Latest from Industry News

Most Read


Badly Built Offices Waste a Third of Business Energy Bills

Aug. 16, 2006

London (August, 2006) /PRNewswire/ - New research reveals cost of environmentally unfriendly buildings badly built offices are costing British business millions of pounds each year in wasted energy costs, according to research released by international architects, Gensler.

The report, "FaultyTowers: Is the British Office Sustainable," reveals that close to one-third (27 percent) of companies' property-related energy consumption could be saved by making offices sustainable—the equivalent of 1.8bn kg in carbon emissions.

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of companies' property directors believe that business is picking up the bill for badly designed, inefficient buildings and more than one quarter (26 percent) state that bad office stock is actually damaging UK productivity.

However, the majority of property developers (67 percent) will only go as far as legislation demands when it comes to energy efficiency. Government plans to grade buildings with an energy performance certificate (in response to the EU's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) will therefore be instrumental in improving Britain's ailing office stock.

Chris Johnson, managing principal at Gensler states: "The commercial offices which currently dominate our city skylines are costing business and the environment dear. With around 40 percent of energy consumption in the EU coming from the building sector, more sustainable and efficient design offers an enormous opportunity for reducing energy wastage, reducing carbon emissions and cutting costs."

According to the study, spiraling energy costs have pushed energy efficiency up the business agenda, with business aiming to reduce property energy consumption by 12 percent over the next five years. On average, business is willing to pay 10 percent more in rent for efficiently designed and constructed buildings.

The study reveals that businesses have the smallest influence on the design and build of their workplace—just 11 percent impact. More than half believe that developers do not build with the end-user in mind. And despite the recent proliferation of flagship towers, 87 percent of businesses would prefer an efficient office to an iconic building.

Sir Digby Jones, former-director-general of CBI, notes: "Sustainability has increasingly become part of the language of commercial property. Yet despite individual examples of good practice, energy use in the commercial sector has risen rapidly and too often the development industry perceives a lack of demand for energy efficient buildings.

This needs to change. In order for the market to develop it is vital that investors, developers, business users and the government work together to make a compelling business case for sustainable buildings. Only then will they be built. As the Gensler report shows, such foresight could save UK businesses millions of pounds every year in reduced energy costs".

Whilst business welcomes the grading of buildings to raise the standard of the British workplace, developers have a stark warning about the impact of such measures on commercial property investors. Seventy five percent of developers believe that poor energy efficiency will have a negative impact on the value and transferability of current commercial property assets when certification is imposed.

"Property fund managers are effectively sitting on an investment time bomb. The introduction of building certificates will shorten the lifespan of commercial buildings constructed before the new regulations, and we expect the capital value of inefficient buildings to fall as a result," adds Johnson.

"We expect to see a shake up in the market, with investors disposing of inefficient stock, upgrading those buildings which can be adapted and demanding much higher energy efficiency from new buildings."

A full copy of Gensler's FaultyTowers report is available to the public at:

For further information, copies of the report and interview requests please contact: Claire Mason or Daisy Dunkley-Clark at Man Bites Dog +44-(0)870-609-4101, [email protected] or [email protected].

Source: Gensler

Sponsored Recommendations

Return to Work: Design Strategies & Amenities for Today's Office Environments

This digital resource will help you discover interior design strategies, amenities, and other design elements that are reshaping the workplace

Two New Reports Offer Groundbreaking Guidance for Carbon and Material Health

Perkins&Will and Healthy Building Network launch resource for selecting products that champion both environmental and material safety, spotlighting a shift toward holistic sustainabilit...

The Durable Coated Fabrics Task Group’s Guide to Specifying Healthcare Materials

Here are the best questions to ask and what to prioritize in today’s post-pandemic world.

i+s Spotlights Those Giving Back for Thanksgiving

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, we’re applauding some of our industry’s greatest charitable initiatives.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of I+S Design, create an account today!