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Green group gives five tips to optimise energy use

Adopting a simpler metric target for measuring energy use is one of five key steps recommended to tackle the gap between building design and building performance, says a report by the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC).


The report, researched and put together by a task group composed of representatives from across the industry, also stated that more collaborative working between players was required.


The task force’s recommendations include:


1.Having a common aspiration. The industry does not currently use a common, simple metric. The report recommends setting a kWh/m2 target for energy use at the very least, to create a common language and shared aspirations.


2. Collaborative contracting, so that performance is guaranteed and control is maintained throughout the delivery process.


3. Design for performance, not simply for compliance. Research found that performance improves when aspirations “go for the ceiling, not the floor”.


4. Reciprocal links and a commitment to monitor feedback, particularly during the handover process, are vital. So too is giving time for well-documented building commissioning. Links must be made between operational facilities management (FM) and the design team, and between FM and building occupiers.


5. Improved knowledge across the whole value chain supports good outcomes. This is enabled by participating openly in lesson-sharing activities.


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.


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