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#NZCBCommitment News Roundup: December

13 December 2023

Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment signatories are taking accelerated action to decarbonise their portfolios and the built environment, today. Read more on their latest Advancing Net Zero developments below.


Bruntwood SciTech constructs brand new SMART building at Innovation Birmingham

Read Bruntwood’s Commitment profile here.

The UK’s leading developer of city-wide innovation ecosystems and specialist environments, Bruntwood SciTech, has constructed a new Self Monitoring, Analysis and Report Technology  (SMART) building at the company’s campus in Birmingham.

Enterprise Wharf was developed to provide a tech-enabled environment for its users. The ten-storey high building uses state-of-the-art technologies such as the ‘Internet of Things’ to provide data for the entire building that essentially creates a ‘central nervous system’. These technologies monitor people flow, energy usage and temperature to ensure efficient use of energy.

Bruntwood uses Demand Side Response (DSR) technology to alter the building’s electricity usage in real-time, meaning that during periods of stress on the main grid, or in reaction network operator price signals, electricity use can be reduced and other sources of affordable and sustainable electricity can be secured.

These smart technologies and measures allow for increased energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions, which is demonstrated through the building’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) A rating. Bruntwood is placing itself as an industry leader in developing Enterprise Wharf to be zero-carbon-ready. 


SOM releases second annual Climate Action Report, championing sector alignment and collective action

Read SOM’s Commitment profile here.

Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) has released its second annual Climate Action Report, highlighting the business’s work in decarbonising the built environment through design, advocacy and innovation.

The report demonstrates how SOM continues to reduce embodied and operational carbon emissions across its projects. One example stated is the embodied carbon savings of 75% (compared to a new build) at 1633 Broadway in New York.

SOM was involved in various important dialogues and policy work in 2023, including working with the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy in their mission to drive zero emissions goals in the built environment and formulate a national definition for a zero-emissions building. 

SOM’s report also highlights the launch of its carbon emissions measurement service, which allows for clear and comprehensive Whole Life Carbon Accounting. The company also commenced a quantification of the environmental impact of design and material choices, based on the EN 15804:2012 (EPD) standard.

In the report, SOM recognises the urgency required to meet their 2030 and 2040 net zero goals, whilst championing alignment and collective decarbonisation action.


The Scottish Government sets out proposals to roll out clean heating across Scotland  

Read The Scottish Government’s Commitment profile here.

The Scottish Government recently released proposals to replace fossil fuel heating systems with clean heating alternatives across Scotland by 2045. This is a significant advancement in decarbonisation as domestic heating accounts for 20% of Scotland’s carbon emissions. 

The plan will require those purchasing a home or non-domestic property before 2045 to end the use of fossil fuel heating within a specific time frame after purchase. The proposals also include the introduction of a minimum energy efficiency standard for privately rented homes by 2028, while owner-occupied homes will have to meet the same standard by the end of 2033. 

Additionally, social housing landlords will be required to meet an energy efficiency standard between 2033–2040, and must install clean heating by 2045 when it is cost-effective and technically feasible to do so.

By eliminating fossil fuel heating and mandating electric heating, the Scottish Government is ensuring many homes and non-domestic properties across Scotland are zero-carbon-ready.


Hibernia’s 1 Cumberland Place is a positive example for how Ireland’s built environment can carve out a pathway to net zero

Read Hibernia Real Estate Group’s Commitment profile here.

RKD Architects recently released a case study report showcasing the 1 Cumberland Place’s journey to net zero, which has been retrofitted by Hibernia Real Estate Group.

The report found that the building’s Building Energy Rating (BER) has improved from E2 to B2 as a result of the installation of innovative energy reduction and heat recycling technology. The primary energy demand has been reduced by 63%, and the energy efficiency rate has been improved by 39%. The majority of the building’s skin and structure has been retained and the embodied carbon footprint is now estimated at 66% lower than a new office building.

Hibernia has also made significant efforts regarding the building’s performance data by installing a new energy data management system. Demand control ventilation technology was installed using sensors to optimise heating and cooling. These additional measures have reduced the building’s primary energy demand by 38%, while energy use intensity decreased by 39%.

Hibernia’s decarbonisation efforts show how renovating and retrofitting can significantly decrease energy usage and costs in the long run.


The GPT Group’s Apex Business Park is targeting a 5* Green Star rating

Read The GPT Group’s profile here.

The development of GPT Group’s property, Apex Business Park, is underway, with warehouse two, a premium warehouse space, now reaching practical completion.

The development used low-carbon concrete, specific energy-efficient roofing and wall materials and LED lighting. The park implemented 99kw of solar panels, rainwater harvesting with 30,000-litre storage tanks and solar hot water systems. The park aims to achieve a 5* Green Star rating (Design and As Built). 


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia launches interest-free finance for solar and battery systems

Read the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Commitment profile here.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) is introducing interest-free finance for customers to make purchases of products, including rooftop solar and batteries, of up to $30,000. 

UPowr, a solar and battery provider, will be the first to offer CommBank’s InstalPay, which gives customers an alternative way to purchase its systems, helping overcome a common obstacle to installing solar power, e.g. the upfront costs. This initiative also gives customers the benefit of reductions in their energy bills. 

CommBank has introduced an array of products, including energy efficiency measures, electrification and electric vehicles, making them more accessible for Australians.