Building performance must deliver occupant comfort at reduced costs, say industry experts at Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers Conference.

Ed Gray, Head of Carbon and Energy for Marks and Spencer, CIBSE’s 2014 Carbon Champion of the Year, outlined the clear business rationale behind the retailer’s ‘Plan A’ scheme for energy efficiency, which is expected to bring savings of £145m in 2013/14.

But he made clear that savings are not being made at the expense of customer satisfaction and that it is “vital to create a positive store environment which improves the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers”.

On a similar note, Richard Francis, of consultancy Monomoy, stressed that carbon reduction targets needed to be “aligned with occupant and consumer performance” in order to get wider uptake.

Jonathan Hines of Architype reinforced this point in another session, arguing that overemphasis on carbon or energy targets could lead to use of technologies which in fact made little sense in terms of finance or comfort or even energy.