Design for Performance and NABERS UK

Historically there has been a performance gap between design and actual in use energy performance of office buildings in the UK. To address this the Design for Performance (DfP) initiative and NABERS UK scheme have been introduced by the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) along with their partners, together with more recently the BRE as scheme administrators.

DfP involves detailed dynamic simulation modelling of the 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 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 is our Principal Building Performance Engineer and leads our internal team on DfP work, has completed his training for the UK Independent Design Review Panel. He is able to provide the Independent Design Review role and is 1 of only 11 people in the UK who is able to provide this service and qualified as the first NABERS UK assessor in August 2021.

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.

Surveys & Audits

Surveys are key elements of our services which are undertaken for purchasers, tenants and vendors. The purpose of a survey would be to establish the general condition of the building services installations, together with the quality of workmanship, materials and compliance with codes of practice applicable at the time of installation.

Find out more


As part of our approach to sustainability we employ sustainability engineers who are qualified BREEAM, Home Quality assessors (formally Code for Sustainable Homes) and WELL / FitWel accredited professionals.

Find out more

Need specialised building services consultancy?

Watkins Payne are experts in providing sustainable building services consultancy which has become ever-more prominent within the industry.

Contact us