Applying the new British Standard on energy saving

Published: 9-Jul-2013

Saving energy is a growing priority for cleanroom users, and experts at the recent BSI conference in London introduced the new BS 8568 energy efficiency standard. Susan Birks reports on its relevance and how it sits with other standards

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There is no doubt that cleanrooms are the Formula 1 of manufacturing environments in terms of ensuring product quality, but by the ­same token they are the biggest energy guzzlers. Whether it is China’s football pitch-sized halls for semiconductor production, which require the energy input of an average power station, or a specialised ISO Class 7 pharmaceutical GMP manufacturing plant running at 20 air changes per hour (ACH) 24/7, cleanroom users across the globe need better energy efficiency strategies.

Several speakers at the BSI conference in June highlighted the drivers for energy strategies; others reviewed the various international standards that touch on energy use. Among these are ISO 14001 on environmental management and the more recent ISO 50001 energy management standard. Both are ‘management’ standards that look at energy use in a general sense with a view to continual improvement; however, cleanrooms often face unique application challenges that require more practical, application-specific standards.

To address this, the German national standards body introduced a DIN standard (VDI 2083 Part 4.2: Energy efficiency) some time ago. But according to UK industry practitioners, its complex format has hindered its wider adoption. A new Chinese standard is also in development but it is not likely to be published for a while.

It was against this background that a group of experienced UK engineers and cleanroom design consultants (many active on standards committees and working groups) – Gordon Farquharson, John Neiger and Dick Gibbons – saw the need to draft a simple code of practice. Other experts involved in the project were Nigel Lenegan, (Pharma HVAC expert, Energy & Carbon Reduction Solutions), Peter Dyment (air quality and building energy consultant, Camfil Farr), Stephen Wake (engineering design director, Validair) and Tim Triggs, (pharma operations and training, DOP Solutions). In 2012 they drafted the new document and, following a peer review, the new code of practice BS 8568 was published in March.

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