UKGBC publish guide to accelerate industry action on commercial retrofit

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.

UKGBC's new guide, Delivering Net Zero: Key considerations for Commercial Retrofit, aims to provide 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. It outlines 10 fundamental considerations for net zero focused retrofits as well as real-world case studies which exemplify these considerations. The approach set out within the report provides property owners and key stakeholders with a transparent picture of the value of opting for a net zero focused retrofit versus standard practice.

Informed by a cross-industry advisory group, the guidance highlights the actions which built environment practitioners should take to address the role existing commercial buildings play in the industry's trajectory to net zero. 

The guide has been designed to support industry professionals and stakeholders who are involved in the scoping, planning, delivery, and management of commercial retrofits with the intention of enabling successful delivery of net zero focused retrofit project outcomes. 

UKGBC’s Head of Climate Action, Yetunde Abdul said:  “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.”

Download the report

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