Better Buildings Partnership and NABERS partner to bring a Design-for-Performance culture to the UK


The BBP and the Australian New South Wales, Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), have entered into a ground-breaking partnership to bring a ‘Design-for-Performance’ approach to the UK market.

The new partnership enables the BBP and OEH to combine their intellectual capital and resources to start adapting, trialling and implementing the NABERS Energy for Offices program so that new office developments in the UK can be certified.

The NABERS scheme, run by OEH on behalf of the federal government in Australia, provides a world-leading exemplar of how offices can be designed to be more energy efficient, backed by the verification of performance in use that means the operation of buildings deliver on their design promises. In Australia over 86% of the office market now has a NABERS Energy rating, which has had a transformative impact with the average energy intensity improving by 36% since 2010.

Sarah Ratcliffe, BBP CEO stated “We are absolutely delighted to announce our partnership with OEH. This is a pioneering and vital step forward in the development of an operational energy rating scheme for new buildings in the UK. Not only does this come as a result of extensive engagement with the NABERS team over many years, but also with the backing and support of our members and the wider UK property sector who are all collaborating in this critical project for the industry.”

“This partnership highlights NABERS as an international best-practice example of how to deliver energy efficient buildings. Having worked with the BBP for many years we’re thrilled to be supporting them in this first step in bringing our knowledge and expertise to the UK, and I look forward to the partnership flourishing over the coming years.” said Office of Environment and Heritage’s NABERS Director Carlos Flores.

Louise Ellison Head of Sustainability at Hammerson and Chair of the BBP also commented: “This partnership exemplifies the industry leadership the BBP and BBP members strive to achieve. It provides an opportunity to address energy efficiency in our buildings in a way that will really accelerate improvement; which can’t come soon enough.”

The partnership kicks off the next phase of work for the industry backed Design for Performance initiative which in 2015, embarked on a feasibility study and a pilot programme to explore whether the approach witnessed in Australia could be adopted in the UK.

The BBP and OEH will work together to facilitate the infrastructure for a UK scheme including the rating system, technical guidance, training and market engagement. This will be accompanied by work to adapt the NABERS Commitment Agreement framework that enables developers to set performance targets and embed these within the supply chain from building design right through to operation. This work is being supported by leading industry experts Robert Cohen, Verco (from the UK) and Paul Bannister, Delta Q (from Australia) one of the pioneers of the NABERS scheme in Australia.




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 31 members who represent in excess of £250bn Assets Under Management (AUM).

The BBP has 31 Members who include Aberdeen Standard Investment, Aviva Investors, Blackstone, British Land, Bruntwood, Cadogan, Canary Wharf Group, Capital & Regional, CBRE Global Investors, CLS Holdings plc, Cording Real Estate Group, DWS, Great Portland Estates, Grosvenor, Hammerson, Hermes Investment Management, intu Properties, Landsec, LaSalle Investment Management, Legal & General Investment Management, Lendlease Investment Management, Low Carbon Workplace, M&G Real Estate, Norges Bank Real Estate, SEGRO, Shaftesbury, Schroder Real Estate, Nuveen Real Estate, The Crown Estate, Transport for London and Workspace.