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Chris Barnes

Interview with Chris Barnes

At LSBU, it’s not only our academic staff who are committed to taking climate action and with collaboration being one of the key principles of this event series, a number of colleagues from our Professional Service Groups have also been involved.

Chris Barnes is LSBU’s Estates & Energy Manager. At Part one of the event series back in June, Chris spoke about how LSBU had massively reduced its carbon footprint as well as some of the challenges we face moving forward. We invited Chris back this time round to speak about how LSBU’s Estates & Academic Environment Department are working to reduce our water consumption…

Welcome back Chris! To start with for those who missed it, can you give us a rundown of how LSBU reduced its carbon footprint?

To date LSBU has successfully reduced our scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions by 85% since 2010. This has been achieved using a number of strategies These have included:

  • Data analysis to provide us with a real understanding of where and when energy was/is being used, providing benchmarking and carbon intensities across the campus.
  • Significant changes in how we operate equipment and plant whilst ensuring operations are not affected. This includes the implementation of inverter speed controls where advantageous
  • Employing low energy lighting (LED) across the Estate, with all current and future projects employing as standard.
  • Ensuring heating and cooling parameters are employed that provide best results.
  • Employing non gas heating plant (eg. ground source and air source heat pumps) as part of our ongoing commitment to eradicate fossil fuel use across the estate.
  • Contracts now in place ensuring LSBU is now supplied from Renewable sources.
For this event, you’ll be talking about water usage. What can we expect to learn?

I’ll be discussing how water usage has been overlooked in the past, what automated water readers and data analysis brings to the energy management table and how we can all help in bringing water consumption to manageable levels.

Tell us about some of the issues & challenges you face in your role when managing such a large estate like LSBU?

Without doubt the most challenging issues relate to expectations and how to best manage them. Opinions differ greatly, especially with room temperatures and lighting level. Going forward with LSBU’s commitment to become carbon neutral, investment required for decarbonisation may also be challenging.

What are your top practical tips for encouraging people to either reduce their carbon footprint or their water usage?
  • There are many ways to do your bit at home and most will save you money whilst doing so. Reducing your room temperature set point by 1C, will not only save energy but will save you £75 to £120. This can be further improved by fitting thermostats on radiators and the use of suitable insulation
  • Replace lamps with LED’s. Whilst initial cost may be higher, they will more than pay for themselves very quickly and reduce lamp failures.
  • Choose new appliances wisely using energy efficiency data to assist with this. It is also worth remembering that gas boiler replacement will not be available from 2025.
Finally, having been involved throughout, what hopes do you have for the event series?

I believe that this event series gives people a chance to get a better understanding of the word “Sustainability” and what it means to LSBU. Having been involved in Energy Management for many years, carbon reduction has been on the agenda for most of them. Sustainability is not new, but has become increasingly important to the current generations, who are seeing what we have to achieve for future generations.

During the past 10 months many of us have turned to nature to provide our mental wellbeing, with many seeing and hearing things that they would have not known existed around us. They have most likely also seen the pollution and damage that we have caused. Now is the time to repay nature by doing something about it….

Join Chris for his session at 4.15pm on Wednesday 13th January on our day devoted to ‘Food & Water’.

For more information and to register for this event, which will be delivered online, visit the event page.

We look forward to ‘seeing’ you there!