HC Deb 09 May 2002 vol 385 c315W
Jane Griffiths

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the building projects under construction; and what coolant will be used for the building services water chilling system for such projects. [52046]

Mr. Wills

While there are no building projects currently in construction, there are a number in the planning and development stages, including private finance initiative and private developer schemes. We have excluded any magistrates court schemes, as local authorities are responsible for these.

The Department's Environmental Policy for Building Requirements applies to all major construction projects. The Department's policy is for natural ventilation for buildings whenever possible and only to install cooling systems where absolutely necessary. Where cooling cannot be avoided, designers are required to investigate systems which minimise environmental impact in terms of ozone depletion and global warming, using refrigerants with a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) such as R134a and R66. Where, for technical or other reasons, it is necessary to utilise refrigerants with an ODP greater than zero, designers are required to check that the plant can be easily and cheaply retrofitted with a zero ODP refrigerant in the future.

Additionally, all major schemes are certified under the requirements of BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). BREEAM is a system for assessing the environmental performance of buildings. I am placing further information in the Libraries of both Houses.