BRE is now the administrators for the NABERS UK scheme. Collaboration between BRE, NABERS and Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) is a natural fit as we work towards solving the common challenges we all face of tackling climate change and reaching net zero.

NABERS UK is a simple, reliable system for rating the energy efficiency of office buildings across England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland. Like the efficiency star ratings that you get on your fridge or washing machine, NABERS provides a rating from one to six stars for offices.

This helps building owners to understand their building’s performance versus other similar buildings, providing a benchmark for progress. Unlike design-based energy ratings, NABERS UK measures and rates the actual energy use of offices, helping building owners to accurately track and communicate the energy performance of their buildings.

It also helps identify areas for savings and improvements. NABERS UK is an adaptation of the highly successful rating programme NABERS that operates in Australia. The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) were an integral partner in the development of NABERS UK and operate as an ambassador to the scheme to support its uptake and success.

Jamie Cameron, director of digital solutions at Johnson Controls UK & Ireland, commented, “The launch of the NABERS UK scheme last week, designed to measure the energy efficiency of UK offices, will revolutionise current approaches to workspaces. Sustainability and building managers have long needed a solution to bridge the performance gap between the design and in-use energy performance of offices. Now, they can measure, verify and communicate the energy consumption of their buildings during their lifecycle, rather than solely during the design phase, through the NABERS Energy rating. For the first time, this will accurately demonstrate whether offices are on a net zero carbon trajectory, providing investors with confidence that sustainability targets and climate ambitions will be met – and bringing much greater transparency to the industry.

“The scheme has proven its worth, with consumption falling by 33% within 10 years when deployed in Australia. The UK rollout comes at a time when energy efficiency is under the spotlight, with a government consultation on energy performance disclosure for commercial buildings expected this year. As such, NABERS UK is a welcome step towards a more sustainable future. The benefits are plain to see, and this policy will put the onus on building and sustainability managers to spring to action and make our offices more sustainable. While no solid timeline has been laid out, we call on businesses of all sizes to sign up by 2025.

“It might seem a daunting step for building and sustainability managers, but it’s not up to them alone to tackle the problem and meet targets. All of your energy use – whether it is thermal, water, electrical, storage or carbon – can be tracked, analysed and managed. There are technologies on the market that enable you to proactively manage energy consumption with the touch of a screen.”