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Artus Launches White Paper on the ‘Carbon Conundrum’ 

Artus Launches White Paper on the ‘Carbon Conundrum’ 
26 April 2024

HVAC manufacturer Artus has launched a white paper challenging the building sector to consider what is really impeding the move to greater carbon control.

The paper serves as a guide and a call to action for the building services industry and features contributions from leading sustainability experts across the UK.

“From Carbon Conundrum to Carbon Control – How Will the Building Sector get to Net-Zero?” was launched at a panel event featuring industry names such as Danny Hall, Head of Engineering at The Crown Estate, Marie-Louise Schembri, Head of Sustainability and Design Director at Hilson Moran and Alia Hashem, Senior FM & Projects & Mobilisation Lead, Derwent London.


Appetite for Innovation 


At the launch event, the panel discussed how, as an industry, there needs to be less fear and a greater appetite for innovation. This can be in the form of technology, such as AI, or smarter solutions in HVAC, lighting and facades. This will require upskilling and more engagement and education of designers, tenants, developers, engineers, agents and FMs.

As Chris Twinn, Principal of Twin Sustainability Innovation points out, "Managing innovation involves a structured process that includes giving people reassurance by maintaining elements of familiarity.” Danny Hall, Head of Engineering & Operations, The Crown Estate adds, “Innovation is continually on the horizon and it’s important to embrace it. AI is poised to revolutionise operations and it’s important to harness its potential to our advantage in order to be more inventive in how we run our buildings.”

In terms of the carrot and stick conundrum, there has not been enough stick driving change and we need to see a much greater push if we are to bring about change. Business-as-usual is not going to achieve anything. As Marie-Louise Schembri, Head of Sustainability and  Design Director, Hilson Moran says, “There is an urgent need for decisive action. There is a reluctance to risk-taking among key stakeholders and the current level of effective action is inadequate. We need government platforms specifically dedicated to accelerating innovation, as the current outputs are significantly lacking. Something within the current system is either not working, or too slow and not scalable."

On the whole life carbon question, she adds, "In order to extend innovation beyond the '10 per cent London bubble,' we must make solutions more accessible and empathetic to other markets and priorities. A major challenge in decarbonising construction is the lack of sufficient data sharing across the supply chain. It is crucial to acknowledge that this issue is not confined to the UK alone, as supply chains stretch globally."

Simplifying design was another issue raised. Removing complicated design and educating occupiers and facilities managers will make a significant impact and is arguably simpler than starting from scratch. Solution providers revisiting buildings, new and refurbished after six months and then after two years will go a long way to understanding what is working, what isn’t and framing the discussions around why and how to change it in future.


"Many of the buildings that will still be standing in 2050 are already in existence. We need to refurbish and upgrade the buildings where people currently live and work. We have got to move a lot quicker because a lot of the decisions we’re making around operational carbon have significant implications for embodied carbon.”

–Michael Edwards

Director, Arup


Danny Hall also makes the point that, “We need to upskill the people responsible for the day-to-day running of our buildings. No matter how advanced our systems may be, the true performance of a building hinges on the expertise and dedication of these individuals. Without that even the most sophisticated systems will fail to deliver optimal results."

Michael Edwards, Director, Arup urges action. "We know what we need to do from an innovation perspective but we do need to move a lot faster. Many of the buildings that will still be standing in 2050 are already in existence. We need to refurbish and upgrade the buildings where people currently live and work. We have got to move a lot quicker because a lot of the decisions we’re making around operational carbon have significant implications for embodied carbon.”

The white paper publication coincides with the launch of Artus’ new AR75 air conditioning unit, which has been specifically designed to offer a significant reduction in operational energy consumption and carbon emissions when compared to industry standards. 

Picture: a photograph of Chief Technical Officer at Artus, Roger Olsen. Image Credit: Artus 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 26 April 2024


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