With Glasgow playing host to the international climate change conference (COP26) later this year, the UK’s construction and HVAC industries have never been under greater pressure to demonstrate how they are tackling the Climate Emergency.
There is certainly room for improvement. According to WRAP, the UK construction industry is responsible for 45% of our carbon emissions and globally around half of a building’s total energy demands come from heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.
There has been a raft of legislation in recent years aimed at cutting carbon output and there will undoubtedly be more to come as tougher targets are set to move us towards net-zero emissions.
However, far from HVAC manufacturers being dragged towards net-zero targets, the industry is in fact becoming a key driving force in the battle against climate change.
The Sustainable Energy Association (SEA), which is made up of retailers, regulators and manufacturers, including those in HVAC, is committed to holding the government to account when it comes to working towards decarbonisation. SEA chief executive Lesley Rudd said in December: “We need policies to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings and to decarbonise our heating. This is an emergency and we need to treat it as such.”
We have written before about HVAC being at the forefront of the biotech revolution in the design of ‘living buildings’ and HVAC manufacturers have been innovating for many years to develop products that meet the latest regulations. Reassuringly, many companies are going beyond pure compliance and are developing exciting solutions that will change the way buildings are heated, cooled and ventilated in the future.
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has stated that energy efficient heating and cooling must be designed into buildings to futureproof our homes, workplaces and community spaces as we move towards a new era of decarbonisation. Last year the UKGBC launched a ten-year project to ensure energy efficiency standards are improved to an extent that will mean all buildings have no carbon footprint.
For more on this topic read our article on how buildings can cut their energy use in half by 2030.