Regardless of whether the nations of the world embrace the objectives of Kyoto (Tom Barker’s article, 8 October, page 31), the impeding energy crisis will not go away.
It remains a fact that more than half the carbon dioxide emitted in the UK comes from energy consumed in buildings. Unless we start adopting a more joined-up thinking when it comes to building management and performance, this situation will not change.
Last Friday saw the deadline for a consultation period on two important documents published in July and announced by Lord Rooker, minister of state at the ODPM, in a written statement on 21 July. The documents relate to amendments to the Building Regulations energy efficiency provisions Part L, and Part F, which covers ventilation.
These consultation documents were sent to several hundred organisations that have an interest in the energy efficiency of buildings and/or ventilation. Lord Rooker aims to lay the legislation needed to implement the energy performance of buildings directive and amend the Building Regulations and approved documents by July next year. He also intends to achieve the government’s goal of bringing them into effect by the end of December 2005.
Irrespective of the outcome of the consultation, or indeed the effect that any changes may ultimately make, the drivers behind building efficiency continue to be the architects, designers, consultants, building services contractors and equipment manufacturers. Rarely do these groups consult early enough in a building project and almost never do they agree. Usually, the reason is lowest-price tendering in the building acquisition stage, where capital expenditure is almost never weighed against operating costs.
Only when a holistic approach is taken to intelligent, integrated building controls can energy measures succeed.
Richard Hipkiss, Schneider Electric, via email