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Study finds no need for air conditioning

AIR conditioning can be minimised, or even dropped from building design completely, without sacrificing the comfort of occupants, says a recent report.

Avoiding or Minimising the use of Air Conditioning, a report by the Building Research Energy Conservation Support Unit (BRECSU), is the result of a two-year study of air conditioning in 12 office buildings throughout the UK.

The buildings were monitored to find the advantages and disadvantages of offices where air conditioning had been reduced.

BRECSU project officer Jason Happy said the study was commissioned in response to the growing popularity of air conditioning in buildings.

BRECSU believed there were cases where air conditioning was desirable, but was concerned it was being used in situations where it was not necessary.

What were saying is: lets not consider air conditioning as a prestige thing, lets consider whether the building needs it or not, said Mr Happy.

Were advocating that people consider air conditioning on a case by case basis and use it only where necessary.

He stressed the report was a guidance document only, designed to demonstrate to architects and engineers the steps that could be taken to minimise the use of air conditioning, or to do without it altogether, if possible.

BRECSU is part of the Building Research Establishment.

The report was published as part of the Department of the Environments Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme in conjunction with the Energy- Related Environmental Issues Programme.

The report is available at no charge by telephoning 01923 664 258 (fax: 01923 664 787).