An initiative that could cut energy use in new buildings by up to three times is being launched in the House of Commons on Monday.

The idea of Soft Landings is for project teams to help users become familiar with complex building systems for up to three years after handover. This would help prevent problems like those at Heathrow Terminal 5’s recent opening, caused by systems troubles and a lack of staff training.

Roderic Bunn of research body BSRIA, which is behind the scheme, said buildings consumed excess power because users didn’t understand controls, services weren’t commissioned properly and there were problems with new technologies. He said renewable technologies were pointless if buildings didn’t work properly. “We’re putting bells and whistles onto buildings that are not intrinsically efficient,” he said.

He said the cost of retaining the team would be about 0.1% of the contract value.