15 February 2007
The requirements of the EPBD and Part L will continue to get tougher but by developing ways in which to improve energy efficiency beyond good practice and towards best practice now will make facing new challenges easier in the future. Stuart Bowman explains
SINCE THE EU ENERGY PERFORMANCE DIRECTIVE FOR BUILDINGS (EPBD) and Part L introduced in April last year its impact has been debated ad infinitum. The duties and responsibilities of the property and construction industry are widely known but too few have shared successful strategies for achieving the targets and managing them on an ongoing basis.
There is no denying the responsibility that FMs have for the environmental performance of buildings. For example, as new buildings are constructed with 10 per cent of their energy generated by on-site low and zero carbon sources, the FM must not only understand how to maintain these systems but also ensure that the building fabric and systems operate efficiently. From 2009, this will have to be carried out under the auspices of the Building Energy Certificate.
The most effective management approach is one that most FMs will be familiar with, but perhaps not in relation to energy. The approach is summarised (below) illustrating that, if progress is to be made, certain processes need to be undertaken. The boxes highlighted in red are the essential objectives in mobilising such an approach. It is imperative that the energy strategy is aligned with the business goals which could cover anything from risk management, market opportunities to existing environmental management systems. This will enable a prioritised action plan to be created, which can be signed off by all stakeholders, an 'eenergy champion' to be agreed, along with a budget.
For FMs to be successful, it is crucial that they obtain the support of senior management. They must demonstrate that they are committed to energy and environmental management as part of a strategy to comply with the EPBD and save costs and ensure optimum comfort levels.
The desired outcome at the critical stage of review is illustrated overleaf. Strategies need to be established on many key energy issues. To assist in this process, a desk-based audit determines the balance of energy/water in terms of consumption, cost and emissions, and identifies potential areas of waste and establishes performance indicators against
national benchmarks. This is followed by an onsite energy survey, focused on any areas of potential waste that the audit may have identified. This will identify supply, use and management of energy and water, and identify measures that will lead to savings.
If an organisation is looking to relocate, FMs should encourage the energy performance of the building to form part of the selection criteria and include it within the due diligence scope. Once a building has been chosen, include energy efficiency in the brief for any alterations or fit-out that must be undertaken and seek advice from M&E specialists who can review designs and provide valuable advice on measures that can deliver savings quickly at no or little cost.
Tenants will rely on their FM to ensure they comply with the tenant/landlord agreement. Energy costs form part of the annual service charge and, if it appears high, discuss measures such as a review of the energy purchasing that can be taken to improve efficiency to the systems, their operation, management and metering. This negotiation process can lead to a reduced service charge liability.
New developments offer the most costeffective opportunity for a step-up improvement in the use and management of energy and must form part of the brief. An M&E specialist should be consulted to ensure solutions meet current and future needs as well as EPBD standards and Part L, and to recommend more effective system designs. Any weak spots should be resolved early on so changes can be made to the specification if necessary.
When putting together the list of requirements, challenge the need for air conditioning either throughout the building or in certain parts of the building. Whole life costing will demonstrate the potential savings that can be made by investing in certain plant over the long-term.
It is imperative that the accurate and timely collection of energy data on a regular basis is established early to underpin the energy management programme long-term. Indeed, proactive maintenance of building services, which can account for 20 per cent of the facilities budget, drives long-term compliance of the EPBD. Ad hoc checks of equipment are no longer sufficient since log books have become compulsory and the industry is embracing intelligent software systems that enable automatic monitoring and targeting (aM&T).
This captures accurate data and variations at different times of day and should be supplemented by sub-metering, which enables further savings on energy and ongoing operational costs. Tax relief is available for companies that invest in energy saving equipment.
Better still, some progressive organisations are using condition-based monitoring (CBM), which goes beyond maintenance management systems to enable optimum asset life-cycles, maintenance cost savings and measurement of plant effectiveness. CBM monitors any plant with moving parts or that produces noise or heat, can be used to assess the work of external specialists and is used in conjunction with planned preventative maintenance.
Whichever system is used, it is worth feeding data into quarterly reporting and seeking the advice of an external consultant to analyse the performance against targets, activity and occupancy patterns in detail, investigate the causes and present solutions. This enables the FM to concentrate on day-to-day activities.
To ensure that the delivery of the energy strategy is long term and inclusive, it is important to communicate with staff. Studies show that whilst 90 per cent are committed to saving energy, only 10 per cent feel that they have the skill to actually achieve it. By rollingout a training and awareness programme, the eknowledge gapf is closed and 5-10 per cent of energy can be saved just from good housekeeping.
With their new responsibilities, we strongly surge FMs to also consider training for themselves and their teams. Training is
available in energy efficient operation of the building and its services, on-site low zero carbon energy generation, no cost savings from good housekeeping and effective maintenance regime for energy efficiency. To rise to the challenge of reducing facilities costs, carefully consider your procurement and use of energy and develop a strategy to inform this process. Check legislation such as the Energy Act and research utility cost management companies to find those that operate on the basis of no reduction, no fee.
When building energy certification (EPBD Article 7) comes into force in 2009, owner occupiers will rely on their FM to ensure that the asset rating, the theoretical building performance, is comparable to the operational rating, actual performance. Approved methods will have to be used to calculate the asset rating which will also ensure compliance with Article 3 of the EU EPBD. The log book will be essential in maintaining the operational rating with the asset rating acting. This tool must be kept up-to-date and key findings from any monitoring software systems must inform decisions.
An increasing level of responsibility and indeed legal compliance is being placed at the door of the FM to not only provide to buildings that are safe, functional and comfortable but also to maintain energy efficient operation. It is therefore crucial to establish a strategic approach to energy management, whether delivered by in-house expertise or outsourced consultancy, to try and influence the design stages of a project and embrace the training that enables them to optimise building performance. By striving for excellence now, processes will be in place to achieve tougher targets in the future.
.. Stuart Bowman is Divisional Director of hurleypalmerflattfs Energy Division.
Benefits of a
..Realise long term savings
..Reduce requirement to maintain building services plant and systems
..Ensure compliance with EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
..Reduce risks associated with a volatile utility market through strategic purchasing of energy and water
..Provide robust performance management of internal and external resources through measure-to-manage approach fundamental
..Enable access to better management information so informed long term decisions can be made
..Improve image, both internal and external including energy efficiency accreditation through national scheme