Energy Management: A guide to four of the UK’s most inefficient public buildings
Research by the Department of Communities and Local Government detailing the energy efficiency of the UK’s public buildings was made available to the BBC at the end of August. Until recently, such data would never have been made public, but with energy management becoming an increasingly discussed and important aspect of the upkeep of public buildings, the largest must now show Display Energy Certificates so every visitor is aware of their efficiency (or inefficiency). What follows is a short guide to four surprising energy inefficient public buildings.
n1. British Library
nThe British Library in London is responsible for 15,142 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year – and is listed at number 72 by the Department of Communities and Local Government. In a list where the top 100 is dominated by hospitals and universities, it is perhaps surprising that a building where silence and offline media are its primary assets can produce so much CO2. Yet, when one considers its 388 miles of shelving to maintain, as well as its amount of digital content then one can begin to understand where a lot of its emissions must come from.
n2. Open University
nPerhaps it is the online power of the Open University – one of the UK’s most prestigious higher education institutions – that is its downfall when it comes to energy efficiency. The OU is ranked at 106 and is responsible for 12,626 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year – yet, for a university which is continually becoming more digital this isn’t really surprising. However, for a university that its students don’t physically attend it perhaps is. The University of Manchester and University of Bristol both produce more CO2, mind.
n3. Met Office
nThe Met Office located in Exeter, Devon is perhaps even more surprising – and has already been the subject of a few press articles. Ranked at 103 and with 12,701 tonnes of carbon dioxide produced yearly, it is the simple fact that the institution which is at the forefront of knowing the degree of damage bad energy efficiency is doing to our planet, which is fairly shocking. Intriguingly though, the simple matter of computer power is the reason here – and the Met Office is famous for its super-computational power. Today the Met’s IBM Power6 is capable of calculating 140 trillion floating point operations a second.
n4. University of Manchester
nI couldn’t really finish this article without pointing to the building that holds the coveted number one spot in the Department of Communities and Local Government rankings. That place goes to the University of Manchester (Oxford Road Campus) with an astonishing 51,601 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. The University of Manchester is the biggest single site university in the UK and the Oxford Road probably its busiest campus. It caters for 40,000 students and includes the Manchester Museum.
Posted Date: 2009-10-01 23:53:49