Building performance, Driving the market and Sustainability know-how: 3 new priorities for 2020


The Better Buildings Partnership Board has recently approved its 3 Year Business Plan to 2020. The business planning process provides a time for reflection, prediction and action.

How successful has the organisation been in meeting its objectives and what could it do to be more effective? What challenges will the BBP members face in the coming years and how can the BBP help them to address these?

We have made significant progress over the past three years (look out for our upcoming Impact Report for more details) and our members told us that the BBP is good at knowledge sharing, developing practical solutions and collaborating. Encouragingly, BBP members thought the BBP could be more effective if the members themselves were more active and committed and that the BBP could help by providing a focal point for this leadership.

As you can imagine, the 28 members were not short of ideas about the kinds of projects they would like the BBP to pursue over the coming years. These reflect the key challenges they face from BREXIT and MEES, to “smart” buildings, social value and a sustainability skills gap. What is clear is that the scope of the sustainability agenda is widening - it is the BBP’s job to help our members make sense of this, selecting issues to work on that are most relevant to property owners and can instigate real, practical change.

So what are the BBP’s key priorities for the next 3 years?

  • Buildings that Perform Well. Providing practical guidance on how to improve the performance of buildings has always been at the top of the agenda for the BBP. Over the next three years the BBP members have asked us to step up our efforts even further, expanding the REEB dataset to gain a better understanding of how buildings perform, identifying new technologies that they could potentially adopt and supporting a ‘Design for Performance’ culture across the industry.
  • Driving the Market. Ask any property owner who they feel drives the property market and they will usually cite two key stakeholders – investors and occupiers. However, our BBP members have indicated that it remains difficult to engage with these critical stakeholders on sustainability matters, but that they want us to try harder. So, during the next three years we will be publishing practical guidance and launching new projects designed to enable investors to better understand the sustainability risks and opportunities of their portfolios (and act upon them) and occupiers to engage more readily in improving the performance of the buildings they occupy.
  • Mainstreaming Sustainability Skills. All too often the Sustainability Director/Manager is the sole source of expertise within BBP member organisations. The effective implementation of their sustainability strategy is reliant on a much wider set of stakeholders. Our members stressed to us the importance of embedding sustainability internally within their organisations and with the wide range of external stakeholders involved in the delivery of their assets including architects, engineers, contractors, building managers, surveyors and valuers.  In response to this challenge, the BBP will focus on ensuring its practical guidance is targeted at non-sustainability professionals, is based upon a sound understanding of their roles and responsibilities and provides clear, straightforward guidance. We will also be launching a major new project aimed at embedding sustainability skills within the organisations that train and support property professionals across the industry.

Finally, underlying these three key priorities was a clear message from our members – the BBP is made up of a small, but influential group of major property owners and these members must act collectively to drive market transformation. This leadership provides critical signals to the market that sustainability is integral to investing and managing a successful property portfolio. Therefore, across all of our activities, we will be actively seeking opportunities to demonstrate this leadership and to use the influence of the BBP and its membership to instigate change across the industry.

As always, the success of the BBP hinges on the engagement of our members and the support of the wider industry for the work that we do.  A blog can only capture a small amount of what we have planned for the next three years, so if you are interested in the work of the BBP then do get in touch and we would happy to share our plans with you in more detail.