Joe Farman, a geophysicist with the British Antarctic Survey and one of the discoverers of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica in the early 1980s, died last month on 11 May. Their results reporting a ‘thinning’ of the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from biologically harmful ultra-violet light, by nearly 50% were published on 16 May 1985 and attributed to the release into the atmosphere of the widely used (including air conditioning,refrigeration and thermal insulation) category of chemicals known as CFCs. Such was international concern that the Montreal Protocol to phase out their use was signed by 24 countries just over two years later in September 1987.
George Adams. CIBSE president for 2013/14, sees an urgent need for buildings and cities to use much less energy through a process of continuous improvement throughout their life.
Carbon savings achieved by the ground-source heat-pump system that provide heating and cooling for the Oxford Earth Sciences Building are exceeding expectations. The system was provided by GI Energy, and CO2 emissions are 120 t a year lower than anticipated, despite the building behaving quite differently from what was expected at design stage. The saving is 23% more than expected.
The redevelopment of Battersea Power Station in London has taken a step forward with the appointment of Turner & Townsend as project manager and employers agent for the initial phases. The project will create a new community with homes, shops, offices, space for the arts and a 6-acre riverside park. It will be served by a new Underground station and river-bus services.
Increases ranging from 50% to over 100% have been added to the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme to encourage householders to switch to renewable energy — especially those off the gas grid, where the most money on bills and carbon can be saved. The payment for ground-source heat pumps is now £2300 (previously £1250) and for air-source heat pumps £1300 (£850). Biomass boilers now receive £2000 (£950) and solar thermal £600 (£300).
Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) is using BIM (building information modelling) for a new sports technical college in Stoke-on-Trent to improve efficiency during the construction process. Designed by architects Aedas and constructed under a design-and-build contract with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the new teaching and classroom block at Holden Lane High School Specialist Sports College will feature curriculum-based hubs for teaching and training.
In a market that is being held up by legislative drivers, David Garwood of BSRIA nevertheless finds areas of growth.
As the months pass towards the total ban on the use of R22 for servicing air-conditioning equipment, Kevin Groves of Ergro gives his perspective.