UKGBC launches guide to low-carbon retrofits for commercial buildings
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has published a guide to support industry to retrofit the UK’s poorly performing commercial buildings.
Delivering Net Zero: Key considerations for Commercial Retrofit, aims to provide industry with a common approach to commercial retrofit through the lens of carbon reduction. It is aimed at industry professionals and stakeholders including architects, engineers, planners and facilities managers, as well as landlords and building owners who are involved in the scoping, planning, delivery, and management of commercial retrofits.
The guide outlines ten fundamental considerations for low carbon retrofits, including how to understand the building, and how to make the business case for action. It aims to give a transparent picture of the value of opting for an energy efficient retrofit vs standard practice. The benefits of retrofit can go beyond cost and carbon savings, including improved occupant wellbeing, increased asset value and reduced maintenance requirements.
Tightening of energy efficiency standards
From 2025, every commercial building in the UK will require an energy performance certificate (EPC) which rates its energy efficiency from grade A to G. The Government is seeking to strengthen these standards (known as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, or MEES). It has proposed that all commercial properties being let have a minimum EPC rating of at least ‘B’ by 2030 and is considering a possible interim requirement of level ‘C’ by 2027. Buildings which fail to meet these new standards would require owners and landlords of commercial buildings to upgrade their stock.
The drive for higher standards is to address the urgent need to increase the pace at which we are retrofitting the UK’s commercial real estate. UKGBC analysis shows that aligning the UK built environment with the Paris Agreement will require energy consumption across commercial buildings to be reduced by 59% by 2050.
Delivering Net Zero: Key considerations for Commercial Retrofit can be downloaded from the UKGBC website.