New Report Takes A Holistic Approach To Energy Efficiency

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A report carried out by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and WRAP, the UK’s resource efficiency experts, has prompted new guidance on the principles, importance and opportunities of the resource efficiency of building services.

TM56 highlights the impacts of building services in terms of manufacturing, construction, maintenance and disposing of the equipment at end of life. It describes the principles and importance of resource efficiency and sets out the opportunities for improvement relating to heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and lifts and escalators.

New regulatory requirements and the increasing demand for lower impact products are forecast to grow the global sustainable building industry at an annual rate of 22.8 per cent between now and 2017.

Lead author of TM56, Dave Cheshire, explained: “Focusing on energy efficiency alone can mean turning a blind eye to other environmental impacts. Copper, for instance is widely used in building services for pipework and electrical wiring, but only 40 per cent of new copper is from recycled material and it is estimated that 26 per cent of the extractable copper from the earth’s crust has been lost as waste. The aim of TM56 is to get a better sense of perspective by considering options with both eyes open.”

Sarah Clayton, of WRAP, went on to say: “What we build, how we build it and the products we use will come under enormous pressure to be energy efficient. However, it is important to focus on more than just energy efficiency; some products use more energy in the extraction of raw material and manufacturing process than they potentially save throughout their operation.”

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