The UK has set in law a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. This ambitious plan partly springboards off legislation passed in the EU, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which is now part of the UK’s own domestic legislation, meaning that British properties will soon need to comply as well.

Petr Boruta

Petr Boruta

Since buildings are responsible for around 40% of total UK carbon generation, the directive places stringent requirements on properties, such as requiring much lower energy consumption and more electric vehicle charging stations. It will also require most non-residential buildings with a total HVAC energy output of over 290kW to be equipped with a building automation control system by the start of 2025.

Our FLOW tool, which helps owners gain 360-degree control of their data, is a great example of what such a system can look like. It can continuously monitor, log, analyse and allow for adjusting energy usage, benchmark the building’s energy efficiency and integrate with other building systems and HVAC components to moderate energy consumption based on demand.

These new rules have wide-reaching implications for property companies, occupiers and their stakeholders. Owners averse to property technology will need to get over their concerns very quickly.

Smart office controls

Source: Shutterstock / Franck Boston

Managers will need to learn how to install, maintain and manage these systems, and to determine how much their occupiers will be able to change settings or control HVAC systems themselves.

Occupiers will be able to update their space search criteria based on the higher baseline energy performance of properties in years to come.

There is little time to waste in preparing for the new reality of property energy management.

As offices are already disrupted by Covid-19 and back-to-work efforts, now is a good time to begin vetting and implementing the energy management and building automation systems that will be landlords’ partners for years to come.

Petr Boruta is head of marketing at Spaceflow