Building Services News - in Focus

UK-GBC Publishes Sustainable Construction Findings

The UK Green Building Council's first major report 'Carbon Reductions in New Non-Domestic Buildings', commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government, has been published (Dec 2007). The campaign group of public and private sector partners reports three key findings, namely: 1) that it is possible to reduce carbon emissions from energy use down to zero in the majority of new non-domestic buildings, 2) there is a cost associated with building to zero carbon and 3) a challenging yet achievable timeframe for achieving zero carbon new non-domestic buildings along the lines set for housing is needed in the UK.

Massive Expansion of Wind Energy Proposed

Energy Secretary John Hutton has announced a major expansion to UK offshore wind energy production in proposals that could see up to 25 gigawatts of offshore wind produced by 2020, in addition to the 8 gigawatts already planned. Speaking to the European energy industry in Berlin in December 2007, Hutton suggested that the construction of 7000 wind turbines could produce up to 33GW, enough to power all UK homes by offshore wind and help achieve the UK Government's commitment of meeting the EU target of 20% renewable energy by 2020.

Further information: Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

The Architecture of Climate Change

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a briefing paper on climate change for the architectural profession. Climate Change Briefing sets out the range of energy uses and carbon dioxide emissions associated with new and existing UK buildings of different types, and identifies key factors that affect the level of carbon dioxide emissions. The briefing emphasises the critical role of the existing building stock, and includes links to sources of energy and environmental benchmarking data.

Further information: http://www.riba.org.uk/

100 Days of Carbon Clean Up Continues

670 organisations have now signed up in 2007 to save carbon in their building. The campaign organised by CIBSE and the Carbon Trust includes an action pack, free events and special themed days to help businesses involve their whole organisation in saving carbon. This year the campaign has been extended to include low cost managerial measures that your company can adopt to give your carbon saving more impact. The campaign runs until 20 Dec 2007.

Further information: http://www.100days.co.uk

Winter Light

Lighting accounts for 40% of businesses’ total electricity bills and, as the clocks have now gone back, businesses are likely to see their bills increase. With winter approaching and daylight hours getting shorter, the Carbon Trust has launched a new energy saving lighting guide, which will help business get to grips with their lighting to reduce energy use and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Further information: www.carbontrust.co.uk/publications [publication CTV021]

Taking Energy Seriously

The building services profession's chartered body CIBSE is further responding to the real and serious implications of climate change with the establishment of its Energy Performance Group (EPG). Its aim is to improve the energy performance of buildings by increasing awareness amongst all building professionals and supporting the implementation of relevant legislation aimed at reducing carbon emissions in buildings.

Of general interest to building services, design and construction professionals is the excellent resource section on the CIBSE EPG website which features a number of papers, articles and presentations on energy usage, building performance and climate change.

Further information: http://cibse-epg.org

Consumer Advice Scheme for Boiler Efficiency launched

From 2nd October 2007, homeowners can ask for a free A-G energy rating for their boiler with advice to help cut fuel bills, when the engineer visits. Heating and hot water bills are the biggest energy costs households face each month, yet many people are unaware the average boiler is 'E' rated and could produce over 50 per cent more heat - making the recommended improvements could cut fuel bills by hundreds of pounds and reduce carbon emissions.

Further information: www.communities.gov.uk/boilers

Getting Out of Hot Water

As business looks to reduce its energy bills in the coming autumn and winter months, as well as reduce its carbon footprint, The UK Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has issued good practice guidance. The publication features practical steps to reduce the energy usage and carbon emissions from your heating and hot water systems.

Buildings account for almost half of the energy consumption and carbon emissions in the UK. The heating and hot water used in your building can amount to half of all a business's energy costs. Their booklet which is available for download from the DCLG website gives businesses advice on boilers, space heating systems, water heaters, hot water systems and their controls.

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