EDITOR’S NOTE

The move towards the creation of energy efficient buildings continues and although there are an increasing number of new-build projects, refurbishment is now a huge part of the overall mix.

The government’s drive to meet its carbon dioxide emissions reduction commitments of 80% by 2050 is a huge factor in any project, but what we really need to consider is the fact that 60% of the buildings that will be standing in 2050 are already built.

This puts the issue of refurbishment very high on the agenda and while it is easy to make a new building energy efficient, it isn’t quite so simple to build this into the plan when you are carrying out a refurbishment.

Due to budget cuts many companies are now looking at refurbishment of their current building to meet energy efficiency targets. But what they are looking for is a refurbishment which will meet their needs now and in the future so the key to achieving success is in looking at the whole life costs of a building.

In addition companies are looking for a flexible solution which will allow their business to grow. On average British businesses spend in excess of £2 billion per year on moving people or departments around in office buildings. It can’t be avoided but with the systems which are available to us we can reduce this cost and provide the flexibility which is required.

It’s basically all about minimising the impact and providing a workplace which is fit for purpose and will help to improve the productivity of the people within it.

We do have the technology but it needs to be considered in the early stages of the design. Far too often I hear people say that a control system (for example) would have better met the needs of the building if it had been considered at the design stage rather than as an add on.

Planning for the future is something that we all do in our personal lives – but we need to apply this to our commercial buildings. Better planning at the design stage can save a lot of money in the future and will ensure that savings can continue to be made throughout the life of the building.

See you next month

Tracey

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