Gavin Holvey, Priva General Manager UK & Ireland
London’s commercial landlords must invest now in building tech to ‘green’ their building stock, or risk being ‘unrentable’
A new report which claims that around 10% of London’s office space, has an EPC rating of F or G making it potentially unusable when new MEES regulations come into effect in 2023, should prompt swift action and investment in energy efficient building technology by commercial landlords, says Priva UK & Ireland.
The new analysis from leading commercial real estate company Colliers shows that approximately 20% of central London offices can be classed as A and B on the EPC rating scale, (Colliers calculates that the majority of buildings (57 %) fall into the D to G categories).
Priva UK, a leading manufacturer of building automation and building energy management technology, believes there is much work to be done to bring existing buildings up to a higher standard. Post 2023, any building that does not meet the minimum rating of E may be un-rentable under the MEES legislation.
“It is imperative that London’s commercial landlords and real-estate asset owners invest now in their existing building stock to bring the energy efficiency ratings up to scratch,” says Gavin Holvey, Priva General Manager UK & Ireland.
“The Colliers report says that while new Grade A+ schemes in Central London ‘rightly demand the highest rental levels’, there is a genuine appetite for sympathetically refurbished buildings which benefit from low carbon technologies and energy management tools. Such buildings will not only contribute to Net Zero emissions goals, they are likely to be much more affordable to the majority of tenants.”
Make more of existing buildings
“We must make so much more of the buildings we already have,” continues Gavin Holvey. “By upgrading building control systems and taking advantage of cloud-based energy management technologies, we can help to bring existing buildings closer to the operating performance of modern Grade A structures. A BMS system – in experienced hands – can deliver 40% savings on energy bills during the operational phase of the building.”
“It’s well known that building from scratch – or indeed demolition and total re-build – is highly carbon intensive. We take a view that we must all think smarter – and find new ways to embrace circular economy principles. Our technology has been used on many commercial retrofit projects in London and elsewhere in the UK’s cities. We have seen first-hand the impact that re-using and greening existing building stock can have on getting Scope 1 and Scope 3 Green House Gas Emissions under control.”
Priva’s suite of building control technologies makes it possible to upgrade existing buildings with legacy BMS systems by reusing existing cabling and sensors and field devices. This can be achieved with ease. Previously, in older buildings, burdened with outdated controls technology it was uneconomical to fully replace, owners and occupiers had no choice but ‘make do’. However, the ability to retrofit old systems with new controls makes a positive contribution to sustainability – such as energy outcomes and operational efficiencies
“Quite simply, the ‘invest in retrofit’ approach offers a commercial ‘win-win’ for London’s real-estate sector and UK plc more widely. Finding more sustainable approaches to managing the long-term impact of the built environment should be the focus of everyone in our sector,” concludes Gavin Holvey.