New guidance on resource efficiency 
in the built environment

New guidance on the principles, importance and opportunities of the resource efficiency of building services has been launched.

TM56: Resource efficiency of building services is the outcome of a collaboration between the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and WRAP, the UK’s resource efficiency experts.

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.

The publication reflects the growing pressure on resources and the desire to shape resource-efficient and more circular economies.
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.

Dave 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.”

Copper, for instance, is used widely in building services for pipework and electrical wiring, but only 40% of new copper is from recycled material and it is estimated that 26% of the extractable copper from the earth’s crust has been lost as waste.

The new guide is available on the CIBSE Knowledge Portal.

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