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DECs reveal inefficient landmark buildings

The best performing and least energy efficient public buildings have been revealed by the launch of Display Energy Certificates (DECs) with a quarter of buildings assessed so far gaining the lowest ratings possible.

The certificates which measure the actual operational performance of a building - including the heating and air conditioning - came into force on October 1 with thousands receiving ratings between A and G.

Many buildings have not met the deadline due to a shortage of assessors and a slight relaxation in guidelines by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

But, those which have secured a DEC are amongst the most high profile in the country.

According to The Guardian the Palace of Westminster and the Bank of England are amongst the worst performing buildings after both securing G ratings. Meanwhile, London’s City Hall which opened in 2002 and the newly refurbished headquarters of the Treasury only gained an E.

The latest advice from the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) indicates there will be a little bit of breathing space given to building operators who are already taking action to secure a DEC.
Advice issued by the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers this week stated: “CLG has reminded everyone that Trading Standards Officers cannot take enforcement proceedings where efforts have been made to get a DEC.
“CLG has pointed out however that in January if public buildings still don't have DECs the UK will be in contravention of the directive and at that point they will take things much more seriously.”
The Imperial War Museum North in Salford which only opened in 2002, scored a G. No 10 Downing Street managed a D rating

One in four of the 3,200 buildings assessed so far scored F or G, and the average was D.

Only 22 buildings scored A.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Buildings Council., said: 'These results show our leaky and draughty public buildings should be a priority target for refurbishment.
“In a turbulent financial climate, lower energy bills will benefit the taxpayer for years to come. If we are to cut our carbon, save money and achieve energy security, our buildings have to be on the front line of this battle.'

Any public building larger than 1,000 square metres must be assessed and put a DEC on display. Building occupiers can be fined up to £1,500 if they fail to display the certificate.

Building Services experts point out that DECs should help building operators to improve the performance of buildings and make savings while raising the profile of solutions such as effective building management systems and boiler controls.
Each DEC report includes recommendations on  how the operation of a building can be improved.