The purpose of this Guidance Note is to provide asset managers, property managers and facilities managers with information about incorporating sustainability within an asset register.
Asset registers should be a part of a building owner’s manual. They are usually created during the design stage of the property lifecycle but may be prepared during construction, or as part of a survey.
Best practice is to have an electronic version that correlates clearly with physical installations onsite. This provides ease of access, communication, auditing, and updating. Electronic asset registers are often integrated within maintenance scheduling software or computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) software.
A good asset register can support site valuation, risk management and operational efficiency. It does so by collating information gathered from building surveys, mechanical & electrical surveys, metering plan(s) and environmental certifications.
Building Information Models (BIM) tend to hold all information traditionally held in an asset register, but in a way that expresses how physical assets interact with each other and with other systems.
It is important that asset registers are updated when work permits result in building alterations or refurbishments, such as life-cycle plant replacements, for example. If a property is built with its end-of-life in mind, the asset register should also list each material used in detail. This will allow for the building’s deconstruction later in life.
Best practice in asset register creation in the UK directs property teams towards the CIBSE Guidance document DE5T: Asset Information Requirements. This should be complemented with the UK’s Construction Strategy 2025, which provides additional sustainability information through a focus on ‘smart construction and digital design’.
Operating assets over their lifecycle involves significantly higher costs than the initial purchase price. Therefore, good asset management practices, including a detailed asset register, can reduce expenditure over the long-term.
Asset registers also play an important role in the achievement of net zero, and sustainability future-proofing, as they are important source of information when building business cases for replacements, and calculating risk based on the value of assets onsite.
Consideration of the following stakeholders provide a further driver, and heightened importance for complete asset registers:
The table below summarises the key activities associated with incorporating sustainability within an asset register, and highlights where asset managers, property managers and facilities managers are likely to have a responsibility or specific interest.
Step 1: Consider facilities
Step 2: Consider space
Step 3: Consider systems
Step 4: Consider components
Asset registers require input from asset, property, and facility managers.
In the absence of an asset register, an asset manager would establish the foundations of a new one and rely on the property and facility managers to provide further details based on site assessments.
Where an asset register already exists, updating the document often sits with the property manager. However, asset and property managers should be active participants in ensuring that the register is being updated as required.
Transitioning an asset register into any form of digitised format should have oversight from each manager. However, this role would be best suited to a property manager, as the process may involve liaising with asset team, facility teams, innovation partners, and other buildings in a property portfolio.
The common approach to creating asset registers in the UK is to follow BS ISO 55000 and PAS 1192-3 standards and to use the CIBSE DE5T template. It is important to expand on the CIBSE template to include information pertinent to managing and creating sustainable buildings.
The DE5T template is made of four sections: facility, space, system, and component. These are described below:
The DE5T template includes 28 rows for establishing a complete view of the facility. Of most interest to sustainability are:
Facility Condition (DE5T, 1.12)
This is free text field response, which should include references to professional surveys undertaken in the property’s lifecycle. Condition of a facility is important to understand for energy and environmental management purposes as it can inform business cases for improvements. For example, status of roof integrity is critical in determining viability of installing solar panels.
KPIs (DE5T, 1.20)
This is described as ‘a list of metrics that demonstrate performance of the asset’. Amongst those referenced by DE5T, performance gap metrics should be included, such as, for example:
Sustainability (DE5T, 1.22)
Currently limited to ‘sustainability measures achieved, for example, LEED Platinum’, this section has capacity to reference several other energy and environmental features that are established at the facility level.
Summer and Winter Design Conditions (DE5T, 1.27)
The format of this section is for temperature and relative humidity (oC/%RH). However, as an asset register moves from design into operation, this section should become a repository of updated statistics that indicate how across operational years, the design conditions are being met or missed.
This provides a useful feedback loop for future facility designs in the same area or with the same specifications.
Extending the detail in DE5T 2.05, clarification of ownership is important, as there are often shared or offset liabilities between the landlord and tenants for energy and environmental management.
For example, compliance with F-gas Regulations (2015) sits with the asset manager until and after an occupier demise area is let. It is important that this is clearly communicated to occupiers to ensure they can fulfil maintenance requirements.
DE5T provides twelve rows of important information which comprises the system asset register of the CIBSE standard template.
Although this level of asset register is uncommon, sustainability should be integrated to ensure systems in a facility can be managed well or accurately reported where compliance or certifications require it.
While stating the primary component (DE5T 3.08) within a system is paramount, an improved management approach would involve including other components, such as their date of installation, age and serial numbers.
This would provide an overview for a system manager to ensure scheduled maintenance or repairs are in line with requirements, warranties, or expected lifecycles.
For example, if operating a ground source heating and cooling system, it would be beneficial to have a system register that lists not only the system template information, but when each pump, meter, or other components was installed to ensure there is resilience in the site’s understanding of the system.
Improvements in systems registers can be supported by the creation of component registers. Various improvements can be made to this template highlighted below:
Condition (DE5T 4.10)
This section advises how and when the component gets maintained. Condition-based maintenance is emphases, whereas contracts often opt for predictive or preventative maintenance. If this information is completed correctly, a business-focused maintenance approach can be taken.
In some instances, such as generators, for example, it is important that additional information is gathered to ensure correct application of UK regulations.
For example, both emissions-trading and permitting regulations require an understanding of the heat-output of a system, which is often calculated based on necessarily accurate manufacturing handbook information. Holding this information on a component asset register improves the availability of this type of information.
To cut energy costs, reduce CO2 emissions and improve power quality for occupiers, the Schroder UK Real Estate Fund has installed voltage power optimisation technology in three of its multi-let office buildings. This equipment regulates and conditions the voltage on the main incoming electricity supply, eliminating excess voltage, triple harmonics and spikes. For many commercial buildings, it offers a simple way to reduce energy consumption across all electrical equipment and appliances. Informed by the results of the initial rollout, the Fund is now exploring opportunities in some of its other assets. Read the case study here.
Schroder Real Estate Collaborates to Exceed Energy Reduction Target
Schroder Real Estate Investment Management (SREIM) has exceeded its 6% energy reduction target, delivering an 8.1% reduction in two years. This has been achieved by working collaboratively with property teams across its UK portfolio, supported by sustainability consultants EVORA. Building on this success, SREIM has extended its UK reduction target to 18% by 2021, retaining its 2016 baseline. SREIM has also recently signed the BBP Climate Change Commitment to deliver a net zero real estate portfolio by 2050. Read the case study here.
In 2019, Savills piloted an evidence-based approach to improving indoor air quality in central London offices. The team aligned their approach with RESET™ Air – Core and Shell, a globally recognised standard. They installed RESET-accredited sensors in a multi-occupied building on a busy road and monitored performance against RESET targets. This yielded useful insights into air quality and empowered the building team to take action to improve performance. Read the case study here.