Report by Green Construction Board and Property Industry Alliance says green policies are too complex

Co-op Manchester

Government policies on green construction are too complex and the property industry lacks a clear understanding of the importance of a building’s environmental performance, a report has found.

The report on the impact of green policies on the commercial building sector says there is a need for better data on the environmental performance of buildings in order for inform owners and occupiers when they choose business premises.

“This is currently not routinely collected and buildings are not routinely labelled,” the report says.

The report, produced by the Green Construction Board and the Property Industry Alliance, also says the policy framework for green construction is too complex and calls for government policies to require “defined actions” from the industry, rather than policies that “set in place processes or gather information without any compulsion to act on the findings”.

The report, which is launched today, adds that policies that focus on setting standards are “cost-effective for government to implement and relatively easily understood by the industry”.

The report adds that real estate professionals must develop a better understanding of the importance and benefits of green construction and energy efficiency, including retrofit, such as lower operating costs, lower risk exposure and increased marketability.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “The energy performance legacy of the existing commercial stock is a challenge too large for the industry or government to face alone and we need to be well equipped with the knowledge of what works and what does not, if we are to tackle this head on.

“This research allows us to consider fully the effectiveness of current policy instruments and provides a platform for the future course of government and industry initiatives.”

Bill Hughes, managing director of Legal & General Property and chairman of the steering group overseeing the report, said: “The conclusions have been striking, since they show a clear preference for regulation of markets and policies which articulate clear trajectories toward 2050 emissions targets.

“It is essential that industry works together with Government to ensure that policy that is implemented doesn’t lend itself to unintended consequences in behaviour and instead is carefully aligned to driving real and achievable results throughout the sector.”