Energy consumed in buildings is a main contributor to CO2 emissions, there is therefore a need to improve the energy performance of buildings, particularly commercial buildings whereby building service systems are often substantially over-designed due to the application of excess margins during the design process.
The cooling system of an NHS Hospital was studied and modelled in order to identify if the system was overdesigned, and to quantify the oversizing impact on the system operational and embodied carbon footprints. Looking at the operational energy use and environmental performance of the current system as well as an alternative optimised system through appropriate modelling and calculation, the case study results indicate significant environmental impacts are caused by the oversizing of cooling system.
The study also established that it is currently more difficult to obtain an estimate of the embodied carbon footprint of building service systems. It is therefore the responsibility of the machine builders to provide information and data relating to the embodied carbon of their products, which in the longer term, this is likely to become a standard industry requirement.