A national rating system to measure the environmental performance of office buildings and tenancies, first devised in Australia, has launched in the UK.
NABERS UK is a UK-specific version of a scheme that measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy, and its impact on the environment.
Energy ratings measure and verify actual energy use in offices, giving a 1-6 star rating. In so doing, the scheme helps building owners to target, measure and communicate the energy performance of their buildings. NABERS UK expects these ratings to be used to demonstrate whether offices are “on a net-zero carbon trajectory”, and whether they provide investors and occupiers with the confidence that the buildings they own and occupy are aligned with their climate change ambitions.
The issue of demonstrating greater certainty in a building’s energy performance was a major theme during conversations held in the wake of the IWFM’s recent annual sustainability report.
Developers will also be able to use the associated ‘Design for Performance’ process to target a NABERS Energy rating at the design stage of a new office development or refurbishment, the performance of which can then be verified when the building is occupied. In this way, the aim is to overcome “the well-evidenced performance gap between design and operation”. The approach is already being pioneered by 12 UK property owners on new office developments totalling over half a million square metres of floor space across the UK.
The scheme is to be governed by a committee comprising NABERS, the Better Buildings Partnership and BRE, which will be a NABERS UK administrator and responsible for assessor training and building certification. Other stakeholder organisations are set to join the scheme in 2021, representing industry bodies, scheme users and technical experts from across the property sector.
For more information on NABERS, click here.