Last edited 18 May 2021

Sustainable Buildings Monitor



[edit] Introduction

In May 2021, the construction services company ISG published the Sustainable Buildings Monitor. The report examines the range of carbon emissions created by the operation of non-residential buildings in different regions of the UK. The research was conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of ISG.

[edit] Findings

CEBR used publicly available information to set out regional estimates of the emissions and energy consumption of commercial buildings to assess the scale of the net-zero challenge. The report concluded that all regions have a significant distance to travel to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

[edit] Regional highs and lows

Analysis showed that the South West is the least energy intensive while Scotland is the most energy intensive. Scotland’s high levels of consumption were linked to its temperatures and its native industries.

Regions including London and the South-East, with a higher reliance on electricity, would perform marginally better in 2021 due to the changes in electricity carbon emission factors.

[edit] Performance factors

A significant factor in building performance is related to the maintenance regime and optimisation of building services. Data suggested that poorly performing building services account for a significant percentage of energy use and emissions production.

Also, the effect of sector clustering in preferential locations that provide commercial advantage, for example access to transport hubs, a highly skilled local workforce or abundant energy supplies also contributed to regional variances.

[edit] Innovative sectors

The report’s industry analysis highlighted how some of the UK’s most important sectors are embracing innovation. Education and healthcare were recognised for their commitments to moving towards zero carbon goals. Data centres were also acknowledged as innovators in terms of energy usage.

[edit] Standardising data

One of the most significant findings revealed an inherent challenge - the availability, timeliness, quality and inconsistency of data - highlighting the need for a uniform and transparent process for benchmarking and performance measurement. ISG sees standardised data as pivotal in the fight to reduce carbon emissions.

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[edit] External resources

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