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Businesses seeking low-carbon office space

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Businesses need to rise to environmental challenges if they are to maximise the value of their office space, it has been claimed.

The British Council for Offices (BCO) said companies need to think about sustainability, in preparation for tighter environmental legislation on office design.

The European Directive CEN TC 3502 will require EU member states to legislate so that new buildings are designed in adherence to a ‘whole-life’ approach.

All private office buildings over a certain size will also have to display Energy Performance Certificates, designed to strengthen commitment to CO2 reduction.

As such, the organisation has launched the Whole-Life Carbon Footprint Measurement And Offices report in a bid to raise understanding of the “growing relevance” of measuring the energy efficiency of buildings from a whole-life carbon perspective.

The BCO said those buildings that have a strong whole-life carbon rating will be most likely to attract occupiers – a point that will not be lost on the owners of shared office space.

With such firms on the lookout for office users, they need to ensure all premises are fully equipped with energy efficiency features.

They should be considering embodied carbon to help reduce the overall environmental impact of existing and new office buildings, the BCO stated.

Richard Kauntze, chief executive of the BCO, said the environmental performance of the UK’s office stock is “a pivotal issue”.

“There is an increasing connection between operational and embodied carbon emissions that developers, designers and tenants need to be aware of,” he stated.

“This connection is born out of legislative demands but also environmental best practice, in which we encourage the office sector to lead.”

Mr Kauntze said companies need to take advantage of opportunities that arise out of the evolving environmental landscape.