Cundall is one of the first organisations to become Pioneer Delivery Partners for the Design for Performance Project (DfP). The system has been recognised for a number of years but there has been little information available on how buildings performed in use with little feedback available to design teams to inform future designs. DfP intends to close this gap as it is a process that ensures that building energy consumption in operation is in line with the predicted energy consumption at design stage. It is different in that the operational energy is being predicted at the design stage as opposed to what currently happens, which are Building Regulation compliance calculations.
The initiative is supported by seven major UK property developers, Great Portland Estates plc, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Landsec, Legal & General Real Assets, Lendlease, TH Real Estate and The Crown Estate, that have elected to break the mould and commit to an innovative approach to overcome the energy performance gap for new office design. This new approach comes off the back of the latest findings of the industry backed Design for Performance (DfP) initiative.
Sarah Ratcliffe, Chair of the Design for Performance Executive Board, and Programme Director at BBP said: “This is a major industry breakthrough and one which has the potential to transform the UK office market. The DfP initiative is one which resonates deeply with the Better Buildings Partnership’s aims to improve the sustainability performance of UK real estate assets. We are delighted that our members are demonstrating such strong industry leadership in supporting and adopting a Design for Performance approach and relish the challenge of advocating for wider use of the scheme across the industry.”
The project is an industry initiative that aims to change the way we design new office developments in the UK. It is not a new idea as this principle was integrated into the ESFA specification for schools design which Cundall helped develop. Furthermore CIBSE TM54 provides much of the basis for undertaking these types of calculations. DfP looks abroad to the successful Australian NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) Commitment Agreement and explores the applicability and opportunity of developing and testing such a framework in the UK. In Australia, (NABERS) monitors the building performance in use, allowing investors, owners, operators and tenants to understand their actual and relative carbon footprint, and then make changes where necessary.
Cundall is integrating DfP into the delivery of building services, advocating the adoption of DfP to our clients and upskilling to support the delivery of the project. We have already started implementing this on projects such as 21 Moorfields on behalf of Landsec including this as a requirement. We are also incorporating the principles in the specifications for the next round of Welsh Government’s 21 Century Schools where the delivery of low energy performance in schools is a project priority.
Cundall has firsthand experience in the application of NABERS through their Australian offices where they have NABERS Accredited Assessors and over the past 10 years we have undertaken countless NABERS ratings for a wide range of sites and clients. Cundall also regularly undertakes Level 2 audits which are detailed audits of existing NABERS ratings and technical rulings on behalf of the national administrator to maintain the quality of the NABERS scheme. The lessons learnt from their NABERS experience is being brought to DfP projects in the UK.