Tag Archives: Cooling

London benchmarks for cooling demand in new residential developments

October 2015: The Mayor’s has published a set of “good practice cooling energy demand benchmarks for typical apartment dwelling types, based on reasonable design measures”.

The work was undertaken by AECOM for the GLA and supports the London Plan’s cooling hierarchy as set out in Policy 5.9 of  Chapter 5 of the London Plan (London’s Response to Climate Change) which states the following [page 200 onwards]:

Major development proposals should reduce potential overheating and reliance on air conditioning systems and demonstrate this in accordance with the following cooling hierarchy:

  1. minimise internal heat generation through energy efficient design
  2. reduce the amount of heat entering a building in summer through orientation, shading, albedo, fenestration, insulation and green roofs and walls
  3. manage the heat within the building through exposed internal thermal mass and high ceilings
  4. passive ventilation
  5. mechanical ventilation
  6. active cooling systems (ensuring they are the lowest carbon options).

Two case studies where overheating in London developments has been identified are referenced in the study, including the Seagar Distillery redevelopment in Lewisham, as well as a paper, Forecasting future cooling demand in London, which estimates that the London residential sector could be responsible for an extra 100,000 tonnes CO2 per year by 2030 as a result of cooling.

A number of conclusions and recommendations are made in the study (p60 onwards) including:

  • GLA could produce a checklist for developers to complete with information about glazing ratios, shading methods, ventilation options etc. to help determine whether the development is likely to have overheating problems that should be investigated further. It could be used to identify when detailed modelling is required and could help monitor typical responses to the cooling hierarchy.
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London in the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan

1 July 2013: The Department for the Environment have today released  ‘The National Adaptation Programme: Making the country resilient to a changing climate’ which makes a number of interesting references to work being undertaken in the capital responding to future threats that may arise due to climate change. These include:

  • The London Heat Thresholds Project [p27] – further details here
  • Transport for plans to carry out an extensive flood risk review for the London Underground network [p40]
  • The  GLA and London Climate Change Partnership is undertaking a scoping study to understand the adaptation economy in London to meet future local, national and international demand. [p87]
  • The ‘adaptation and resilience’ sub-sector (which also includes activities not specifically addressing climate change) generated £12 billion in the UK in 2011/12.In the same period this sub-sector generated sales of £2.5 billion in 2011-12 in London. In the same period, the climate change element of this sub-sector in London had a turnover of £431 million and employed nearly 4,000 people, demonstrating the potential for growth. [p87]
  • Details of a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Cities Commitment to be taken forward by the Core Cities group along with London Councils and the Greater London Authority [p 102-104]

An accompanying paper also published today by Defra –  ‘Economics of the national adaptation programme‘  – estimates the growth of energy use in London as a result of increased demand for cooling services.

  • Climate change could lead to increased uptake and use of air cooling systems in buildings.
    • If the uptake of air conditioning systems continues at today’s rate by 2050, so that around 1% of households in those areas have cooling (compared with 0.6% in 2010), energy demand for cooling could triple between 2010 and 2050 in London.
    • If in 2050 half of the households in London had air conditioning, energy demand for cooling could be around 37 times higher in 2050 compared to no climate change and current air conditioning take-up trends. [p14]

The Mayor’s London Climate Change Adaptation Plan was published in 2011 and can be viewed here. See an earlier post on challenges faced by London as a result of potential increasing future temperatures.

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Energy & Climate Questions to the Mayor

