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  • PublisherCIBSE
  • Product CodeGVB3/16
  • Number of pages143
  • Publication DateMay 2016
  • ISBN9781906846770

GVB3/16 CIBSE Guide B3: Air Conditioning and Refrigeration 2016


PDF Format







PDF Format






GVB3/16 CIBSE Guide B3: Air Conditioning and Refrigeration 2016

Note: A reprint of Guide B3 is in preparation and will be available soon. Although the text in the original version is correct, the reprint inserts a number of missing paragraph numbers and corrects the title on the front cover, where "air conditioning" and "refrigeration" were in reversed sequence. The corrected pdf is now available.
Guide B provides guidance on the practical design of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. It represents a consensus on what constitutes relevant good practice guidance. This has developed over more than 70 years, with the Steering Groups for each edition of the Guide expanding and pruning the content to reflect the evolution of technology and priorities.

Since the last edition of Guide B in 2005, the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive has been introduced. This requires national building energy regulations to be based on calculations that integrate the impact of the building envelope and the building services systems, formalising what was already recognised as good design practice. In addition, the use of voluntary energy efficiency and sustainability indicators has increased. 

These changes have influenced the content of Guide B, but the emphasis remains on system design. 

Corridenda (November 2018)
A Corrigenda has been issued making corrections to the following pages: 3-36 (equation 3.1), 3-70 (Figure 3.69), 3-98, 3-120/121 (Table 3.A2.1). The Corrigenda itself can be downloaded here.

Purchasers of the hard copy will receive this with the book and it will be incorporated in a reprint at the earliest opportunity.

The pdf of the Guide that is downloadable using the button above was amended in January 2019 to correct minor typographical errors and incorporate these corrections described above.

Structure of the Guide

Guide B deals with systems to provide heating, ventilation and air conditioning services, and is divided into several chapters which are published separately. It will usually be necessary to refer to several – perhaps all – chapters since decisions based on one service will commonly affect the provision of others.

This edition of CIBSE Guide B was published in 2016 in five separate chapters plus a combined index across all five. These are:
  • Chapter B0: Applications and activities. This Chapter on how different types of building and different activities within buildings influence the choice of system. This chapter is now available in printed form, but can be freely downloaded as a pdf from the CIBSE website. For many activities and types of building, more detailed design information is available in specialist guidance.

Chapters B1 to B4 address issues relating to specific services. There are usually several possible design solutions to any situation, and the Guide does not attempt to be prescriptive but rather to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of different options. These are available as hard copy or pdf:  
  • Guide B Combined Index: Each chapter has an individual index, but to facilitate cross-referencing, this combined index allows for navigation of topics across the complete Guide. Page references are indicated by a prefix defining the chapter, and a suffix referring to the page number. For instance, 1-22 represents chapter 1, page 22. This too is now available in printed form, but can be freely downloaded as a pdf from the CIBSE website.

All chapters of CIBSE Guide B can be downloaded or purchased from our website.

Since August 2018 a full set of all 6 Chapters is available to purchase at a discounted price from here.

Guide B3 Air conditioning and refrigeration

This document, which forms chapter 3 of CIBSE Guide B, describes requirements and provides guidance on system selection with respect to generic building systems and relates primarily to office air conditioning systems. Guidance on specific requirements for other building types is provided in CIBSE Guide B0: Applications.

Section 3.1 sets out areas common to both air conditioning and refrigeration. Sections 3.2 and 3.3 deal with air conditioning and refrigeration respectively.