New guide to support industry to retrofit the UK’s poorly performing commercial buildings

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The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has published a guide to support industry to retrofit the UK’s poorly performing commercial buildings.

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 and 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  the UK’s commercial real estate is retrofitted. UKGBC’s 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.

UKGBC’s new guideDelivering Net Zero: Key considerations for Commercial Retrofit, provides industry with a common approach to commercial retrofit through the lens of net zero carbon.

It begins by providing much needed clarity on retrofit types such as “light retrofit” and “deep retrofit”, enabling built environment practitioners from varied backgrounds to speak with a common language and improve cross-industry communication.

The guide also outlines 10 fundamental considerations for net zero-focused retrofits as well as real-world case studies which exemplify these considerations.

UKGBC’s Head of Climate Action, Yetunde Abdul, commented:  “Improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings could reduce nearly one quarter of the UK built environment’s total carbon footprint.

“Whilst government regulation in this space is beginning to recognise the action needed to improve the performance of commercial real estate, without accelerated industry action we will fail to achieve our net zero goals – both as a sector and as an economy.

“Drawing from established industry thinking and discussions with built environment professionals, this foundation setting publication has outlined key information to support and ensure the right considerations are made from beginning to end of the project to deliver net zero.”

‘Delivering Net Zero: Key Considerations for Commercial Retrofits’ is available on the UKGBC website.