Sustainability, SECR Reporting, and BREAAM Status: Improving Asset Value through Data Collection and Automation
In today’s world, sustainability has become a critical concern for governments, businesses, and individuals alike. As the impact of climate change becomes increasingly evident, there is a growing obligation to reduce carbon footprint and promote environmentally friendly practices.
One of the ways in which the government is trying to enforce environmental sustainability is through an increased requirement for sustainability reporting, with examples such as the ‘Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting’ (SECR) (1) framework now in place in the UK.
SECR requires companies which meet specific thresholds (turnover, staff number or balance sheet total) to report on their energy usage and carbon footprint, providing transparency and accountability to stakeholders. Additionally, to further demonstrate a commitment to environmental performance, buildings can achieve environmental certifications such as BREAAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). Research has shown that certifications such as BREAAM (2) or NABERS (3) can significantly increase a building’s value (4), a trend which is predicted to continue as tenants and buyers become more conscious of environmental sustainability.
To improve sustainability and secure these certifications, organisations require accurate and reliable data on their energy usage. In order to collect this data, many organisations are opting to implement submetering systems. This is explored below.
Submetering & Data Collection
A submetering system is a series of data collectors which sit alongside the in-situ infrastructure of an asset; these collectors isolate the electrical energy usage of various circuits or zones such as specific offices, apartments, production lines etc. Capturing this energy usage data enables organisations to track individual units and identify areas where they can deploy capital in a targeted manner to upgrade systems in order to reduce consumption.
Moreover, by installing submetering systems, organisations can improve the accuracy of their data, streamline their energy management processes, and enhance the quality of their environmental reporting, increasing their chances of securing BREAAM and NABERS certifications. These certifications provide external validation of an organisation’s sustainability credentials and can significantly increase the value of their assets, as tenants and buyers seek out environmentally friendly buildings.
Automation and control systems are also critical for improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. These systems can be used to control heating, lighting and ventilation systems, external door controls, EV charging points, ensuring they are only used when necessary.
By integrating these control systems with submetering systems, targeted automation can be considered. For example, if a particular unit is found to be using more energy than others due to doors remaining opening for too long, the organisation can implement energy-saving measures, such as installing IoT door contacts and connecting these with existing heating systems, such that heating turns off when doors are open. This enables organisations to reduce their energy usage, decrease their carbon footprint, and ultimately, enhance the value of their assets.
In conclusion, the integration of submetering and automated control systems can significantly improve the sustainability and value of commercial real estate assets. By collecting accurate energy data, organisations can understand their energy consumption, identify areas for improvement, and reduce their carbon footprint.
The resulting improvements in energy efficiency can lead to cost savings, enhanced sustainability credentials, and a higher value for their assets. As the world continues to focus on sustainability, the integration of submetering and automation and control systems is becoming increasingly important for organisations looking to demonstrate their environmental credentials and enhance the value of their assets.
If you would like to have a discussion on this topic and how IBG can aid you in achieving environmental certifications such as BREAAM, email Leon Blythe on lb@IBG-uk.com.
- Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environmental-reporting-guidelines-includingmandatory-greenhouse-gas-emissions-reporting-guidance)
- BREAAM (https://bregroup.com/)
- NABERS (https://www.nabers.gov.au/)
- Green Premiums (https://www.funds-europe.com/insights/real-estate-sustainable-properties-at-agreenium)