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BSRIA launches 18-month ‘Design for Performance’ pilot programme

Pilot studies will test the Commitment Agreement processes used in Australia to achieve operational energy performance.

| | May 29, 2016 | 2:40 pm
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Berkshire, United Kingdom: United Kingdom-based BSRIA, with the backing of the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), has announced that a team led by Verco, and, including Arup and UBT, is launching an 18-month pilot programme to test a ‘Design for Performance’ approach for United Kingdom’s prime-rented office developments, which mirrors the NABERS Commitment Agreement used in Australia.

The pilot study, said the announcement, follows a successful feasibility study to assess whether NABERS-style Commitment Agreements could work in United Kingdom. Commitment Agreements, the announcement added, were introduced in Australia in 2002, to allow in-use energy performance to be targeted throughout the development process and verified by an investment-grade NABERS rating using 12 months of metered data.

According to the research and consultancy organisation, the feasibility study found that “base building” landlord’s services in all new office buildings in Australia using this approach, typically used half as much energy as when Commitment Agreements started in 2002. The study has also reportedly found that new office base buildings in London today use as much energy as those in Melbourne did in 2002.

The study is said to have highlighted that there are no technical reasons why a NABERS-style Commitment Agreement could not work in the United Kingdom, however, it added, two critical steps need to be taken: Measuring “base building” performance and the landlord taking control over all the “base building” services.

BSRIA revealed that a portfolio of ten pilot studies have been selected to span different stages of a building’s life cycle, enabling the project team to test most aspects of the Commitment Agreement process, without waiting for a single project to progress from initial briefing to operation.

Jo Harris, Head of Sustainable Construction, said: “The feasibility study has confirmed that there is still a very clear benefit to be realised from following through with the commitment agreements model. The pilot studies will be our opportunity to gather the evidence needed to ensure that the business case can be supported.”

BSRIA informed that the findings of the feasibility study can be downloaded here.


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