Managing for Performance: reducing energy intensity at Edinburgh House

12 March 2024
Workspace Group Building Energy Efficiency

Managing for Performance: reducing energy intensity at Edinburgh House

12 March 2024

Around 30% of the UK’s total energy-use goes to heating and powering buildings. Managing this energy effectively is critical to achieving Net Zero goals in the built environment.

Situated in Kennington, London, Workspace’s Edinburgh House provides a modern, high quality and flexible work space for 78 small and medium sized businesses. Last year, an unusually high energy intensity was detected at the site. As a BBP Climate Commitment signatory and an organisation committed to achieving Net Zero carbon by 2030, this prompted investigation and the implementation of cost-effective measures to drive the energy consumption down. These measures included tenant engagement and optimising controls within the building.

Key Facts

  • Chiller electricity savings: 41,599kWh (-34%)
  • Total building level electricity savings: 18,369 kWh (-2.5%)
  • Total building level gas savings: 291,000 kWh (-42%)
  • Total of £19,831 saved
  • Achieved BREEAM Very Good
  • Achieved EPC B rating

The Situation

Workspace Group is a property owner with a focus on climate change mitigation and resilience. They have an ambitious commitment to achieve Net Zero Carbon across their portfolio by 2030 and are a BBP Climate Commitment signatory.

The design of one of Workspace’s flagship buildings, Edinburgh House, in South London, invites natural light to fill its spaces, however the complex architecture poses challenges in maintaining ideal heating and cooling conditions. Aligned with their dedication to monitoring and reducing energy consumption, Workspace detected a significant increase in energy usage in 2022. This led them to focus on adopting cost-effective measures to decrease energy consumption.


Workspace’s focus revolved around the dual objectives of minimising energy consumption while keeping customers comfortable and engaged. To achieve this, Workspace collaborated directly with the Centre Management team, actively engaging with customers to gain insights into their energy use patterns and, crucially, involving them in creating energy reduction solutions.   

This process included conducting surveys, sending out informative emails, and organising one-on-one check-ins to gather feedback from customers. Subsequently, this data was shared with the Facilities Management team to keep them informed of customers’ evolving needs. As a result, their teams were prepared to address important customer requests and concerns to help improve overall energy efficiencies.

Initially, Workspace’s Facilities Management team observed the building to understand occupancy rates, overall behavioural patterns and use of energy. Based on the findings, the Facilities Management team made adjustments to the heating and cooling control strategy and operational schedules to meet customers’ needs and reflect core occupancy hours. This involved separating specific operational schedules with the plant and modifying basic controls on the return pipe of the chiller so that it would automatically shift on and off at specific temperatures depending on the season. Workspace have also intentionally run the chiller and boilers for a short period of time in the morning before turning them off to rely on the air handling units (AHU) to deliver tempered air throughout the asset. The operational schedule of the chiller was also modified to match occupancy hours and, during key time periods, including bank holidays, the chiller is programmed to completely switch off.  

Occupier engagement established a robust understanding of how the chiller should be programmed to maintain comfortable temperature levels and ensure efficient use of energy throughout the day. This alongside the use of the Building Management System (BMS), has allowed for precise control over which areas in the building receive heating or cooling, resulting in enhanced comfort. All adjustments made have been incorporated into a long-term plan which will continue to be assessed over the coming years. 

The Facilities Management team also identified an opportunity to reduce energy use in the reception area at Edinburgh House. Historically, the lighting in this large area of the building was controlled by inefficient occupancy sensors. With recent updates completed, lighting is now controlled by daylight sensors so that when there is sufficient natural light the internal lights switch off. 


Being mindful of the capabilities of the heating and cooling systems in place, the Facilities Management team were able to identify solutions that required minimal changes to current equipment used in the building, with the addition of a 3rd party smart building technology to effectively manage energy efficiencies.

This is a key example of a successful piece of technology that ensures Workspace manages and identifies opportunities to increase energy efficiencies at Edinburgh House. As a smart Building Management System (BMS), the technology installed streamlines the reporting process of complex data, ensuring accuracy and consistency. The Facilities Management team uses the reporting portal and data visualization tools to support long-term strategic planning, including the installation of energy meters, and ensure any day-to-day issues are identified and resolved quickly. 

Thanks to this comprehensive approach, Edinburgh House saw significant savings from August 2022 to July 2023 compared to the previous year:

  • Chiller electricity savings: 41,599 kWh (34% reduction)
  • Total building-level electricity savings: 18,369 kWh (2.5% reduction)
  • Total building-level gas savings: 291,000 kWh (42% reduction)

These savings have been published through Edinburgh House’s social media channels, in the Centre Management team face-to-face meetings with customers and in the building’s monthly newsletter.

Looking forward, Workspace plan to phase out gas for the vast majority of its buildings by 2030 in line with its decarbonisation plans. This transition will be accompanied by increased communication with customers regarding energy-saving solutions and incentives. Internal newsletters will play a larger role in keeping everyone informed, paving the way for more measurable reductions in the future at Edinburgh House.


  • Overall, Edinburgh House has saved £11,232 in the last year (between August 2022 and July 2023) from the chillers’ electricity consumption reduction and £8,599 worth of gas savings. 

Challenges and Achievements

It has been a challenging task for Workspace’s Centre Management team to manage primarily due to the fact customers were very used to having the ability to control their heating 24/7. The Centre Management team collaborated with the Facilities Management team to understand the upgrades and new schedules in order to make customer-facing conversations more informative. As a result of the changes made, the energy performance of the building has improved immensely, whilst providing the Centre Management team valuable opportunities to connect with customers and engage with those who are particularly energy conscious.

For more information on how to optimise energy intensity across your assets, please review the BBP’s Managing for Performance Framework here.


Workspace is one of London's leading owner and operator of flexible work space. They own 4.6 million sq. ft. of lettable space across 78 properties. They are home to around 4,000 customers, including fast-growing companies and established brands from a diverse range of sectors. Workspace provide a blank canvas space for customers to adapt and personalise to create a home for their business with a vibrant and like-minded community around them, alongside flexible leases that give them the freedom to easily scale up and down within our well-connected, extensive portfolio. 

Workspace acquire, refurbish and redevelop our properties to adapt to customers' changing requirements, including a vibrant front of house experience, meeting rooms, breakout areas, wellbeing facilities, cafes and wellbeing facilities. They are inherently sustainable - investing across the Capital, breathing new life into old buildings and creating hubs of economic activity that help flatten London’s working map. Workspace work closely with local communities to ensure they make a positive and lasting environmental and social impact, creating value over the long term. They are one of 36 leading property companies that have signed the BBP’s Climate Commitment.



*Please note that the information on this page was supplied by the BBP Member and the BBP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content