UK-GBC Task Force calls for DECs for non-domestic buildings

Non-domestic buildings, which account for 17% of UK carbon emissions, have come under the spotlight of UK-GBC, with a recommendation for the roll-out of Display Energy Certificates (DECs) for all non-domestic buildings in their latest task force report, issued this week.  The aims behind this are energy efficiency, cutting costs and creating incentives for refurbishment in this sector.

DECs, which illustrate technical information and an easy-to-read A-G rating of the energy efficiency of the buildings, are currently mandatory for public buildings over 1000m2, but private sector buildings do not fall under this requirement.

UK-GBC has undertaken in-depth consultation, sponsored by British Land and Cundall, to reach a series of detailed proposals and recommendations, the first of which is the mandatory requirement of DECs for all non-domestic building occupiers, rolled out from 2012. Secondly, landlords should be required to display certificates of the services they provide, based on the Landlord’s Energy Statement (LES), which they must then pass to occupiers. Thirdly, a range of publicly accessible league tables, which may replace the current Carbon Reduction Commitment league table, should be produced from the DECs, based on occupiers, landlords, sectors building types and uses.

UK-GBC Chief Executive Paul King notes the urgency of acting now on this issue: ‘There is a window of opportunity to do this in the Energy Bill currently going through Parliament. A to G ratings for commercial buildings will provide a reputational driver for both landlords and tenants to take energy use more seriously leading to carbon and financial savings.’

Meanwhile, the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), made up of fifteen of the UK’s largest commercial property owners, alongside the Mayor of London and LDA, have published ‘Managing Agents Sustainability Toolkit,’ available to download here, which contains a host of sustainability services, complete with detailed guidance notes, that managing agents should provide at the request of a landlord.  It also details how they can incorporate best sustainability practice into the management of buildings.

Although beyond the remit of managing agents, BBP feel that they are ideally placed to promote, provide and establish environmental ambitions that both landlord and occupier may have.

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