Ignorance over combined heat and power (CHP) among British local authorities is leading to cogeneration being overlooked or misapplied, says a leading member of the Royal Institution of British Architects (RIBA).

Energy-efficiency opportunities from CHP are still being wasted in UK developments through official ignorance and a flawed planning approach, Alan Shingler, chairperson of RIBA’s Sustainable Futures Group told COSPP.
Alan Shingler of RIBA
Because of the issue, proliferation of CHP is not what it might be.

“The potential certainly isn’t being fulfilled,” he said. “There is frustration from architects because they can see it is not being utilised to its optimal capacity and where it is designed to be used.”

New developments should be coupled to increase heat loads and ensure CHP delivers real benefits, he said.

‘Sometimes you see CHP placed into a development when it is a relatively complex system when a boiler would work just as well – there is naïveté about how chp works,’ he added.

RIBA is preparing a paper on marrying varying and neighbouring developments to ensure heat and power demand are combined, he said, but added that ‘the guidance needs to be clear to local authorities on where CHP works and where the threshold is to make it worthwhile.’

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