CIBSE campaign to reduce carbon emissions kicks off
Climate change has never been higher on the agenda — John Armstrong.
JOHN ARMSTRONG reports on the launch of the CIBSE campaign 100 days of carbon clean up, which stresses the importance of measurement and provides the way to rate operational performance of buildings.If you don’t measure it, you sure as hell won’t manage it. And if businesses don’t manage their carbon emissions we are all in trouble.’That was the message of David Hughes, president of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, at the launch of 100 days of carbon clean-up at the beginning of June. This CIBSE initiative has raised eyebrows throughout the construction and property industries with the high levels of enthusiasm it has met from client organisations around the UK. Operational ratings
Over 500 major organisations, many of them multi-site operations, have already signed up to participate in the 100 days and, in doing so, have been requested to measure the carbon emissions of their buildings. This element of the campaign came well in advance of last month’s announcement by the Department of Communities & Local Government that operational ratings are back on the agenda, and participants are now well ahead of the curve in addressing the information demands which they may soon face. It’s still not too late to sign up for the 100 days of carbon clean-up. For more information, go to the 100 days section of the CIBSE web site - address below. The Government has announced that a system of calculated asset ratings will be adopted for use when energy-performance certificates are required upon construction, sale or rent and to allow for operational ratings derived from measured energy consumption.
If businesses don’t manage their carbon emissions, we are in trouble — CIBSE president David Hughes.
Each participant in the 100 days has been issued with a free copy of CIBSE’s operational ratings tool TM22: Energy assessment and reporting method. This is a highly accessible, easy-to-use benchmarking guide and software tool which is designed to help anyone carry out a simple energy assessment. TM22 also contains the information and benchmarks needed for the more detailed approaches which will be adopted by engineers and energy managers. (For information on TM22 see the publications page of the CIBSE website, address below. ) Effectiveness
Aimed squarely at the existing building stock, the impact of the 100 day initiative was praised by funders from the Carbon Trust. Karen Germain, Carbon Trust’s networks manager drew attention to the initiative’s effectiveness in getting businesses to recognise that they can act to reduce their carbon emissions and that expert help is available to assist them to do so. ‘This initiative outlines measures which range from simple to complex which can be used whether you own or rent your buildings. It sets out to achieve easy-to-make behavioural changes which get people to buy into the bigger picture. It is a very strong programme and enrolment has been fantastic,’ she said. (For more information about the Carbon Trust visit the web site )
An initiative that sets out to achieve easy-to-make behavioural changes — Karen Germain of Carbon Trust.
Graham Manly, of Gratte Brothers, a major mechanical and electrical contractor which has itself signed up to participate in the 100 days, valued the emphasis the initiative puts on benchmarking and relating everyday activities to the generation of emissions. ‘This campaign is excellent because it is flexible and easy for anyone to adopt. We are looking to introduce different ideas and provide feedback to staff on a fortnightly basis and to measure our success against the TM22 benchmarks. The emissions data contained in the information pack will help us encourage our staff to participate and to think how they can contribute.’ It is perhaps not surprising that the campaign seems to have touched such a nerve among client organisations. Climate change has never been higher on the agenda. Part L of the Building Regulations is focusing attention on the need for competent help on energy-efficient design and operation, announcements have finally been made on operational ratings for existing buildings, and the Carbon Trust has undertaken two extensive awareness-raising advertising campaigns. However, most organisations and individuals are still struggling with a sense of impotence. This initiative seeks to address this by encouraging participants to assess where they are now and offers simple concrete measures to take now as well as identifying routes to further action. It is hoped that having carried out their first assessment of the energy use of their buildings, participants will wish to do so every year and use the information gained as one of their key operational benchmarks. Register
Another CIBSE initiative is the initiation of a Low Carbon Consultants Register — a group of qualified professionals who can deliver better buildings whilst being able to confirm compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations. It will also improve the ability of companies to take action on carbon by providing easy access to trained and competent advice. The existence of the register is being promoted heavily both to 100-day participants and to the broadest possible range of clients. The ability of the 100 days scheme to empower participants to act has endeared it to the Carbon Trust, which is making real money available now for other similar schemes to achieve carbon savings. Karen Germain used the launch explicitly to invite others to do what CIBSE has done and further transform the market for energy-efficiency equipment and advice. ‘We want many more organisations to put forward other programmes. The Carbon Trust is currently actively seeking proposals from public organisations to suggest ways through which their members could limit carbon emissions.’ John Armstrong is president-elect of CIBSE.