as well as with readers working towards their professional goals.

The Challenge

To create a compelling and informative monthly magazine that uses multiple channels to provide all the news, analysis, comment, features, technical articles, regulatory advice and learning tools needed by the wide range of professionals working in the modern building services world.

Creative Approach

The design and the editorial content of CIBSE Journal needs to capture and hold the attention of 20,000 members every month.

The CPL team is led by experienced building sector journalist and editor Alex Smith, who applies his in-depth knowledge to create content that appeals to engineering professionals. This expertise is demonstrated in the range of topics and the way they are covered in the Journal: in-depth profiles of projects provide real insight into strategic and technical challenges.

The approach to design is to use striking architectural photography with clear, unfussy text. Signposting is important; time is at a premium for these readers and they need to be able to find what they need quickly and easily.

A branded e-newsletter is sent out each month to coincide with publication, and links take the recipient through to new content on the CIBSE Journal website.

An ‘optimised’ digital version, using CPLPortfolio, was launched in late 2013. This is specifically designed to look great and be easy to read online, on tablets and smartphones. This is available in the App Store ( and via

The Results

In a CIBSE Journal Reader Survey in October 2013, 86% of those questioned rated CIBSE Journal as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Nearly 70% spend at least half an hour reading the magazine, with 25% of those saying they spend over an hour digesting the content.

The first three online browser versions of each optimised issue generated an average of more than 2,000 unique visitors and an average of over 13,500 page views. In total, there were 40,656 page views in the three months following launch. (October 2013)

In addition, we are on target to have 2,000 downloads of the CIBSE app from the App Store within the first year of launch.