Building Services News - in Focus

The End For Edison?

Tungsten filament lamps (better known in the residential market as a lightbulb) could be consigned to history if plans by the European Commission are brought to fruition. At the Spring European Council in March 2007, EU leaders propsed a Europe-wide ban on GLS lamps by 2009. The proposal follows the legislation recently passed by the Cuban and Australian parliaments to promote the use of modern, energy-efficient, CFL lamps as a means to reduce carbon emissions.

Full summary: EU Commission

Budget 2007: energy and the environment

The Chancellor has announced a series of measures to encourage greener, more energy efficient homes, as well as changes to vehicle excise duty to penalise the most polluting cars. The Chancellor's range of measures are expected to lead to around 16 million tonnes of carbon reductions. He also announced £800m for the environmental transformation fund for the developing world and £50m for a project to protect the rainforests.

CIBSE responds to DCLGs Carbon Challenge

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) is set to publish a Sustainability Guide calling for environmental and energy issues to be addressed at the earliest planning stages of projects.

Due to be published in April 2007, Guide L: Sustainability has been billed as 'one of the most important and far reaching Guides to be produced by the Institution'. Advocating the role of the building services engineer in minimising a building's carbon footprint through the application of sustainable engineering technologies, it will complement their recent response to the Department of Communities and Local Government's (DCLG's) consultation exercises on sustainability.

Full article: CIBSE website

Towards Zero Carbon Housing - lessons from Northern Europe

Changes to the building regulations have radically improved the standards of thermal efficiency in new housing over the past three decades; however yet higher levels of efficiency will be required if the UK is to meet long-term emission targets. Coordinated by CIRIA, this DTI Global Watch Mission report published on the 16 March 2007 studied approaches to the reduction of fossil fuel energy use and associated emissions in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, with a view to informing and influencing future housing design and energy systems in the UK.

Eco Towns to cut carbon emissions

Housing Minister Yvette Cooper has announced that new small eco-towns built on brownfield land could lead the way in cutting carbon emissions and building affordable homes . The Government announced it would consider plans for eco-towns put forward by local authorities as part of the New Growth Points scheme. New eco-towns, of between 5000-10000 homes, would have strong public transport links to nearby towns and cities. They would make the best use of brownfield land and could be built on public sector surplus land such as former MoD or NHS sites. Ministers believe these new developments could help drive the environmental technologies needed to ensure all new homes are zero carbon within a decade, as set out in last December's zero carbon timetable.

Full article: DCLG website

The Future of Urban Wind Turbines

New research into urban wind turbines currently being undertaken by The Carbon Trust aims to clarify the overall potential of small-scale wind energy Small wind turbines can save carbon emissions by avoiding use of grid electricity, and are an important technology to consider in helping the UK move to a low carbon economy. However, little is known about the actual wind resource of our towns and cities, making the potential carbon savings of small wind turbines difficult to determine. The Carbon Trust is planning to publish conclusions of the research later this year.

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