Technology can have a significant influence on the sustainability performance of commercial property. Whether it is the efficient running of a boiler or the installation of photovoltaics, the efficient use of existing systems and the integration of new and innovative technology is critical.
However, acting upon this can be difficult within existing buildings. Such works can be disruptive to the workplace making owners understandably reluctant to carry out retrofits when buildings are fully occupied.
Making a business case for investing in improvement works whilst a building is occupied can be challenging. The complexity of leasing arrangements, varying lengths of tenure and the split incentives, often conspire to frustrate potential improvements.
The pace at which technology is developing also means that it is difficult to attain a working knowledge of specific technologies and manage the risks of innovation sufficiently well for new technologies to become acceptable to both the investor and the occupier.
We work with our members to help understand how the efficient operation and installation of new technologies can help them capitalise on the opportunities of improving the sustainability performance of their buildings.
Our work in this area focuses on providing members with examples of new technologies through presentations from suppliers, combined with case studies from the industry showing if and how these have been successfully implemented. These detailed case studies look not only at technical specifications, but also at the business case, with careful consideration of pay-back periods and occupier acceptability.
We’ve also developed our Low Carbon Retrofit Toolkit which identifies the main barriers limiting the uptake of low carbon retrofit and highlights the importance of low- disruption retrofits and accelerated replacement of existing services plant and equipment in improving sustainability performance.