Today saw the official launch of a new energy efficiency rating scheme for UK office buildings, NABERS UK.
Already a well-established sustainability measurement in Australia, NABERS is coming to the UK market initially with two rating systems for office buildings: Design for Performance for new office developments, and Energy for Offices, which tracks and rates the energy efficiency of existing buildings.
Assessment methods like NABERS and BREEAM in-use, which are designed to reflect the real-world operational performance of buildings, respond to the demands of both investors and occupiers with sustainability strategies and reporting requirements by providing an accurate picture of the carbon footprint of our built environment.
They also highlight the shortcomings of the current methodology involved in compiling Energy Performance Certificates, which only provide a one-time static rating. Could the introduction of NABERS into the UK market be a pre-cursor to a change over to operational EPC ratings?
Reducing carbon emissions from commercial buildings over the next decade will be critical if we are to limit the impacts of climate change. For UK commercial buildings, a compliance driven approach to energy efficiency has not secured the levels of improvement needed, leaving commercial buildings with a significant ‘performance gap’ in actual operational energy.