• International Workplace
  • 17 December 2014

CIBSE and WRAP collaborate to produce guidance on resource efficiency in the built environment

New guidance on the principles, importance and opportunities of the resource efficiency of building services was recently launched at the National Union for Students, Kings Cross, London. TM56: Resource efficiency of building services is the outcome of a collaboration between CIBSE and WRAP, two of the UK’s resource efficiency experts.

It was revealed that TM56 explores the impacts of building services in terms of manufacturing, construction, maintenance and disposing of the equipment at end of life. It describes the principles and importance of resource efficiency and sets out the opportunities for improvement relating to heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and lifts and escalators. This publication also reflects the growing pressure on resources and the desire to shape resource-efficient and more circular economies. The potential business opportunities from construction are huge. New regulatory requirements and the increasing demand for lower impact products are forecast to grow the global sustainable building industry at an annual rate of 22.8% between now and 2017. 

Sarah Clayton, Head of Products and Services at WRAP, commented:

"What we build, how we build it and the products we use will come under enormous pressure to be energy efficient. However, it is important to focus on more than just energy efficiency; some products use more energy in the extraction of raw material and manufacturing process than they potentially save throughout their operation."

David Cheshire of AECOM and lead author of TM56 said: “Focusing on energy efficiency alone can mean turning a blind eye to other environmental impacts, including mining in areas of water stress, extracting and processing scarce raw materials and the release of toxic chemicals at the end of a product’s life. The aim of TM56 is to get a better sense of perspective by considering options with both eyes open.” TM56 is available for free as a free benefit for CIBSE members (or for purchase by non-members) by visiting the CIBSE Knowledge Portal.