It is good to see that the ODA have risen to our challenge to review their chilling options for the Aquatic Centre. It was simply not acceptable to assume that HFC refrigerants with 2,000 times the global warming impact of CO2 could be used in the most iconic building in the “most sustainable Games ever”. There is no decision yet but it is good to see that they are examining the options.
We have seen the case for chilling in the velodrome and we accept that there is a strong case for HFCs here. The building has many sustainable features including low embodied impacts and mostly natural cooling. The cooling load is very small compared to other venues.
But what about the other venues? The ODA has fantastic process for managing their objectives but there is no policy for refrigerants despite our recommendation that there should be in our report of November 2007. In this case designers will revert to type and design things the way they always have done.
We think it is time for the ODA to declare a “chiller amnesty” with their designers to establish exactly what is planned. It should be possible to look at these on a case-by-case basis but time is running out, this needs to be done very soon.