This website is being reviewed and updated. Some content may no longer reflect Government policy. All content has been archived and access to key documents will continue to be possible via the archived website; meanwhile a new version of the website will be launched later in the year. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100503135839/http://www.ogc.gov.uk/index.asp
OGC's "Achieving Excellence 11: Sustainability" sets out the processes by which a public sector client can procure and deliver construction projects that best promote sustainable development, while achieving optimum whole life value. The guide must be consulted where a programme or project contains a construction element.
"Achieving Excellence 11: Sustainability" is available on OGC's website here.
The Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is regarded by the UK's construction and property sector as the measure of best practice in environmental design and management. BREEAM, or an equivalent methodology, must be used in all major government construction projects. In new builds a rating of "excellent" must be achieved, in major refurbishments a rating of at least "very good" must be achieved.
More information on BREEAM is available on the BRE website here.
The Carbon Trust's "Carbon Management Programme" is a systematic approach to managing the risks and realising the opportunities that climate change presents. This includes planning for increased energy prices and complying with UK and European legislation. The programme should be adopted by every department at an organisational level to inform all aspects of their business, including their estates.
More information can be found on the Carbon Trust's website here.
The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) is a mandatory carbon trading scheme for low polluting commercial organisations and public sector bodies, including Government departments. As in similar schemes, a CO2 allowance will be set each year, with organisations buying and trading credits for the right to emit CO2. At the end of each year all organisations will have to surrender enough credits to cover their total CO2 emissions. The CO2 allowance will be reduced annually. Plans for CRC have just been through a consultation process, with a view to launching the scheme in January 2010 at the earliest.
More information on CRC is available on the Defra website.
OGC's Common Minimum Standards for the Built Environment must be consulted where a business case for a new programme or project includes building and refurbishment work. The Common Minimum Standards include a number of sustainability requirements, several of which are mandatory in their own right.
They are available on the OGC website.
Both forms of certificate will give a building"s energy performance a rating from A to G - A being very good, G very bad - much like domestic appliances. The qualified engineer issuing the certificate will also provide a report, including suggestions for improving energy efficiency.
For up-to-date details on launch dates and other news, please refer to the Department for Communities and Local Government website.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) has been designed by the European Commission to improve the energy performance of all buildings across the EU. The Directive will require that energy certificates be produced for buildings on construction, sale and lease. Large public sector buildings will be required to display energy certificates to the public. The Directive also targets boilers and air conditioning as major sources of energy consumption.
Read more about Energy Certificates
More information on EPBD is available on the Communities & Local Government website.
The Energy Services Directive (ESD) has been introduced by the European Commission to remove impediments and encourage energy efficiency across the European Union. Work to implement the Directive will include a review of current energy metering and billing information. The Directive also states that the public sector should fulfil "an exemplary role" in energy efficiency. Defra and BIS have recently run consultations on the implications of implementation.
More information on ESD is available on the Defra website.
Environmental Management Systems have an important part to play in the delivery of improvements in environmental performance, particularly in reducing waste arisings and energy and water consumption. They help to ensure that data collection and monitoring is systematic and robust and in generally improving the efficiency of management processes. Environmental management systems should be accredited using a national or international standard, such as ISO 14001, BS 8555 or EMAS. All departments should work towards having environmental management systems in place for all their offices.
More information about environmental management systems can be found on Defra's website.
Sustainability appraisals are a tool that provide for the systematic identification and evaluation of the economic, social and environmental impacts of a proposal. These appraisals should take a long term view of the expected effects and form an integral part of all stages of plan preparation. They must be conducted for all office relocations, however it would be beneficial to apply sustainability appraisals to any major decision about office estate.
More information on creating and using sustainability appraisals is set out in the Ministry of Defence's "The Sustainability Appraisal Handbook: For the MoD Estate", available on the MoD website.
Defra / OGC's Quick Wins is a list of minimum environmental performance specifications for a range of commonly purchased items. Departments must use these specifications when procuring any of the items listed. Therefore estates managers and procurers must be familiar with this list, from buying light bulbs to major refurbishments and new builds.
The Quick Wins list is available on Defra's Sustainable Development website
The Waste Strategy for England 2007 (May 2007) sets out the Government"s key objectives are to:
The Waste Strategy is available on Defra's website.
The Budget 2008 states:
"It is the Government"s ambition that all new non-domestic buildings be zero carbon from 2019. The Government will consult this year on the timeline for this ambition and its feasibility, and review progress in 2013." (Budget 2008, page 102)
Communities and Local Government (CLG), the department responsible for planning regulation, is leading on this work and has commissioned a report investigating the feasibility of zero-carbon. This document defines a zero-carbon building as one that is zero carbon (net over the year) for all energy use in the building. This means that any energy (and hence carbon emissions) drawn from the grid (electricity or gas) would have to be "replaced" by energy generated from low and zero carbon technologies, and exported to the grid to offset those carbon emissions.
In terms of a buildings energy use the following equipment would be included:
The following would be excluded:
CLG"s "Report on carbon reductions in new non-domestic buildings" is available here.