There are two product offerings available in the UK for offices buildings: Design for Performance to drive energy efficient new buildings, and NABERS Energy ratings to measure how energy efficient existing buildings are.

NABERS Design for Performance

What is Design for Performance?

The UK has a design-for-compliance culture which has led to the well-known ‘performance gap’ that exists between original design intent and how a building truly performs in-use.

Design for Performance is the process whereby a developer or owner commits to design, build and commission a new office development or major refurbishment to achieve a specific NABERS Energy rating. 

The Design for Performance process

1. Sign an Agreement

  • Sign the Design for Performance Agreement and pay the fee.
  • We'll send you a counter-signed Agreement.
  • You will then be able to promote your target Energy rating using approved wording.

2. Design, document and model

  • Design the building or space to operate at the target Energy rating nominated in your Design for Performance Agreement.
  • Prepare the model, simulation report and minimum documentation as detailed in the Guide to Design for Performance.

3. Get an Independent Design Review (IDR) report

  • Contract a member of the Independent Design Review (IDR) Panel to review the project and obtain an IDR report as detailed in the Guide to Design for Performance.

4. Submit the IDR report

  • Email the IDR report to nabers.uk [at] environment.nsw.gov.au
  • After we've approved the report, you'll have a full licence to promote your target rating. This includes using the NABERS Design for Performance certificate and logo.

5. Get a NABERS Energy rating once the project is in operation

  • Arrange for a NABERS Accredited Assessor to carry out an Energy rating on the premises to demonstrate whether you’ve met your target Energy rating. This rating will be based on 12 months of real, operational energy usage.

Why Design for Performance?

There are many reasons why a project should implement Design for Performance, including:

  • Increased likelihood of achieving a net zero carbon development in operation by bridging the performance gap between design intent and operations
  • Attraction of blue chip and/or anchor tenants, who often value or have requirements for sustainable buildings
  • Reduced capital costs by specifying more appropriately sized plant and equipment
  • Increased likelihood of achieving your desired build quality and operational performance 
  • Marketing and communications opportunities
  • Respected process involving an expert third-party, Independent Design Review to highlight risks and opportunities

 

Design for Performance register

The following developments are pioneering Design for Performance:

Building Details

Applicant

Building type

Rating Type

Commitment Type

Target star rating

1 Broadgate, London

British Land

Office

New Building

Base Building

4.5-5

19-35 Baker Street, London

Derwent London

Office

New Building

Base Building

TBC

4 Angel Square, Noma, Manchester

Federated Hermes/MEPC

Office

New Building

Base Building

5

11 & 12 Wellington Place, Leeds

Federated Hermes/MEPC

Office

New Building

Base Building

5

New City Court, 8-26 St Thomas Street, London

Great Portland Estates

Office

New Building

Base Building

TBC

South Molton Triangle, London

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Office

New Building

Base Building

TBC

Portland House, Bressenden Place, London

Landsec

Office

Refurbishment

Base Building

5

25 Lavington Street, London

Landsec

Office

New Building

Base Building

TBC

Ralli Quays, Salford

Legal and General Real Assets

Office

New Building

Base Building

TBC

International Quarter London - The Turing Building, Stratford, London

Lendlease

Office

New Building

Base Building

TBC

Statesman House, Maidenhead

Royal London Asset Management

Office

New Building

Base Building

TBC

2 Ruskin Square, Croydon

Stanhope

Office

New Building

Base Building

TBC

3 St James's Market (Phase 2), London

The Crown Estate

Office

New Building

Base Building

TBC

Pricing

Projects committing to implement Design for Performance are subject to lodgement fees.

In addition, the project will need to procure an Independent Design Review from a member of the Independent Design Review Panel. Reviewers will set individual fees based on their own costs and business practices.

At the end of the process, once the building has been operating for at least 12 months, an Energy for Offices rating assessment will need to be carried out by an Accredited Assessor.

As BRE works to establish operations for NABERS UK, pricing will soon be announced, including fees for NABERS Design for Performance.

The standard fees payable for the Australian scheme provide an indication of the likely pricing. NABERS Design for Performance is called NABERS Commitment Agreements in Australia.

How to register your interest

Email us at nabers.uk [at] environment.nsw.gov.au to register your interest in starting the Design for Performance process.

Independent Design Review Panel

As part of the Design for Performance process you'll need to engage a member of the Independent Design Review Panel to conduct a review of your design documentation and model.

Candidates are currently going through a training and assessment programme. Panel members will be announced here soon.

Find out more

To find out more about the steps, rights and obligations involved in Design for Performance, email us at nabers.uk [at] environment.nsw.gov.au.

NABERS Energy for Offices

NABERS Energy measures the efficiency of an office building and rates its performance. The energy rating works by comparing the energy consumption of a building against a set of benchmarks that have been developed using actual data.

NABERS Energy rates the base building performance. This includes central services like heating and cooling systems, lifts and lobby lighting, allowing office buildings to be compared based on how the central services are being run to provide a comfortable working environment for users.

There are two official documents which explain in detail how ratings are to be calculated. These are an important reference for Accredited Assessors.

Benefits of a NABERS Energy rating

Compare

NABERS Energy ratings form the basis of a robust sustainability strategy. They provide a fair benchmark for a building’s energy efficiency, enabling comparison across the industry.

Validate and communicate

NABERS provides cost-effective, high-trust and independent validation of energy data, ensuring confidence in reporting it publicly and communicating it simply.

Track and improve

NABERS star ratings are an essential framework for annual reporting and sustainability strategies. With annual ratings, performance improvements and reduced energy and emissions can be delivered over time.

Competitive edge

Having a building that has a lower environmental impact, lower running costs and being able to communicate that simply and with confidence gives building owners the competitive advantage with prospective investors and occupiers.

How to get a NABERS Energy rating

To get a NABERS Energy rating you need an Accredited Assessor to undertake an assessment of your building.

An accreditation pathway including training and assessment is currently being developed and the first Accredited Assessors will receive accreditation in early 2021.

Contact details for Accredited Assessors will be provided here once they are available.

In the meantime, please email nabers.uk [at] environment.nsw.gov.au if you would like to register your interest in a NABERS Energy rating for your building.

Pricing

NABERS Energy ratings are subject to a lodgement fee.

This is in addition to the assessment fee, payable to your chosen Accredited Assessor. Assessors will set individual fees based on their own costs and business practices.

As BRE works to establish operations for NABERS UK, prcing will soon be announced including fees for lodgement of NABERS Energy ratings.

The standard fees payable for the Australian scheme provide an indication of the likely pricing.

Estimate your NABERS rating

Two calculators are available for you to explore what star rating your building could achieve; a simple calculator and a reverse calculator. These are available in a single download below.

  • Use the simple calculator to get an idea of the NABERS rating your building may be able to achieve. Input building details and energy consumption data to generate a star rating.
  • Use the reverse calculator to estimate maximum energy use for a given star rating. Enter a target rating plus building details, energy consumption types and proportions. This will generate maximum allowable energy consumption.

Results are an indication only and may not be promoted or published.

Download both calculators here and select a tab.

NABERS UK is administered by BRE and overseen by NABERS as scheme owner on behalf of the New South Wales (NSW) Government in Australia.