Friday, 12 February 2010

Does this building have Bristol's largest carbon footprint?

A recent freedom of information request by the BBC has produced a list of the carbon emissions for some 28,000 public buildings in the UK including 280 in the Bristol area.

Standing proud(!) at the top of Bristol's list is Bristol University's Senate House which, according to the data, produces a staggering 25,107 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.

To put this into perspective, second on the list is the MOD's Abbey Wood complex which produces 15,459 tonnes per annum.

What can Bristol University be doing in the Senate House that causes them to emit 60% more greenhouse gases than the entire Abbey Wood complex?

Can we expect to see soldiers, sailors, and pilots protesting outside the Senate House at the way students are destroying our planet?

Othe public buildings in the Bristol area that produce more than 10,000 tonnes of carbon per year are;
North Bristol NHS Trust, Southmead Hospital = 15,420 tonnes per annum
University of the West of England, Blocks A-N, Frenchay Campus = 13,066 tonnes
Southmead Health Services NHS Trust, Southmead Hospital = 12,128 tonnes
Bristol Royal Infirmary, Marlborough Street = 10,915 tonnes
and two buildiings at Frenchay Hospital which produce 10,766 and 10512 tonnes.

We then drop down to 5,557 tonnes for Bristol Uni's Churchill Hall on Stoke Park Road.

Other selected buildings include;
11, Bristol Mail Centre at Gloucester Road North = 3,946
14, Her Majesty's Prison in Cambridge Road = 2,831
26, The Council House, College Green = 1,159
30, Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre = 1,068
34, Bristol Crown Courts, Small St = 947
38, Gov Office for SW, 2 Rivergate = 904
40, Natural England, Burghill Road, WoT = 848
47, Arnolfini, Narrow Quay = 660
60, Monks Park School, Filton Road = 518

Meanwhile, I'm off to get the Royal Marines to organise a protest march on the University!

photo credit: Chris Bertram at


  1. That's only because those two cannabis buildings have been closed

  2. Those figures need to be related to the size and function of the buildings in question. For example hospitals function on a 24/7 basis (168 hrs/week) so have to be constantly heated/cooled and powered, whereas an office might be in use for just 40 hours a week.

    So for a start we should look at energy consumption / carbon emissions per hour of use. We should also take into account the number of people in occupation and the kind of activity.

    Nevertheless the Senate House figure is bizarre.