Managing buildings efficiently

 

By making our buildings more efficient and managing them more effectively, we meet the changing needs of occupiers, minimise voids and reduce the operating costs of our buildings.

Reducing resource consumption

Reducing resource consumption is good for the environment and good for cost savings. Once a building is let, it is vital we work with our occupiers to ensure the building is managed effectively and meets their increasingly high expectations.

In order to drive improvements in energy efficiency, we have set long term energy and carbon targets:

To reduce the energy intensity (kwh/m²) of buildings within our operational control by 40% and our carbon intensity (kgCO2e/m²) by 69% by 2030.

Our business model is to buy unloved assets and reposition them, often through refurbishment or redevelopment, this means that new acquisitions and property disposals are likely to take place during the target period. We have therefore set out the following parameters to deal with this when measuring our progress against our targets:

  • Our energy intensity target applies to our occupied properties with landlord controlled areas, it does not apply to properties wholly controlled by our occupiers (on FRI leases) or those under development.
  • Where we dispose of properties during the target period, a normalisation calculation based on floor area will be undertaken.
  • Where we acquire assets we will add them to the target after 36 months, this allows us to identify a baseline, set the business plan for the asset and put budgets in place to start implementing energy efficiency improvements.
  • Where we develop properties and they return to the occupied portfolio as a property with landlord controlled areas, we will immediately add them to the target as our development interventions, soft landings process and commitment to design for performance should ensure that the property is well understood upon handover. 

Additionally, we have also committed to ensuring that all our new build developments are net zero carbon by 2030 and to set out our approach and timescale to become a net zero carbon business during the next financial year.

Refurbishing our buildings

We use our Energy Action Plans and recommendation reports from Energy Performance Certificates to help inform our refurbishment works. We also ensure that water efficiency measures are included in all refurbishment works.

200 Gray's Inn Road

During our refurbishment of 200 Gray’s Inn Road, resource efficiency measures implemented included:

  • An energy efficient lighting system
  • Efficient insulation
  • Window blinds that minimise solar gain
  • A new BMS system which interfaced with the landlord system and provided for improved zonal control
  • Reuse of carpet tiles, ceiling tiles and plasterboard partitions by other occupiers for their own refurbishment
  • Reusing mechanical and electrical equipment for spares
  • Recycling the 96% of waste, which could not be reused
  • Providing soft floor coverings with over 50% recycled content
  • Ensuring that all timber elements were FSC certified products

GPE’s target for silver ratings at 200 Gray’s Inn Road was attained through the close collaboration of the design, contractor and building management teams to ensure that opportunities were maximised to reduce the environmental impact from the works.

Rob Smith Senior Project Manager, Overbury

Running our buildings efficiently

As occupiers move into their space, our building management team ensures that their systems are fully integrated with our landlord-operated systems. By following a soft landings process, our design team is available post-handover, to address any issues as occupiers install their systems. We also fully brief our building management team on the sustainability features of our property.

Utilities are regularly tendered and we are now able to source 100% of landlord purchased electricity and gas at our occupied properties from carbon neutral supplies. Our facilities team meets with our mechanical and electrical contractors quarterly to review monthly energy and water consumption statistics, identify abnormalities in consumption and opportunities for improvement.

Engaging our occupiers on sustainability issues is key

Information on energy and water consumption is provided at occupiers’ meetings or Environmental Working Groups. We liaise closely with our occupiers on sustainability related issues, including minimising waste sent to landfill.

For the last four years we have diverted 100% of waste at our managed buildings from landfill.

Every year, we circulate a customer satisfaction survey to occupiers in our multi-let buildings, measuring how our facilities management services are perceived by occupiers and how our contractors are performing against their Key Performance Indicators.

Occupiers also have access to a portal, which helps them in the day-to-day running of their offices. The portal provides us with an effective channel to communicate the various services and functions we provide.

 

Our plans for the future

We have set ambitious goals for improving the efficiency of our properties:

  • Reduce our energy intensity by 40% by 2030
  • A carbon emissions intensity reduction of 69% by 2030
  • To update energy audits for all occupied buildings

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