Building Services News - in Focus

Minister Comments on UK-GBC Proposal

Planning minister Margaret Beckett UK Green Building Council's (UK-GBC) proposed Code for Sustainable Buildings.

The UK-GBC Code proposed consistency across policies, tools, guidelines, metrics and targets. It is a framework using existing legislation to help all make all buildings are sustainable.

Beckett commented at environmental conference Ecobuild:

"I am very willing to listen to people coming forward with ideas to reduce carbon emissions. The industry has understood and accepted the basic arrangements needed for further investigation."

Plans are for the government to consult on the Code for Sustainable Buildings in the summer.

Further information:

BREEAM, LEED, and Green Star - Global Carbon Metrics

BREEAM, LEED, and Green Star have announced they will be working together to establish a common metrics on carbon emissions from new buildings.

The UK, US and Australian organisations currently use different measurement methods. To satisfy the growing demand for a consistency for carbon emissions they will establish a constant metric, for measurement and reporting.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, commented:

"Rating tools like BREEAM, LEED and Green Star have a proven track record in driving significant improvements in performance, and I'm delighted they are now coming together to help create an international language that will enable us to talk with one voice about the vital role green buildings can play in creating a low-carbon future."

Further information:

Innovas Low-Carbon Report

The UK was the sixth largest producer worldwide of low-carbon and environmental goods and services in 2007/2008 according to a recent report.

The Innovas report, published by the UK government found that the UK accounted for 3.5% (£107bn) of global output in sustainability related sectors.

Assessing 270 companies in sectors such as carbon capture and storage, and carbon trading, the UK is ranked below the US which accounted 20.6% of output and China at 13.5% of output.

Of the services surveyed building technologies accounted 12.8% of the total market value.

Further information:

CIBSE & SLL Support Energy Efficient Lighting

EU energy ministers have given final approval to an EU‐wide ban on incandescent light bulbs by 2011. The change in legislation means a switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use less energy and have a longer life span.

Voluntary withdrawal of traditional 100‐watt tungsten filament lamps followed the news, sparking great media interest and panic buying by consumers.

The Chartered Institution of Services Engineers (CIBSE) and The Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) have expressed support of the move, given its anticipated lifetime reduction of consumer electricity bills, reduced UK reliance on energy imports and its addressing of Part L of the Building Regulations.

Concern has also been raised in the industry over the limitations of CFLs such as warm‐up time; rendition and the ability to dim however, manufacturers have reassured these issues are being addressed in the development of new lamps.

Further information:

Durable Turbines Generating Interest

Finnish energy company, PEM Energy Oy has claimed to have invented the world's most durable wind turbine.

The generators are made from the plastic Telene to increase their lifespan with the manufacturer claiming the turbine will generate 5,000‐12,000 kWh of energy and cover base costs within three to seven years.

Doubts however have been cast over the turbines' efficiency. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has warned that the turbines' mast height of four metres will have adverse affects, significantly reducing its efficiency.

The warning follows research carried out by BRE analysing the affects height has on turbines, with BRE claiming the increase in height reduces the time per annum the turbine can be used.

Further Information:

Energy Certificate Recommendations on the Up

Research published in January 2009 by The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has shown the number of property professionals requesting full surveys as opposed to the cheaper standard certificate is increasing.

Almost 30% of clients questioned said they commissioned detailed surveys from their Energy Assessors, 25% asked for costings of recommendations and 21% said they would go on to ask forimplementation of recommendations.

The CIBSE note that work is still much work to be done in order to ensure that recommendations from commercial energy certificates are implemented and carbon savings are achieved.

Further information:

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