Developing a low carbon strategy within your business is a complex and significant piece of work. Your property portfolio will form an integral part of this strategy, as it makes a major contribution to your carbon emissions.

By investing time in assessing the impact of a fit out and taking steps to reduce the subsequent carbon emissions, your business will gain significant environmental benefits.

Before you begin

Define your project's low carbon objectives

  • Review your organisation’s carbon targets and assess how this project can contribute to reducing emissions
  • Where possible, decide on the carbon targets you want to achieve
  • Consider whether your business needs a full fit out or whether your plans can be scaled down to reduce embodied carbon impact
  • Hold stakeholder forums to discuss objectives and requirements to ensure you have robust and achievable carbon targets
  • Map out the expectations of your investors, customers and staff
  • Consider your property strategy and determine how reducing carbon emissions will work alongside your plans
  • Communicate to your key decision makers the benefits of reducing carbon in your property portfolio
  • Set out a clear project brief which includes your carbon targets and define responsibilities to achieve these targets
  • If applicable, set an embodied carbon budget
  • If applicable, set an operational carbon target
Generation Investment Management - Certified SKA Gold

Assess potential sites

  • Obtain existing Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), though these likely won’t be the best measure of operational energy requirements
  • Ensure the building meets the minimum EPC rating for new tenancies which is currently a rating of E. As of April 2023 all existing leases must be at minimum a rating of E
  • Check if your potential site has an environmental rating, such as BREEAM, LEED or SKA as this will be an indication of a better performing building when it comes to low carbon
  • Where possible, get an estimate of the operational CO2 emissions of your potential sites
  • Estimate the embodied carbon impact of fitting out your potential sites
  • Assess the percentage difference in CO2 emissions between potential sites
  • Do your potential sites have existing on-site renewable sources of energy and heating, including a local district heating system?
  • Consider the viability for passive design measures of your potential sites
    • Measure the building’s solar gain to assess the impact on energy use
    • Assess the orientation of the space and how effectively daylight can be used to reduce artificial lighting
    • Assess the viability for natural ventilation of the potential sites
  • Determine whether HVAC systems will need to be replaced – consider both the embodied and operational impact
  • Assess the effectiveness of any existing building management system which monitors and controls energy use
  • Determine if there is sufficient sub-metering in place to measure and report energy use
  • Assess whether transport links are sufficient to support your staff in making low carbon commuter choices
  • Assess whether there are amenities close by including gyms, shops and green spaces that reduce the need for use of transport
  • Determine if there is space for bicycle racks and showers to support your staff who would like to cycle to work
  • Assess the viability for additional low carbon technologies within the potential sites
Costa, Essex - BREEAM Outstanding