F-gas subject of public sector forum

F-gas subject of public sector forum

The implications of the European F-gas regulations and phase down will be discussed in a new forum set up for public sector employees in London and the South East.

The forum is the brainchild of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and has been created for those involved in the specification, maintenance and management of equipment and services for buildings.

It is said to have been set up in response to demand from estates, facilities and property managers for expert advice and technical support to help them improve the operating performance of their building services and meet challenging mandatory energy efficiency and sustainability targets.

BESA will host a series of meetings at its new Grade-II listed headquarters in St Katharine’s Dock, London each with an industry expert focussed on a specific area of building engineering.

The first meeting, taking place on February 22, will look at the considerable challenges posed by the European F-gas Regulations. Some owners will either have to convert their systems to work with the new gases or replace them completely. Graeme Fox, BESA’s senior mechanical engineer, will explain the changes to the public sector group and outline the options open to them.

Faced with rising refrigerant gas prices and reduced availability, Graeme Fox will look at the implications of switching from widely used HFC gases to “natural” alternatives like CO2 and hydrocarbons, or newly emerging refrigerants like HFOs.

“2018 is going to be a pivotal year for anyone owning and operating acr equipment,” said Graeme Fox. “There will be a ‘cliff edge’ fall in the availability of R404A, for example, and unless users are prepared they face the nightmare scenario of having to shut down equipment or paying through the nose for diminishing supplies of top up gas for essential maintenance.

“The most important piece of advice we will be giving to the public sector attendees will be to ensure they are using properly qualified and certified refrigeration engineers,” said BESA’s key accounts manager Kevin Kingaby, who is organising the Forum.

BESA is already operating a public sector forum in Scotland, which holds regular meetings attended by all the major local councils.

“We will be looking to replicate the success of BESA Scotland by providing support and advice to public sector employees across the South before expanding into other parts of the country,” said Mr Kingaby. “We will cover a range of building engineering issues vital to all public sector building managers.”