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Retrofitting buildings in the retail and logistics sectors

At Mitsubishi Electric, we’ve been proud to work with the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) for well over a decade now as we recognise the important role that they play in bringing the construction industry together to focus on how we increase the sustainability of the built environment.

Like UKGBC, we have always said that no one person or single business has the answer to the climate challenge, and we will only get to net zero through collaboration and pooling individual expertise and technology for the common good.

That’s why we are now joining forces with other organisations from across the built environment sector and a group of industry experts, under a UKGBC initiative to better understand opportunities to retrofit the nation’s commercial buildings in pursuit of net zero.

Along with AtkinsRéalis, Federated Hermes, Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), Ridge and Partners, and SEGRO, we will be working with UKGBC to make this much needed analysis possible.

The report will collate real-world examples of retrofit measures and the lessons to be learnt

Rachel Lekman Rachel Lekman Channel Marketing Manager

The task at hand

Building on the UKGBC’s Retrofitting Offices report, published in January, the ‘Non-Domestic Retrofit: Retail and Logistics’ project will produce a report that look at how best to decarbonise the retail and logistics sectors through effective retrofit planning and delivery.

Retrofitting commercial buildings will play a crucial role in achieving net zero targets as non-domestic building stock is responsible for 23% of the UK built environment’s operational emissions, with the retail and logistics sectors being the primary drivers of operational emissions.

Around 80% of the buildings that will still be used in 2050 are already here, so we must find ways to rapidly improve the energy efficiency of these buildings if we are to achieve the nation’s legally binding, net zero targets.

This is why UKGBC has focused on retrofitting energy intensive non-domestic buildings and the next phase focuses on the retail and logistics sectors.

The aim is to explore the operational energy performance improvements that can be achieved, alongside the consequent cost and embodied carbon impacts. This will help to inform planned upgrades to existing assets and help overcome common challenges.

In addition, the report will collate real-world examples of retrofit measures to illustrate what these projects can look like, and the lessons learned from implementation.

The task group

A special task group has been formed from experts in retrofitting retail and logistics buildings from across the UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme partners, project partners and wider UKGBC membership. This group will work closely with the UKGBC team to undertake this research over the coming year.

This project forms part of UKGBC’s work on Advancing Net Zero, learn more about this overarching programme and our previous work on non-domestic retrofit, which you can read more about here.

The UKGBC is a membership-led industry network that has been radically transforming the built environment and representing the unified voice of our industry to deliver a just transition across the sector, in response to the climate and nature crises.

In addition to the six project partners, the task group includes 20 experts from companies such as CBRE, Hoare Lea, Bruntwood, Mace, Deloitte, ISG and IES.

An important role

As a manufacturer of energy-consuming HVAC equipment, we realise we have an important role to play in the net zero transition.

We know that modern heating, cooling and ventilation systems can deliver energy-efficient comfort to building occupants in ways that help building owners reduce their carbon footprints and minimise energy bills.

We also know that we can have a more significant impact through collaboration, which is why we are delighted to work with UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).

Our own Zero Carbon Design Manager, Chris Newman is part of the Task Force and bring his extensive and detailed experience of the road to net zero to the group.

Chris has written extensively about net zero, including a detailed look at the Chris Skidmore Report: Mission Zero – An Independent review of net zero.

Chris also took part in a podcast with Chris Skidmore when still an MP, which he wrote about in a Hub article that includes a breakdown of the 6 pillars of the report.

We’re always happy to share our knowledge and experience so we will be preparing more reports on the work of the task force throughout the year, so watch this space!

Rachel Lekman Channel Marketing Manager