Editor: Following an announcement from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy last week, the government is set to release the details of an operational energy rating system for large commercial buildings.

The current standard is an EPC that focuses on the theoretical future performance of a commercial building. However, the new (and welcome) standards will see the creation of a six-star government accreditation system for sustainability in buildings, focusing on use and performance of the building in real-time measurements.

The new system is likely to align with existing operational-focused rating systems such as BREEAM and the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework, hopefully providing consistency on measurement across the board for recently completed buildings.

About time. The government is right to reform how we measure the energy efficiency of commercial buildings. It’s ludicrous that energy performance is deemed so important, yet we’re still measuring EPCs with a single measurement at one specific time – often before the building is even complete. This disregards the actual operational performance of a building, meaning that developers and operators are left hamstrung in their approach to improving standards.

In addition, this move will speed up what we’re already seeing across large sections of the office market – a polarisation of assets, with the most efficient, grade-A space fetching a premium and the leaky, underperforming buildings at threat of becoming stranded.

In this bid to drive levelling up, the real challenge is establishing what the government’s responsibility should be in helping smaller regional landlords who can’t absorb the costs involved in meeting the new standards.

Considering that the sector directly accounts for a quarter of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, the government needs to action a pragmatic and achievable way to promote greener buildings that meets better standards on a financial and efficient scale.

Gabriela Hersham, co-founder and chief executive, Huckletree