Office buildings are in for a major energy adjustment
The UK has set in law a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. This ambitious plan partly springboards off of previous legislation passed in the EU, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The Directive, is now part of the United Kingdom’s own domestic legislation, meaning British properties will soon need to comply as well.
Since buildings are responsible for around 40 percent of total UK carbon generation, the Directive places a number of stringent requirements on properties, such as requiring much lower energy consumption and more EV charging stations. Also, specific to most non-residential buildings with a total HVAC energy output of over 290 kW, it will require that these properties be equipped with a building automation control system by the start of 2025. Our new FLOW tool, which helps owners gain 360-degree control of their data, is a great example of what such a system could look like. It will need to continuously monitor, log, analyse and allow for adjusting energy usage, benchmark the building’s energy efficiency, and will need to integrate with other building systems and HVAC components to moderate energy consumption based on demand.
For property companies, occupiers, and their stakeholders, these new rules will have wide-reaching implications. Owners who are inherently averse to property technology will need to get over their concerns very quickly. Managers will need to learn how to install, maintain, and manage these systems, as well as determine how much their occupiers will be able to change settings or control HVAC systems themselves. For their part, occupiers will be able to update their space search criteria based on the higher baseline energy performance of properties in years to come.
There is little time to waste in preparing for the new reality of property energy management. In fact, since offices today are already disrupted by COVID-19 and back to work efforts, now might be a good time to begin vetting and implementing the energy management and building automation systems that will be landlords’ partners for years to come.