PIONEERING OFFICE DEVELOPERS BREAK THE MOULD WITH RADICAL APPROACH TO ENERGY PERFORMANCE

16 Oct 2018

Seven major UK property developers, Lendlease, Great Portland Estates, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Landsec; Legal & General Real Assets, TH Real Estate and The Crown Estate, have elected to break the mould and commit to an innovative approach to overcome the energy performance gap for new office design. This new approach comes off the back of the latest findings of the industry backed Design for Performance (DfP) initiative.

As members of the Better Buildings Partnership these organisations will adopt a ‘Design for Performance’ approach, whereby targets for operational energy use are embedded within contractual requirements and verified by performance during full occupation, on at least one office in their development pipelines. They have also agreed to fund the development of the scheme demonstrating market demand for an investment grade rating that reflects actual performance in use.

Victoria Quinlan, Managing Director, Investment Management at Lendlease, comments: 
“As a global developer we are committed to driving change within our sector. The Design for Performance (DfP) initiative creates an opportunity for collaboration between industry partners to influence the way building performance is benchmarked. 

“Adopting this holistic approach will give us insight in to how people interact with buildings and the spaces within them and will enable us to identify ways to create better working environments and improved building efficiency.”

To support the development of the scheme, the Better Buildings Partnership & NABERS are entering into a partnership with the aim of allowing UK property owners to rate their offices using the internationally recognised NABERS Energy Rating. The UK’s current regulatory framework to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings fails to measure operational performance; the amount of energy a building uses once in operation. This has resulted in a ‘Design-for-Compliance’ culture and a ‘Performance Gap’ whereby energy consumption is considerably higher than the original building design intent. The actual performance of buildings is therefore 
invisible to the market.

Sarah Ratcliffe, Chair of the Design for Performance Executive Board, and Programme Director at BBP said: “This is a major industry breakthrough and one which has the potential to transform the UK office market. The DfP initiative is one which resonates deeply with the Better Buildings Partnership’s aims to improve the sustainability performance of UK real estate assets. 

“We are delighted that our members are demonstrating such strong industry leadership in supporting and adopting a Design for Performance approach and relish the challenge of advocating for wider use of the scheme across the industry.”

Three years ago, the ambitious collaborative industry backed and led Design for Performance (DfP) initiative, supported by the Better Buildings Partnership, set out to address this challenge by examining the hugely transformational Australian NABERS scheme for new offices. The feasibility study found that there were no reasons why such an approach could not be adopted in the UK and the subsequent pilot studies demonstrate the significant benefits to be gained. The relentless focus on performance outcomes not only delivers better designed, better constructed, better commissioned and better operated buildings, but also can act as a proxy for better quality buildings that are attractive to both investors and occupiers.



ENDS

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