A major new UK-GBC report supported by Tarmac has set out recommendations to help design, construction and property professionals build non-domestic buildings which close the gap between the designed performance of buildings and how they perform once occupied.
The report sets out five key recommendations for property clients, investors and the wider construction supply chain:
Setting targets for operational building performance early in the design process;
Ensuring that procurement delivers required operational performance;
Understanding occupier uses and operating models as early as possible in the design stage;
Using post occupancy evaluation to optimise building performance;
Ensuring that client senior teams and delivery partners have the skills to deliver predictable building performance
The report task group, which included input from Tarmac representatives recognised that building performance should be considered as more than saving energy and cutting carbon; it also relates to how a property supports the needs of occupiers and enables improved health, wellbeing and productivity.
Emma Hines, Sustainable Construction Manager, Tarmac, said: "For too long there has been a disconnect between the actual performance of some buildings and the predicted design stage calculations. Not only is this detrimental to the UK’s ability to deliver its binding carbon reduction targets, this performance gap increases occupier operating costs and damages the sector’s ability to deliver other positive sustainability outcomes such as workplaces that enable heath, wellbeing and productivity.
“Many of the report’s recommendations call for greater collaboration and early engagement between property clients and the wider supply chain. There is great scope to achieve better building performance – whether it’s agreeing building performance targets at the design stage through to working together to better understand how a building will ultimately be used.”
Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive Officer of the UK-GBC, said: “The gap between the design intent of buildings and their performance in operation is significant. This means that, as an industry, we’re not only failing to manage our carbon emissions, but we’re also failing to manage our operating costs and we’re compromising our ability to deliver other positive outcomes such as health, wellbeing and productivity for occupiers.
“This report attempts to cut through the complicating noise around this issue. It points to existing tools and simplified processes. The challenge will come in our willingness to change as an industry. The UK Green Building Council will continue to provide education and support to those that are willing to take up the challenge.”