The impact of CIBSE forming a partnership with NABERS UK is a significant addition to the industry’s commitment to sustainable real estate and one that is supported by Hive Group.

We anticipate it will reduce the reliance on EPC ratings as a building standard replacing what is effectively a ‘board brush’ building assessment with a more detailed and precise measure of actual performance.

This level of reporting around responsible energy consumption is something Sustainable Engineers have been championing. We’re aware initial implementation of NABERS will be expensive for developers – and so an unattractive option for many – but we remind clients that the depth of the assessment leads to overall significant cost savings and avoids the ‘stranding’ of less future-proofed assets.

CIBSE, with its strong engineering credentials, will ensure the highest level of reporting accuracy and by integrating NABERS with its own technical guidelines, developers will obtain a thorough evaluation of their buildings that covers both design and operational performance.

This synergy will lead to a more holistic understanding of a building’s efficiency, ultimately driving improvements and creating increased industry innovation.

When the Government announced in 2021 a series of new EPC ratings for all rented commercial buildings, which included a requirement of EPC E from April 1st 2023, and an anticipated rating of C in 2027 and B in 2030, the industry naturally shifted its focus to Energy Performance.

EPCs go some way to determine this but can provide a misleading view, influenced by superficial factors that do not reflect actual operational efficiency. In contrast, NABERS measures real-world performance rather than theoretical efficiency.

The NABERS measurement is more in-depth and long-term so it requires dedication from the start, with thorough planning and ongoing checks. But this early effort ensures buildings are built and run to be efficient and sustainable. Developers and landlords might face difficulties like higher upfront costs and tough feedback on their buildings’ performance, but accepting these challenges results in better buildings, happier tenants, and higher financial gains.

We expect the assessment to grow in its implementation, potentially becoming the standard for building assessments. This trend will likely see a shift towards more performance-based evaluations, gradually phasing out less accurate methods like EPCs.

CIBSE’s role as a NABERS assessor is a positive development for the building industry. It brings a higher standard of accuracy, credibility, and sustainability to building assessments in the UK.

By embracing NABERS, the industry can achieve significant improvements in building performance, aligning with broader environmental goals and ensuring a more sustainable future. This change promises to elevate the standards of assets and how they are used marking a positive step forward in how we approach building efficiency.

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