Design for Performance + NABERS UK

The official launch of NABERS UK took place on 26th November 2020 alongside Design for Performance using the following set up:

Scheme Ambassador – Better Buildings Partnership
Scheme Owner – NABERS
Scheme Administrator – BRE

There are two schemes:

  • NABERS Energy Rating – operational energy efficiency rating for existing office buildings
  • NABERS Design for Performance – process to target an operational rating for new office buildings and refurbishments

As background historically there has been a performance gap between design and actual in use energy performance of office buildings in the UK so the Design for Performance (DfP) initiative and NABERS UK scheme addresses that.

DfP involves detailed dynamic simulation modelling of a proposed office building that can be progressively carried out from RIBA Stage 2 onwards. The process provides an ongoing prediction of the NABERS UK rating as the design and then construction develops. This is then followed by monitoring post completion through to gaining the rating that can only happen once the building is at least 75% occupied for a minimum 12 month period.

The NABERS UK scheme measures and verifies energy use of existing office buildings culminating in providing a rating from 1 to 6 stars. This allows targets to be set and designs verified from design concept stage through to assisting building owners to provide accurate measurements of their buildings energy performance.

The practice is a registered Delivery Partner with the BBP and has carried out DfP work for office building projects, both new build and refurbishment, for The Crown Estate, Oxford Properties, Landsec, Stanhope, Orchard Street Investment Management, Nuveen, HB Reavis and Wellcome Trust. For both Landsec and The Crown Estate this includes providing the DfP role on their pioneering projects at Portland House and St James’s Market Phase 2 respectively.

Robert Marshall, who leads our internal team on DfP work, is currently completing his training for the UK Independent Design Review Panel. That will also allow him to provide the Independent Design Review role and he will be 1 of only 12 in the UK who can provide this service.

The DfP approach and NABERS UK scheme both align with the drive to reduce in use carbon so correlate with the UK Green Building Council framework and energy performance targets.