Survey by Gensler presents business case for refurbishment of existing stock

Nearly three-quarters of property directors would rather make commercial buildings more energy efficient than replace old stock with new, a report by architect Gensler has revealed this week.

The study also showed that £122m is wasted in energy costs each year because buildings are not designed with energy efficiency in mind.

The news comes as Gensler signed up to the 99% Campaign launched by Building, which aims to improve the energy efficiency of our existing building stock.

Chris Johnson, managing principal at Gensler UK, said it did not make business sense to have energy inefficient buildings.

He said: “This is a crucial campaign. The buildings that dominate our city skylines cost the environment dear. Our own research also reveals the cost to UK business – almost one-third of property-related energy is wasted.”

Clients are also calling on the government to bring forward tough standards to ensure that older buildings improve their green credentials. Nearly half of developers are concerned that regulating for the energy performance of buildings will be ineffective without improved enforcement, and 38% of occupiers said legislation, regulation, penalties and tax incentives were most likely to make them procure more energy efficient buildings.

Meanwhile, support for the 99% Campaign is growing. Alex Burton, a director of quoted consultant Waterman Group, said the government ought to listen more to industry advice.

He said: “If the government spent half the energy they have on new build on existing stock, we would surely be there by now.”