The NABERS UK Energy for Offices rating scheme is now available to enable commercial building owners to attain their net zero targets.
Administered by BRE Group, the scheme will enable asset owners, operators and managers to assess and improve the energy efficiency of the buildings in their portfolio – and contribute to the nation’s wider decarbonisation drive.
The scheme follows the launch of NABERS UK last year and aims to bridge the performance gap between the design and in-use energy performance of buildings.
BRE said the service arrives at an opportune time as asset managers see a rise in energy use as more employees return to the office as businesses emerge from the challenges of the pandemic.
The scheme rates the performance of the ‘base’ building (central services such as heating and cooling systems and lifts and lobby lighting) to allow building owners to clearly delineate the energy usage under their control. This allows office buildings to be rated and compared based on landlord services, giving occupiers, investors and other stakeholders a clear picture of the building’s energy efficiency.
BRE said this rating provides owners with a cost-effective, accurate and independent validation of energy data that property owners can use to make comparisons with other buildings across their own estates and against those of other landlords across the UK. Such increased transparency would, it added, enable owners to demonstrate competitive advantage with existing and prospective investors and occupiers.
Benchmarks are represented by a 6-star scale, and the scheme also provides a framework for target-setting and reporting.
It is hoped that the NABERS UK Energy for Offices scheme can emulate the success shown by the Australian NABERS Scheme in transforming the market.
Dr Shamir Ghumra, head of building performance services at BRE, said: “Having a building that has a lower environmental impact and lower running costs and being able to communicate that with confidence and simplicity is going to stand building owners in good stead over the long-term – and the new NABERS UK Energy for Offices scheme will help them facilitate this.
“Ensuring our buildings and infrastructure are equipped to play a part in the global fight against climate change is crucial, and I’m looking forward to collaborating with NABERS to help drive this forward.”
Farah Syed, product manager for NABERS UK, commented: “It is a fantastic product that will help drive significant improvements to the energy efficiency of offices, as we have already seen in Australia, the origin of NABERS. Energy for Offices will be a key enabler of the change needed for industry to succeed in achieving net zero targets.”
The scheme will be governed by a Steering Committee composed of NABERS, the Better Buildings Partnership, with BRE the UK administrator responsible for assessor training and building certification.
Sarah Ratcliffe, CEO, Better Buildings Partnership, added: “The industry has called for a scheme that enables property owners to assess, benchmark, verify and disclose the energy performance of their assets for many years… We hope that it will drive the significant improvement in energy efficiency in commercial offices that is urgently needed if the industry is to deliver on its net zero ambitions.”
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