Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Government buildings worse than Kenya

Tomorrow's Guardian (well today for most of you reading this, but as ever, I'm on the ball, ahead of the game, etc, etc) has a piece on energy efficiency in public sector buildings, headed "Government Buildings emit more Co2 than all of Kenya".

This is not surprising. My office in Westminster (in the 1, Parliament Street building) is usually freezing, with the air conditioning on full blast, and my staff's office (opposite mine) is so hot I can't stay in there for more than ten minutes at a time. We complain all the time, and they supposedly do things, but it never makes any difference.

The Guardian also reports that plans to 'green' the Palace of Westminster have been put on hold. But it doesn't mention the amendment to the Climate Change Bill that Labour MPs pushed through recently which doesn't go as far as some of us would have liked, but at least nudges things in the right direction.

1 comment:

Ian B said...

Having worked in maintenance (in major office buildings)-

sounds like the system needs balancing. Some companies are dilligent as regards customer care (I've worked for both good and bad in this regard) but if they aren't, the only way you'll get a result is to retender the contract or refuse to pay the bill until they bring in a specialist to do the rebalancing.

In general, maintenance companies are working to targets. For instance, 21C on the office floor. That's all very well, but 21C in a draught is very different to 21C not in a draught, from the customer's perspective. As with most target-based thinking (and there is a lesson for us all here, I think) the targets encapsulate insufficient information- in this case the subjective perceptions of the actual human beings on the office floor.

Anyway, when the little man comes up to look at your AC, if he gives you some dismissive jargon about the FCUs and spigots and stuff, guaranteed he doesn't give a monkeys and indeed isn't going to do anything at all. You can tell a good engineer by his attitude.