The green shoots of growth

Sustainability is not just about energy use or meeting today’s regulation. It’s about how buildings are aligned with the long-term picture of environmental, social and economic impacts across their lifecycle. While sustainability sits among the top strategic priorities of many organisations, we find a lag between strategy and action to improve buildings. Those which do not embed sustainable outcomes in their development, operation and transaction processes will face significant costs and loss of value to catch up as more progressive regulation and market expectations take effect.

From strategy to action

When asked how building performance is likely to change over the next three to five years, our findings show that 90% of our respondents predicted stricter sustainability targets, and 76% of investors and developers view stricter sustainability targets as their biggest risk ahead. The government drive towards net zero carbon by 2030, the growing appetite for green funds and organisational commitments to ESG are among the drivers for more sustainable building investment.

Despite the awareness of the growing importance of sustainability, our research found relatively little holistic action. Part of this could be due to a limited understanding of the commercial impacts of sustainable outcomes which aren’t driven by legislation. Many do not appear to look beyond the realm of energy use and minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) targets. The comparatively low importance assigned to other standards suggests that industry stakeholders aren’t linking sustainability with commercial outcomes such as resilience or value in the market.

Many of our clients are taking a longer-term view of building performance to exceed the requirements of today’s legislation and maintain valuable assets into the future. We support them in each part of the building lifecycle, identifying the sustainable potential and the risks.

New developments allow the greatest scope for sustainable design, yet have huge potential embodied carbon risks, which circular economy construction methods or alternative procurement strategies could mitigate. Refurbishment projects present big opportunities for preserving structures, building fabric and services, with the right design and specialist input. As for the leasing cycle, we are currently working to disrupt an inherently wasteful approach to fitting-out and stripping-out commercial spaces, by supporting forward-thinking occupiers and owners to work together and manage the process differently.

Which elements of sustainable building practice do you feel most ready to act on?

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How we can help

Asset Sustainability Appraisals

A full review of comprehensive sustainability and wellbeing aspects that are considered material to the asset, the portfolio and our client. The output is a clear pathway of recommended actions against timescales and budget to support continual improvement and avoid obsolescence.

Building Performance Optimisation

Bridging the building performance gap enables building owners to secure the longevity of assets amid future climate change risks and net zero carbon ambitions. TFT’s designs for performance over compliance alone, with comprehensive monitoring and maintenance to ensure predicted performance matches reality.

Sustainability Coordination

We combine expertise across sustainability disciplines to coordinate individual developments, masterplan projects and across whole portfolios. On each project we embed sustainability early and ensure continual improvement alongside development project teams, contractors and facilities management teams to enhance sustainability performance.

We’re here to help

For more information on how we can help your organisation improve building performance for more valuable and resilient assets, please get in touch with our expert team today.