The Story of Comfort

Air Conditioning

I have often been asked, “Why this interest in the history of comfort air conditioning?”

When I retired at the millennium having spent all my working life in the building engineering services industry, specializing in air conditioning for some forty years, and having served as Chairman of the CIBSE Heritage Group for over 25 years, I thought it would be of interest to other engineers to know something about the history of comfort air conditioning and its development worldwide through the 20th century.

It has taken me several years to compile all the facts and figures but it has been an enjoyable learning experience. I hope it is for you. Enjoy the read.

As a footnote, to the question “What was the most impressive installation you have seen?”  I would have to reply, the New York’s Twin Towers World Trade Centre, (alas now destroyed by terrorists). To see 49,000 TR (some 172,000 kW) of refrigeration split across seven machines, shows how far the industry has come from the early ice-block cooling systems.

The Author checks out a compressor turbine replacement

The book's Parts shown below will display as pdf files, and each may take up to 2 minutes to download dependant upon the make of your computer and your broadband internet speed.


Introduction -
Introductory Essay -
Part 1 - Nineteenth Century Ventilation & Cooling

Part 2 - The Air Conditioned Building 1900 - 1939

Part 3 - Air Conditioning Office Buildings 1940 - 1978

Part 4 - Air Conditioned Office Buildings 1970 - 2000

Part 5 - Appendices
Part 6 - Picture Postscript

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February  2009