A new scheme for rating the operational energy efficiency of UK offices, NABERS UK, has been launched today. NABERS UK will play a vital role in bridging the performance gap between the design and in-use energy performance of offices in the UK and create much needed transparency for the market.
NABERS Energy ratings measure and verify the actual energy use of existing offices, providing a rating from 1-6 stars and helping building owners to accurately target, measure and communicate the energy performance of their buildings. This investment grade rating can be used to demonstrate whether offices are on a net zero carbon trajectory and provide investors and occupiers with the confidence that the buildings they own and occupy are aligned with their climate change ambitions.
As part of NABERS UK, developers will also be able to use the Design for Performance process to target a NABERS Energy rating at the design stage of a new office development or refurbishment and verify performance when the building is occupied, overcoming the well-evidenced performance gap between design and operation. This approach is already being pioneered by 12 major UK property owners on new office developments totalling over half a million m2 across the UK.
The NABERS UK scheme has been developed via the Design for Performance initiative led by the Better Buildings Partnership, working in close collaboration with the market transformational Australian NABERS programme. The work has been funded by British Land; Derwent London; Federated Hermes / MEPC; Great Portland Estates; Grosvenor Britain & Ireland; Landsec; Legal & General Investment Management; Lendlease; Nuveen Real Estate; Royal London Asset Management and Stanhope, and backed by industry bodies including the British Council for Offices; British Property Federation; BRE; BSRIA; CIBSE; CREFC Europe; RIBA; RICS; UKGBC and the Usable Buildings Trust. The scheme was developed for the UK market with expert input from Verco & DeltaQ.
The scheme will be governed by a Steering Committee comprised of NABERS, the Better Buildings Partnership and BRE, who in a recent development have been confirmed as the NABERS UK administrator and will be responsible for assessor training and building certification. These founding members will be joined by other stakeholders early in 2021, representing industry bodies, scheme users and technical experts from across the property sector.
The launch of the scheme comes at a critical time for the industry, with the Government’s consultation on energy performance disclosure for commercial buildings expected before the end of the year. The Better Buildings Partnership is very supportive of, and is eagerly awaiting, this consultation and has shared evidence from the Design for Performance Initiative with BEIS as part of its role on the Advisory Panel.
Sarah Ratcliffe, CEO at Better Buildings Partnership said: “The launch of NABERS UK marks a significant milestone for this project, but more importantly a huge leap forward for the industry in measuring and verifying the actual energy performance of UK offices. This has been a truly collaborative effort from across the industry over many years. I am absolutely delighted that we now have a scheme in the UK that will transform the market for better, more energy efficient offices.”
Carlos Flores, Director at NABERS said: “Climate change is a global issue that requires global collaboration. Working with the BBP and their members to develop NABERS UK has been truly inspiring, and the prospect of working closely with BRE going forward is just thrilling. We look forward to learning and sharing through this ground-breaking international partnership, to help Australian and UK buildings make faster progress towards a more sustainable planet.”
Shamir Ghumra, Head of Building Performance Services at BRE, said: “BRE is very excited to be partnering with NABERS to make a transformational impact on the energy efficiency of offices. Administering NABERS UK will allow us to deliver greater performance improvements in the construction and upkeep of commercial offices. With sustainability firmly on the agenda, and COP26 on the horizon, 2021 is set to be an important year in the global fight against climate change and I am delighted that by collaborating with NABERS, BRE will continue to play an important role in this challenge.”
Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Minister of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “Our clear commitment to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2050 means every sector of the economy must take bold action to address emissions – including by tackling the energy efficiency of our buildings. That’s why I’m delighted to see the NABERS UK scheme being launched today to do just that, underlining the integral part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan that tackling emissions from our workplaces will play.”
Notes to Editors
BETTER BUILDINGS PARTNERSHIP
The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) is a not-for-profit collaboration of the UK’s leading property owners who are working together to improve the sustainability of the UK’s existing commercial buildings. The organisation’s aim is to deliver market transformation through sustainability leadership and knowledge sharing across the UK property industry. The BBP currently has 37 members who represent in excess of £250bn Assets Under Management (AUM). More information about the BBP can be found here: www.betterbuildingspartnership.co.uk
DESIGN FOR PERFORMANCE INITIATIVE
The Design for Performance (DfP) initiative is an industry backed project established to tackle the performance gap and provide an approach, based on measurable performance outcomes, to ensure new office developments deliver on their design intent.
The initiative has been working to bring the knowledge and success of NABERS to the UK by applying the same principles that have been so effective in Australia to a certification scheme for new UK office developments. This work has culminated in the launch of NAKERS UK.
The DfP initiative is supported by NABERS and wider industry partners including BCO, BRE, BSRIA, BPF, CIBSE, CREFCE, RIBA, RICS, UKGBC and UBT.
The work to develop NABERS UK was funded by British Land, Derwent London, Federated Hermes / MEPC, Great Portland Estates, Grosvenor Great Britain & Ireland, Landsec, Legal & General Investment Management, Lendlease, Nuveen Real Estate, Royal London Asset Management, Stanhope and The Crown Estate. Technical expertise to support the development of the scheme for the UK is being provided by Verco and Delta Q.
NABERS is a national rating system from Australia that measures the environmental performance of buildings and tenancies. Put simply, NABERS measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment.
NABERS is a reliable and easy to understand sustainability rating for the built environment. Like the efficiency star ratings that you get on your fridge or washing machine, NABERS provides a rating from one to six stars for buildings efficiency. NABERS measures actual impact, not intent.
NABERS is a world leading building performance rating due to its integrity of methods, transparency of process and accountability to industry. NABERS is administered by Australia’s New South Wales Government, and is in three countries; Australia, New Zealand and now the UK.
BRE is the world’s leading building science centre. Its sustainability, safety, and security services – as well as the BRE Academy and Innovation Centres – are used by customers to deliver on their social, environmental, and economic goals.
BRE is committed to developing knowledge on every aspect of the built environment. The organisation sets the standards for the way buildings, homes and communities are made to keep people safe, protect the environment, make buildings affordable, and create places where people want to live.
Website: www.bregroup.com / Twitter: @BRE_Group