Free green building advice for London businesses

Businesses in London are being offered free advice on how to improve the environmental performance of the buildings they own or operate from.

The Better Buildings Partnership, a coalition of the city’s major property owners and the London Development Agency, has published a new online toolkit to help measure and reduce energy use.

Many commercial buildings have multiple tenants who all use energy but have no idea of how much they use, making it difficult for owners and occupiers to work out where to make savings and improvements.

The toolkit provides simple, step-by-step guidance on how to monitoring energy performance building by building, floor by floor.

This can then inform individual tenants where they can save energy and work in partnership with owners to cut London’s carbon emissions.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Commercial buildings pump out more than a third of London’s carbon pollution.

“This toolkit can help businesses cut down their carbon emissions and save money on their energy bills at the same time.”

Many building owners have already taken steps to make improvements and there are plenty of case studies showing how to get it right.

GE Capital Real Estate recently installed Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology at its London HQ, for example, allowing the company to monitor energy and water consumption on a half hourly basis.

By making adjustments to the building management system and installing a waterless urinal system, they reduced electricity consumption by 17%, gas by 42% and water by a staggering 74%.

This resulted in savings of around £60,000 a year, paying back their installation costs within a month.

the company’s David Short said: “This experience really brought home the old saying that if you want to manage something you need to measure it.

“Simply by using technology to get visibility on our half hourly utilities consumption and some expert advice on ways to reduce it we achieved significant savings in term of cost and carbon with very little expense and no disruption to our operations.

“We are now rolling the system out widely on our real estate portfolio to try to achieve the same for our tenants.”

The Sustainability Benchmarking Toolkit for Commercial Buildings can be downloaded free of charge from the partnership’s website.

Sam Bond

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