The government is planning to contain national emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) to 1990 levels by the year 2000, and to effect reductions of 25-50% from that level by 2030. About half of current UK emissions of CO2 result from energy use in the non-domestic and domestic building sectors. Reducing the energy consumed and the CO2 released by building services could play an important role in achieving these aims. The energy consumed by air conditioning contributes significantly to the release of CO2 and other greenhouse gases which are causing global warming. Current guidelines from CIBSE and RIBA advise against the use of air conditioning wherever possible. Where it is installed, the design and specification of more efficient systems will help minimize its impact on the environment. Air conditioning is one of a number of areas where improved building and building services design may have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions.
To provide support in the improved and new information that industry will need to exploit them, the Construction Directorate of the Department of the Environment has initiated a wide-ranging programme of research into energy-related environmental issues in buildings. The programme is being managed by BRE, and, to encourage input and involvement from industry, much of the work is being carried out within the industry itself by means of research contracts. Prepared as part of a study into the use of refrigeration in building air conditioning systems, this book was carried out for DoE/CD by BSRIA with input from consultancies and branches of the refrigeration industry, and managed by BRE. It reviews the refrigeration process and some of the basic characteristics of the range of refrigeration plant commonly used in builidng air conditioning. It is designed to be a practical aid to understanding how each system works, and some of their advantages and disadvantages. The book is aimed at those who may use refrigeration, but who do not need detailed knowledge.