As of the 4th September, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) announced its intention to end its license agreement for the energy performance rating tool, NABERS UK. This includes the in use element, NABERS In Use and the new build/refurb element Design for Performance.
They are currently seeking a new administrator of the scheme with an Expressions of Interest process for the new NABERS UK Administrator over the coming weeks.
At KJ Tait, we believe it is essential that a new administrator be found. During our work across NABERS in Use and Design for Performance, we see each as essential tools to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment.
Whilst the uptake of Design for Performance for new and refurbishment office projects has been good, indeed we have been designed three such schemes so far, the NABERS in Use side of the accreditation has been slower to get off the ground.
We have completed one assessment so far out of the three that have been lodged with the BRE. This identified operational and capital projects that would a) better the rating and b) decarbonise heat. It is essential that the UK Government finally responds on the consultation ‘Introducing a performance-based policy framework in large commercial and industrial buildings’ and finally mandates an in-use rating scheme. At KJ Tait, we believe NABERS in Use would represent the most robust scheme to introduce.
Whilst EPCs have their place, particularly with the EPC ‘B’ standard driving change in heating systems, an in-use rating scheme would ensure that operational performance is also taking into account. Reducing demand in the built environment is essential for the UK to achieve its target of Net Zero Carbon and will negate the need to build costly and carbon intensive power plants.