R22 phase out
- Blast chillers.
- Process coolers.
- Air conditioning systems in offices and other commercial buildings.
- Transport refrigeration.
From January 1st 2015, EC regulation EC/1005/2009, which relates to substances that deplete the ozone layer, prohibited the use of HCFC's such as R22 and R408A in any form, even for maintenance, in order to protect the ozone layer.
New equipment using HCFC's was banned in 2001 (2004 for small air-conditioning systems), and the use of virgin HCFC's was banned in 2010, when it also became illegal to manufacture HCFC refrigerants or for suppliers to keep them in stock.
From January 1st 2015, a new restriction prevented the use of re-cycled and reclaimed HCFC. The new regulations do not prohibit continued operation of plant using existing quantities of HCFC refrigerant, but prevents invasive maintenance, replacement or topping up.
More modern refrigeration and air-conditioning systems should already comply with regulations. However, older systems may use HCFC's, and as most refrigeration systems leak to a certain extent, 'doing nothing' will cease to be an option. Many of the better maintained systems will accept 'drop-in' non-ODS refrigerants, such as EC F Gas Regulations compliant HFC's (hydrofluorocarbons, including 417A, 422A, 422D, 424A, 427A, 428A and 434A). However these substitutes generally lead to a drop in efficiency and so the system may need to be supplemented with additional compressor and/or heat exchanger capacity.
Badly maintained equipment or old HCFC systems may not lend themselves to conversion and could need complete replacement with a compliant HFC, hydrocarbon, ammonia or carbon dioxide system. Such an upgrade on a 10,000 sq ft office building could cost the tenant or landlord the equivalent of 30% of the annual rent as well as causing considerable disruption. It is likely therefore that landlords and tenants will be looking at the small print of their leases to establish where liability lies for such costs. In some cases the courts may have to determine who pays.
NB On 15 October 2016 it was announced that 170 countries in Kigali, Rwanda, had agreed that all HFC’s should be phased out through an amendment to the Montreal Protocol. See HFC phase out for more information.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Air conditioning inspection.
- Deleterious materials.
- Greenhouse gases.
- HFC phase out.
- Ozone depleting substances.
- Montreal Protocol.
- Refrigerant selection.
 External references
- DEFRA Information sheet RAC 8 – R22 Phase-out (Aug 2011).
- GB Regulations enforcing EC Regulation 1005/2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
- UK Government: EC F Gas Regulations.
- Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases. May 2006
Featured articles and news
Read about RSHP's British Museum extension which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Stirling Prize.
Read our introductory article to building a house extension.
More updates from DCMS about the large-scale testing of cladding systems and the number of buildings affected.
UandI secure resolution to grant planning consent for major new regeneration project.
IHBC article considers how heritage is dealt with when infrastructure schemes are authorised.
It was the tallest structure in the world for 3,800 years, but to this day the exact construction techniques are a mystery.
Shortlist for the industry's most coveted award announced.
Government responds to Mark Farmer's review of industry, rejecting the call for a levy on clients.
Peter Hansford to examine what wider lessons can be learned from the fire.
Every project is subject to uncertainty. How can construction better understand uncertainty for performance improvement?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a futuristic campus for electric car manufacturer.
Homebuyers could borrow more with better forecasting of energy bills, according to industry consortium's new report.
Read our introductory article on carbon capture and storage.