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Energy efficiency in office premises

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Energy efficiency in office premisesFor several years we have been talking about the CO2 emissions and MPG of our cars and the energy ratings of our domestic appliances but the energy efficiency of buildings has seemingly failed to capture peoples’ imagination.  Recently we have seen increasing interest in this area and both the general public and the business community are now starting to take an interest in the energy efficiency of buildings and to consider the significant cost savings that can be available.

It is now almost five years since Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were first introduced.  Initial uptake and interest was limited, but with increasing enforcement and changes to the regulations, EPCs are coming to the fore.  Agents are required to make and EPC available to an enquirer at an early stage in discussions and, recently, the regulations have been altered to provide that the EPC rating must appear in advertisements.  This is bound to increase awareness and interest.

Perhaps the most significant driver in energy efficiency matters in the business community is the supply chain.  Increasingly, larger companies and public sector organisations are looking at their suppliers with a critical eye seeking high standards in areas such as energy efficiency and health and safety compliance.  These organisations now tend to include energy efficiency policies as one of their criteria for selecting suppliers and this simple financial and practical pressure is, arguably, having more impact than the EPC regulations.

Building Regulations standards for the construction of new build properties have increased significantly over the years and any new building must now have good levels of insulation, energy efficient lighting, an energy efficient heating system and the like, but some developers and occupiers are looking to beyond these standards and create and occupy buildings with greater energy efficiency benefits.  Technologies such as photovoltaic panels and rainwater harvesting systems are starting to become more common and simple steps such as high specification insulation are being found to have a significant impact.

The Building Research Establishment will assess buildings and give a ‘BREEAM’ rating to confirm a building’s environmental performance.  The Eco-One office development at Highcliffe Business Park, Ingham has received an “Excellent” rating, possibly the highest in Lincolnshire and the first occupier, Eagle Claims, are enjoying the benefits of a biomass boiler, rainwater harvesting and photovoltaic electricity.  The building also has an ‘A’ EPC rating indicating that occupiers can look forward to low running costs.

Additionally, Lincoln is home to the institute of Environmental Management and Assessment who have recently relocated their Headquarters and taken the ground floor of Saracen House on City Office Park. The Landlord has undertaken a full refurbishment with environmental measures including low energy lighting, a low water use shower and smart hand dyers. As a professional body for the environmental industry it is clearly important for this particular occupier to secure premises with good environmental performance but Eagle Claims move to Eco-One at Ingham demonstrates that the wider business community is now also seeing the appeal of this type of accommodation.

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 8th February 2013

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