Tootal Buildings came third in the energy saving competition Credit: via XLB

Energy reduction contest saves participants £8m

The CUBE Competition challenged the landlords of 30 office buildings across the UK to make a concerted effort to limit the amount of energy they waste to see how much CO2 and money could be saved over a 12-month period. 

Buildings involved in the competitions’ inaugural year include H Properties’ “Walkie Talkie” in London and a trio of Manchester properties owned by XLB Property: The Tootal Buildings, 35 Dale Street, and Fourways. 

After a year, the results show that 6,087 tonnes of CO2 across 5.8m sq ft of commercial space was saved, according to CUBE, a sector-led initiative to help commercial building users efficiently reduce their energy consumption organised by Ampersand Partners and A4MT.

This saving is enough to power 5,000 homes for a year and has collectively saved participants £8m in energy costs. 

If these figures were applied to the 860m sq ft of office space across England, around £3.8bn a year in energy costs could be saved, according to CUBE. 

The winning building at 40 Holborn Viaduct, owned by Nuveen and managed by BNP Paribas Real Estate, slashed 38.8% of its energy consumption over the year. 

Josh Spencer, transformation sustainability manager at BNP Paribas Real Estate, said: “The level of engagement and collaboration from our partners surpassed our expectations, and we saw everyone from diverse building stakeholders including contractors and landlords to property managers and occupiers keen to contribute.  

Ultimately, it’s this level of deep, continuous and diverse collaboration that is needed if we are to eventually reach our sustainability goals and reach our ultimate net-zero target.” 

XLB’s Tootal Buildings, managed by Ashdown Phillips, came in third place for total energy savings across the 12-month competition. 

In all, the average energy intensity of participating buildings before the competition was 262 kWh/m², but after the competition, this reduced to 215 kWh/m². The 2030 target set by the UK Green Building Council is 90 kWh/m2. 

The CUBE Competition was set up in a bid to focus the minds of landlords, occupiers, and building managers on energy efficiency and “galvanise the industry into taking stronger action” through gamification, according to Mark Bruno, chief Ambassador of CUBE. 

“Real estate contributes a disproportionate percentage of worldwide carbon emissions,” Bruno said.  

“Despite the industry’s best efforts, the latest Savills research indicates that 39% of global carbon emissions still come from the sector, with operational emissions alone accounting for 28%.” 

He added: “By encouraging participants to adopt the spirit of competition, they strive to reduce the carbon footprint of their commercial buildings, while also coming together to share experiences and successes.” 

To learn more about how to property industry is tackling issues around sustainability in the built environment, sign up for Place North West’s Sustainability in Practice event on Thursday 6 July 2023.

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