The record-breaking UK heatwave in July highlighted the importance of developing long-term strategies to improve building performance. Sky-rocketing energy bills are also putting a spotlight on the wider business and economic implications associated with poor building energy performance. Understanding how our buildings perform has therefore never been more important.
The climate emergency is driving a requirement in the construction industry to deliver high performing buildings, with operational energy consumption aligned to net zero carbon targets. Therefore, predicting operational energy performance at the design stage, and demonstrating it in use is an ever-growing need.
What might the solution be?
TM54 is an advanced modelling standard that will help Willmott Dixon Interiors demonstrate how our customers’ buildings are designed to perform. We have committed to predicting energy performance on all our major refurbishments, which includes monitoring during occupation. Mitigation strategies can be put in place to deal with any discrepancies between the predicted and actual energy consumption observed during occupation. This will help our customers to lower their energy consumption and in turn reduce carbon and costs during operation.
UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard
It has been widely discussed by industry practitioners that a more robust means of verifying buildings as ‘net zero carbon’, is needed in the UK real estate sector.
The new standard, which is set to be developed by a consortium of organisations including the BRE, UK Green Building Council, RICS and the RIBA, will set out metrics by which net zero carbon performance is evaluated. It is likely to include performance targets, or limits, that need to be achieved. The standard is likely to include energy use, upfront embodied carbon, and lifecycle embodied carbon. It will also cover the approach to carbon accounting, procuring renewable energy, and carbon ‘offsetting’.
It is expected that any building that ‘claims’ to be net zero carbon will need to be validated based on in-use measured data and an interim verification during the design stage. The TM54 approach may prove to be the methodology to help with the verification during design.
Looking to the future…
This is an exciting new development. Coupled with our efforts to introduce TM54, when the net zero carbon standard becomes available, Willmott Dixon Interiors will be well-placed to demonstrate how our customers’ buildings align to the science of climate change, and the urgent need for transformation across our industry.