January 25th 2024

IES Welcomes Release of UKGBC Commercial Retrofit Guidance for Offices

IES Welcomes Release of UKGBC Commercial Retrofit Guidance for Offices

This week the UKGBC has launched a landmark report, aimed at supporting the retrofit of large commercial office buildings towards net zero. An output of the UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero Programme, Building the Case for Net Zero: Retrofitting Office Buildings provides high-level guidance to investors, owners, occupiers, and the consultants who work with them, on the most appropriate retrofit measures, retrofit phases, costs, and likely impacts of various retrofit and optimisation measures on both energy performance and whole life carbon emissions.

The report showcased impressive results, noting that deep retrofit strategies were found to achieve deep cuts in operational energy use of up to 60-65%, while lower-cost “easy win” optimisation and light retrofit measures also delivered significant reductions of 26% and 15% respectively. However, the study finds many in the sector are yet to capitalise on these easy wins, or are missing the key trigger points in lease and maintenance cycles that facilitate easier, more efficient retrofit.

At IES, we were delighted to see our technology feature within the report as the energy modelling software of choice utilised to support this important study. Detailed energy models, particularly when calibrated with live data from the real building, can be a vital tool in understanding the current and future performance of any building and provides an invaluable lifetime digital asset to support key decisions at every stage of the net-zero journey – from early design, through operational optimisation, to net-zero retrofit investment planning and post-implementation M&V.

We wholeheartedly support the UKGBC’s call for the mandatory measurement and reporting of whole life carbon in order to support evidence-based decision-making and demonstrate the carbon savings of retrofit over new-build, and look forward to seeing the impact this guidance will have in accelerating the commercial office sector’s pathway to net zero.

Ben Pettitt, Sector Lead – Commercial Real Estate at IES commented:

“We are thrilled to see the launch of this key industry guidance from UKGBC aimed at retrofitting the commercial office sector, and to see IES technology independently selected to support the energy modelling conducted as part of this landmark study.

This paper demonstrates the power of collaboration between building owners and tenants and will go a long way in supporting the business case for decarbonisation projects across the commercial office sector - from operational optimisation projects to longer term retrofit investment planning, all have a crucial role to play in realising our net zero goals.

Well done to the UKGBC and all those involved in the project for developing this important guidance.”

Read the full report on the UKGBC website.

Interested to learn more about how IES can support intelligent net-zero carbon retrofit investment planning for commercial real estate assets and portfolios? Check out our recent on-demand webinar.