Green Week on Place North West, in association with the Environment Agency, Envirolink Northwest and Hill Dickinson
▼Mike Whitehurst, BDP Manchester
Carbon reduction targets will not be met by the delivery of new low-carbon buildings and infrastructure alone, and the biggest challenge will be to deliver improvements in the performance of existing building stock via smart retro-fitting and changing people's behaviour.
Around 90% of the buildings that will still be standing in 2050 are already built which means improving the fabric, systems and the way these buildings are managed and operated. It is also very pertinent that in this age of austerity many property owners are looking at how the energy performance of their existing building stock can be improved. This is a challenge we are currently tackling in the refurbishment of Manchester's historic Town Hall Extension and Central Library refurbishment.
As environmental engineers for the project, BDP is looking at innovative ways we can reinstate the original passive design concepts of the buildings whilst integrating the latest energy efficient technology solutions. We are also promoting low-carbon energy generation and supply options with technologies such as tri-generation – the simultaneous production of mechanical power, heat and cooling from a single energy source. Finally we need to facilitate information technology solutions to bring the building into the 21st Century, and educate and inspire the occupants themselves to help reduce the carbon footprint of the building.
Mike Whitehurst, environmental engineering director, BDP Manchester