The zero target for carbon emissions is no longer just an idea discussed by a few academics or energy experts. It is a widely-heard phrase that is already starting to impact on how we manage both our personal and business lives. In the construction and building management sector the challenge is to deliver low level or carbon neutral buildings. In fact, by December 2020 all new buildings must be nearly zero energy (nZEB), a major milestone on the way to net zero carbon (NZC) buildings.
These goals start with the design and construction, a ‘fabric first’ approach, but increasingly building developers, owners and operators are starting to think about the whole lifecycle of the building and how this impacts on their carbon reduction goals. Efficient building services where equipment is maintained to ensure optimum efficiency, and there is a comprehensive planned preventative maintenance programme can go some way to ensuring optimum energy efficiency.
Where necessary upgrading gas boilers to a more efficient and cleaner electric or alternative heat source, whilst obviously incurring some capital expenditure will ultimately deliver real savings both in terms of consumption and financial outgoings. They may also deliver a far more manageable working environment, providing the added benefit of improved wellbeing for occupants and with that increased productivity.
Shareholders, staff and customers now expect organisations to address climate issues with as much commitment as their financial performance or health and safety criteria. It is no good just claiming to be green, you need to prove it.
The ‘decarbonisation of heat’ is a new phrase entering the world of heating and maintenance and tax changes for gas boilers, as announced in the Budget are a further incentive for businesses to look for more efficient alternatives, so called greener heating technologies. These include biomass heating, air and ground source heat pumps and solar photovoltaic solutions. When choosing a new solution, it is important to understand not only the installation and running costs but also your current and possible future requirements. SMS has a skilled and experience team of engineers who can offer advice and guidance around the various options available and how best to evaluate the alternatives, all of which will help you work to towards that big, fat zero.