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UK achieves first low-carbon commercial building

Carbon Trust today announced that the UK’s first low-carbon commercial building has been awarded the new Low Carbon Workplace Standard.

Investec Wealth and Investment Management passed the requirements to achieve the standard by making a 33% reduction in carbon emissions per person at its office, a 160-year-old former printing press in Guildford.

The Low Carbon Workplace concept was developed by the Carbon Trust to increase cost-effective CO2 reduction opportunities in non-domestic buildings.

Carbon Trust research has found that a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 from non-domestic buildings can be achieved using cost-effective measures. 

However, emissions from non-domestic buildings have remained roughly constant over the past two decades due to a number of barriers.

These include misaligned incentives (the “landlord-tenant divide”), a lack of knowledge on how to develop and operate low carbon buildings, and capability gaps within the supply chain.

The Low Carbon Workplace aims to deliver refurbished low carbon buildings.

Funders, developers, landlords and occupiers collaborate to ensure that buildings are designed, built and operated to maximise energy savings.

Energy efficiency performance is then monitored over a two-year period and successful performance is rewarded with the new Low Carbon Workplace Standard.

Low Carbon Workplace managing director Bruno Gardner said: “Investec Wealth and Investment Management’s achievement is an industry first. Their commitment throughout has been uncompromising and the results clearly demonstrate that closer collaboration between landlord and occupier will deliver more efficient and lower carbon workplaces.”

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