May 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

whether the Mayor had signed up to the London Big Energy Switch; whether the Mayor had signed up to the Green Deal; making Greenwich Power station a low-carbon generator;  the London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI); discussions with DECC over increasing levels of fuel poverty in London; the Mayor’s response to the Government’s consultation on a new definition for fuel poverty – (link to actual response document here); the growth of fuel poverty in London’s private rented sector; a new power station for London; energy and climate issues in Transport for London’s business plan; decentralised energy and the London Infrastructure Group; meetings with energy supplier companies on the ECO in London; the impact of rising energy prices on London’s economy; the poor uptake of photovoltaics in London; renewable energy supply to London Underground; the use of recycled cooking oil in London’s bus fleet; the number of job losses in the insulation industry in London; how the London Enterprise Panel’s Skills & Employment Working Group will promote green jobs; the number of ‘green’ double decker buses in London; the number ‘green’ single decker buses in London’; emissions related to the ‘New bus for London’; the Shoreditch Heat Network; the Citigen CHP scheme; Guidance on Low Carbon Cooling systems; zero carbon heating at the Tate modern; minutes of the High Level Electricity Working Group; future changes in London’s weather; climate change in the national curriculum; petition to remove climate change from the national curriculum; carbon emissions and projects supported under the Growing Places Fund the RE:NEW evaluation report and an update on the Mayor’s electricity ‘license lite’ application.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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Tube Cooling Update

17 February 2012: Transport for London (TfL) have issued a news release providing an update on measures being implemented to help ‘cool the tube’.  The release reports that “At Green Park station borehole cooling technology will be used. London Underground has already successfully drilled wells to source naturally cool water from deep below Green Park and will now install air cooling units that will use the water to cool the Victoria and Piccadilly line platforms.” A similar ground water cooling scheme already operates at Victoria station.

The Mayor’s 2010 Transport Strategy (Chapter 5 – Managing and enhancing the transport system) highlights the challenges in providing ‘coolth’ to the underground:

High tunnel temperatures during the summer months are one of the biggest challenges facing the Tube, particularly for the deep tunnelled sections of the Underground,such as the Victoria line. These are generally closed systems where the major proportion of the energy that enters (for example, train motors) is released as heat, which in turn raises temperatures in the tunnels and on the trains. As a result of increased train service capacity (primarily through higher train frequencies) and reduced journey times (mainly through quicker acceleration and faster maximum speeds), electricity use on the Underground is anticipated to increase by 2020, resulting in more heat being released in the tunnels. This will be exacerbated by increasing passenger numbers and possible increases in air temperature due to climate change.

More recently, the Mayor’s 2011 Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (p104) details that:

London Underground’s aim is to minimise the heat generated by the existing network and planned upgrade of the service, so that further energy is not required to offset the heat that is generated. The interventions to cool temperature increases caused by the line upgrades will also help to manage the higher external temperatures caused by climate change. Optimising the energy efficiency of the service through driving the trains more efficiently will reduce the heating contribution from the operating regime.

Despite these efforts, temperatures on the Underground will continue to be uncomfortable in hot summers … projections suggest that on a summer day by the 2030s, there is a 24-27 per cent probability of temperatures being warmer than 24°C.  By 2050s, this rises to 62-75 per cent and 70-91 per cent by 2080s. This compares to 11 per cent probability today.

A recent (2 February 2012)  TfL Board Paper (page 21) also provides a summary update on Phase 1 of the Tube Cooling programme.

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London faces rising temperatures

January 2012: The Government published the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) on 25 January 2012, the first assessment of its kind for the UK which highlights the top 100 challenges to the UK faces as a result of a changing climate. Amongst the many changes predicted in the assessment, a number are directly in relation to London, specifically:

  • On average, hot weather accounts for around 1100 premature deaths a year in the UK. By the 2050s, this figure is projected to increase by between 580 and 5900, with the greatest risk in London and southern England.
  • Summer overheating is projected to emerge as a significant risk, potentially contributing to heat-related health problems. In London, for instance, the number of days in an average year when temperatures rise above 26°C is projected to increase from the current figure of 18 to between 27 and 121 by the 2080s.

The Evening Standard summarised the findings thus: London ‘facing killer summers in climate peril’!

Chapter 5 of the London Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (issued in October 2011) focuses specifically on the issue of overheating in London as a result of climate change and commits to taking forward a number of actions including:

  • working  with boroughs to identify opportunities for combined cooling, heat and power and other forms of low-carbon cooling and
  • promoting ‘cool roof technology’ (highly reflective, well-insulated roofs) in London to reduce demand for mechanical cooling.
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