|Number of credits available||Minimum standards|
To reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions arising from the leakage of refrigerants from building systems.
The following is required to demonstrate compliance for:
OR alternatively, where the building does require the use of refrigerants, the three credits can be awarded as follows:
For further detail refer to the Relevant definitions and Calculation procedures sections within Additional Information.
|Scope of this issue||
The criteria of this issue apply to air conditioning and refrigeration systems installed in the building for the following uses, regardless of the systems refrigerant charge (kg), including:
For installations of small multiple hermetic systems only: Where the refrigerant charge in each unit is less than 5kg the credit for leak detection and containment can be awarded by default. This is on the basis that the risk of a large refrigerant leak due to system failure is minimised, as individual leaks from each system will be small where leakage occurs, and therefore there is little life cycle benefit of requiring leak detection equipment on each small system.
|Specification of multiple systems||Where a building is installing multiple air conditioning/refrigeration systems the assessor must source the relevant technical data for each system and enter it in to the Pol 01 calculator. The calculator will then determine the weighted average DELC for the multiple installation and the BREEAM credits can be awarded or withheld accordingly.|
If the building is designed to be fully naturally ventilated, and therefore no 'refrigerant using' building services or systems will be specified for the fit out, then the available credits can be awarded.
If the building is not designed to be naturally ventilated and the refrigerant type cannot be confirmed, because its specification is the responsibility of a future tenant as part of their fit out works, then compliance with this BREEAM issue can only be demonstrated via one of the following means in shell only buildings/areas:
Refer to Appendix D – BREEAM New Construction and shell and core/speculative assessments of this Scheme Document for further description of the above options.
|Industrial buildings without offices & with untreated operational areas See criterion 1||This issue will be filtered from the scope of assessment for industrial units designed without offices and where the operational area will be untreated, i.e. not designed to be air-conditioned or contain a cold storage facility with refrigeration plant.|
|Solid refrigerant See criteria 2, 3 & 4||Systems using solid refrigerants are likely to meet the above requirements by default as no or very little refrigerant will escape to the atmosphere in the event of system failure and leakage. Where this is confirmed by the project’s mechanical and electrical engineer (or refrigeration system manufacturer) via the relevant sectoral release factors, the three available credits can be awarded without the need for a calculation.|
|Leak detection and pump down See criteria 5,6,7,8 & 9||The refrigerant leak detection and pump down criteria are still applicable in instances where any type of non-solid refrigerant is present, i.e. even if the refrigerant meets BREEAM’s DELC CO2e benchmark(s). Exceptions to this are systems that use natural and environmentally benign refrigerants, such as air and water (for example lithium bromide/water absorption chillers) and installations of small multiple hermetic systems, where the refrigerant charge in each unit is less than 5kg (as outlined above).|
|CO2 as a refrigerant See criteria 2, 3 & 4||Where CO2 is used as a refrigerant and the design team confirm the system/installation complies with the requirements of BS EN 378:20082BS EN 378:2008 Refrigerating systems and heat pumps. Safety and environmental requirements, BSI. and the Institute of Refrigeration Carbon Dioxide as a Refrigerant Code of Practice3Carbon Dioxide as a Refrigeration Code of Practice, Institute of Refrigeration, 2009., compliance with the refrigerant recovery system criteria is not required (criteria 6 & 7).|
|Ammonia as a refrigerant See criteria 2, 3 & 4||Where ammonia is used as a refrigerant, the refrigerant recovery system credit/requirements can be awarded/met without the need for a recovery system, provided that the design team confirm the system/installation complies with the requirements of BS EN 378:2008 and the Institute of Refrigeration Ammonia Refrigeration Systems Code of Practice4Ammonia Refrigeration Systems Code of Practice, Institute of Refrigeration, 2009.|
|High-risk parts See criterion 5||High-risk parts of refrigeration plant typically include the pipe work/pipe joints connected and close to the compressor. Evaporator or condenser coils can be omitted from the coverage of the system.|
|Manual refrigerant recovery system||The provision of any manual system, including manual storage cylinders on site, does not comply with the criteria.|
||Documentary evidence confirming the absence of refrigerant in the development||As design stage, plus assessor’s building/site inspection and or as built drawings confirming the presence of compliant refrigeration plant, or absence of plant.|
A copy of the specification clause or letter from the M&E engineer/system manufacturer confirming relevant refrigeration type and system information.
A completed copy of the BREEAM Pol 01 Calculator.
|R-729||Air (Nitrogen, oxygen, argon)||1|
|Sources: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ‘2006 Report of the Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee’
Appendix A of the Department of Trade and Industry guidance ‘Refrigerant and Air Conditioning CFC and HCFC Phase Out: Advice on Alternatives and Guidelines for Users’ http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file29101.pdf
The Direct Effect Life Cycle CO2e emissions (DELC) per kW of cooling capacity are calculated using the following equation:
Refrigerant loss operational: (Refcharge x Sys op-life x (L1 + L2 + S1 + S2)) /100
Refrigerant loss system retirement = Refcharge x (1 - Ref RecEff/100)
With the exception of system operational life, which is a fixed default for the purpose of the BREEAM assessment, the information above should be sourced from the design team’s mechanical and electrical engineer and/or system manufacturer. The following default values can be used, where system specific data is not available:
Annual leakage rate
(% of charge per annum)
|Cold storage and display systems|
|Air conditioning systems|
|These figures are based on those reported in Table 2 of the Market Transformation Programmes Briefing Note for Commercial Refrigeration no. 36, ‘Direct Emission of Refrigerant Gases’, (version 1.2). The figures are based on the average of the leakage rates from the four separate studies reported in Table 2 (where a range is reported the higher value was used).|
The formula used to calculate the Direct Effect Life Cycle CO2e emissions in BREEAM is based on the Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI) calculation method for new stationary refrigeration and air conditioning systems. TEWI is a measure of the global warming impact of equipment that takes into account both direct emissions (as assessed in this BREEAM issue) and indirect emissions produced through the energy consumed in operating the equipment (which is assessed in the BREEAM energy section).
Refer to BS EN 378-15BS EN 378-1 Refrigerating systems and heat pumps - Safety and environmental requirements Part 1: Basic requirements, definitions, classification and selection criteria. BSi, 2008 and the British Refrigeration Association’s (BRA) Guideline Methods of Calculating TEWI6Guideline Methods of Calculating TEWI Issue 2, (2006), BRA Specification. for further detail. The BRA publication also includes sectoral release factors for new systems designed to best practice standards.
The refrigeration and air-conditioning sector supported by the Carbon Trust is working across all sectors of business and industry, to help achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions due to refrigerant leakage from installed systems. The Institute of Refrigeration led initiative, Real Zero, is building a clearer understanding of where and why leakage occurs as well as how to prevent it.
For further information including guidance notes, calculators/tools and case study information visit: www.realzero.org.uk