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The UK workforce is getting much cooler

Air conditioning systems are getting more prevalent in UK buildings, according to a recent study looking at energy use by air conditioning in commercial buildings.

A report backed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy states that in 2012, about 65 per cent of UK office space and 30 per cent of UK retail space had air conditioning. Other findings say cooling in air conditioning systems may account for around a tenth of total UK electricity consumption (29TWh in 2010), higher than previously reported. But there’s a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding this figure.

Heatwaves are becoming more frequent across the UK and particularly in the South-East of England; the number of heatwave days a year increased from five in 1961 to 17 in 2003. Every year we seem to be experiencing more ‘Indian Summers’ just like the one we’ve been enjoying in recent days.

Cooling in offices typically uses around 40 kWh/m2 each year. The monitored data showed an average electrical consumption for cooling in offices of 44 kWh/m2 a year. Apparently air-conditioning systems in some offices were in use when buildings were unoccupied – out of hours and at weekends.

Our GA Mechanical Services division provides clients with a fully coordinated and integrated building services solution. We know that mechanical building services are vital to the effective operation of all buildings. From air conditioning and ventilation to public health works, it’s the building services that provide the comfortable, safe and productive environment in the places we live, work and spend our leisure time. As these services become more integral to built environments, so we have become increasingly integrated into the building design and construction processes.

We specialise in the installation of mechanical and public health building services within all private and public work sectors including office development, commercial, education, high-end residential, leisure and public buildings.

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