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The Environment Team answer your first set of questions

Written by CarbonCulture Team from UK Parliament on 17th February 2014

You have already provided us with a huge range of interesting ideas and questions around energy efficiency (over 300 in just 2 days!) and we are now starting to explore your suggestions. Some things you mention are already being put into action or planned in for the future. Others are will be looked at in more detail as we go along. 

Starting today we’re going to be posting answers to ideas from the postcard wall, so look out for future posts. 

 The Environment Team

1. Your questions answered - Temperature and draught proofing 

The suggestions from 7 Millbank and Millbank House covered many different environmental areas. These will be grouped and addressed thematically in the coming month. To kick things off, we discuss two of the most talked-about areas. 

Temperature and draught-proofing were on lots of people’s minds. You told us that temperature can be inconsistent and that some of the corridors and toilets in 7 Millbank are chilly, even with the heating on full blast. We are working on this. The Parliamentary Estates Directorate project team is currently overseeing the refurbishment of all the toilets in 7 Millbank. New radiators and mechanical ventilation systems are being installed to ensure a more consistent temperature. This will also mean there is much less need to open the windows (one reason the space gets cold!) and will make the building more comfortable and energy efficient. 

You also identified the draughty windows in the Palace of Westminster as an energy drain. This is a top priority, with a six-year project to repair around 3,500 windows to a maintainable standard is starting during recess this summer. The project is challenging, with the conservation of the Grade 1 listed building as paramount, but it will reduce draughts and improve efficiency. The team are carrying out a study alongside this to see what additional draught-proofing measures can make the repairs even more effective. 

 2. Your questions answered: Sensor lighting 

Many of you felt that sensor lighting, which would switch off automatically when no-one is around, would be an improvement at 7 Millbank and we agree. The first step is to work with the building manager on a feasibility survey to see where the best locations would be. We will keep you posted.

Keep an eye out for more questions answered by the Environment Team over the next weeks and let us know what you think!


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