The UK Communities and Local Government government website states
Our buildings are responsible for almost 50 per cent of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions.
October 1st marked the date by which UK public buildings have to display their energy performance for buildings and facilities as an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). Currently around 18,000 buildings, including town halls, museums, schools and job centres, are being tested.
The Guardian’s Hall of Shame lists a number of very prominent and public buildings that score G ( on the same A (good) to G (bad) as white goods). There is within the article a number of calls for refurbishment of these buildings – many less than 5 years old. So where was / is the sustainable design, construction and facilities management that everyone has claimed to be doing since ‘whenever‘?
a facilities management issue?
I question whether this is a design issue or the running of the building. Case studies indicate that Facilities Managers often lack the up to date eco-knowledge to manage complex building management systems, so manage all buildings ‘the same’. In addition FM has largely been excluded from the debate, news and leading edge sustainability decision making, (at least publicly as a voice shaping our built environment sustainability future) and here we see the consequences. (see my post on the UKGBC task group for example)
And the blame?
You can see the FM providers or managers from poor scoring buildings being called into board or chamber meetings or to explain the low EPC score, and told to ‘do something about it’. After all no one wants to be associated with producing white goods that carry a G rating, so the same with buildings that carry a G rating.
and the costs
To be really meaningful, and easily understood the A – G ratings need to be converted into £ of wasted energy per building or per m2 for each building, to demonstrate the real cost to the tax payer of inefficient buildings or facilities.
and keep the focus on ….
It is necessary that focus remains on EPC, change will only come when the public, the building users and environmentalists (and bloggers) kept focus on EPC and displays, as with so many good initiatives this could easily fall away. Maybe the first fine for non display will sharpen minds.