Published on March 5, 2014 | by Lydia Batham0
Shops Shutting their Doors
Shops across London are being encouraged to ‘close the door’ to keep energy prices down and stop air pollution. Jeannie Dawkins, who started the campaign, says extended exposure can lead to long term health issues for staff.
Research conducted by the Glass and Façade Technology Group, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge over the winter of 2009/2010 found that shutting the door:
- reduces energy use by 50%
- can cut stores CO2 commisions by 10 tonnes – the equivalent of 3 return flights between London and Hong Kong
- Assist with national reductions of carbon emissions by 34%
Her manager Tom tried closing the door last winter and found their footfall dropped by around 40 people a day, “people just don’t open the door when it’s closed”. This then impacts on the money they make. While he agreed that closing the door would be better for the environment and lower energy costs, he’s not convinced they’d make enough money to notice the difference.
To keep the shop warm they use an air curtain, which is popular in many stores. These work by providing a fast moving warm air stream that blocks cold air coming in from the street. They also have a heater behind the till to keep the staff from getting too cold when standing around.
Further research by King’s College London and Edinburgh University has also shown that high level exposure to air pollution can lead to long term health problems like heart disease – and shop staff could be at risk. Later this year Dr Ken Barrett of King’s College London will look into the retail environment in a high pollution area of London.
In the meantime, shops will remain advised to keep their doors closed, but it seems they’ll need some convincing yet.