The BBP responds to the UK government’s ambitious plans to introduce a new performance based energy rating scheme for commercial buildings

18/03/2021

The BBP welcomes the publication of proposals by BEIS to introduce a national performance-based policy framework for rating the energy and carbon performance of commercial and industrial buildings above 1,000m2  in England & Wales. This is accompanied by a detailed consultation on Introducing Performance-Based Ratings in Commercial and Industrial Offices above 1,000m² in England and Wales. 

Sarah Ratcliffe, CEO of the BBP commented:  

“The Better Buildings Partnership has championed the introduction of mandatory disclosure of the in-use energy performance of commercial buildings for over a decade. We are therefore delighted to see the publication of this consultation. This really could be a game-changer for the UK commercial property sector.  

The consultation makes extensive reference to the industry leading work undertaken by the BBP highlighting the performance gap between design intent and actual performance, evidencing the voluntary participation of BBP members in the Real Estate Environmental Benchmark and endorsing the Design for Performance initiative that led to the launch of the NABERS UK scheme in November last year.  

It is particularly pleasing to see that the policy proposals very closely align with the NABERS UK scheme, clearly stating: ‘The Government supports NABERS UK. It is implementing – at a voluntary level – exactly the kind of performance-based approach that the Government is looking to mandate at a national level.’ 

The BBP applauds these aspirational plans to implement a scheme that will provide much needed transparency for commercial property investors, owners and occupiers. This is vital in order to accelerate efforts to improve energy efficiency and drive the UK commercial property sector to decarbonise and deliver on its net zero targets.

The Government is to be commended on its open and constructive approach to developing this consultation responding to market demand for a scheme that reflects accountabilities for the energy performance of commercial buildings and acknowledges the need for a phased approach tailored to specific building types. The BBP will be working with its members to provide a detailed response to the consultation in due course and looks forward to continued engagement with Government.”

Louise Ellison, Chair of BBP and Head of Sustainability at Hammerson said: 

“This consultation is a major step forward for the industry. I would urge everyone to read the documentation and provide constructive feedback to ensure we get a system that works for the sector and supports us in delivering and operating buildings fit for the future.” 

 

Editors Notes: 

The consultation documents can be found here

These are accompanied by proposals to improve the implementation and enforcement of the Non-Domestic Private Rented Sector (PRS) Regulations. This can be found here:  

BETTER BUILDINGS PARTNERSHIP

The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) is a not-for-profit collaboration of the UK’s leading property owners who are working together to improve the sustainability of the UK’s existing commercial buildings. The organisation's aim is to deliver market transformation through sustainability leadership and knowledge sharing across the UK property industry. The BBP currently has 40 members who represent in excess of £250bn Assets Under Management (AUM). More information about the BBP can be found here: www.betterbuildingspartnership.co.uk 

REAL ESTATE ENVIRONMENTAL BENCHMARK

The Real Estate Environmental Benchmark (REEB) is a publicly available operational benchmark of environmental performance for commercial property in the UK. It is one of the only benchmarks based on the performance of buildings ‘in-use’ and is increasingly becoming the ‘industry standard’ to compare and track the performance of commercial buildings. 

With over 1,000 properties in the database, and with floor area totalling 11.7 million m2 , it is the largest voluntary dataset of its kind, filling a vital role in better understanding the energy performance trends of commercial properties in the UK. The REEB initiative has proven to be a valuable tool for the wider industry, and is used to inform industry best practice, research and government policy.

NABERS UK

NABERS UK is a simple, reliable and comparable system for rating the energy efficiency of office buildings across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Like the efficiency star ratings that you get on your fridge or washing machine, NABERS provides a rating from one to six stars for offices. This helps building owners to understand their building’s performance versus other similar buildings, providing a benchmark for progress. NABERS UK is owned by NABERS, based in Australia, and administered by BRE in the UK. 

NABERS UK offers two products: NABERS Energy ratings and NABERS Design for Performance. Unlike design-based ratings, NABERS Energy ratings measure and verify the actual energy use of offices, helping building owners to accurately track and communicate the energy performance of their buildings. Design for Performance is a framework whereby a developer or owner commits to design, build and commission a new office development or major refurbishment to achieve a specific NABERS Energy rating. 

The work required to adapt and deliver NABERS for the UK was pioneered by the Better Buildings Partnership via its Design for Performance initiative, in partnership with NABERS.