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CUBE competition shows potential for energy efficiency

7th July 2023

UK office landlords could save billions in energy bills and cut out millions of tonnes of carbon emissions, competitors in the first CUBE competition demonstrated. 

The annual building energy efficiency contest featured 30 UK office buildings, ranging from brand new to heritage buildings, which saved a total of 6,087 tonnes of carbon and £8 million ($10.3 million) in energy bills across 540,895 sq m of commercial office space.

Similar efficiencies across the 80m sq m UK office market would cut energy bills by £3.8 billion ($4.8 billion) and reduce carbon emissions by three million tonnes.

Mark Bruno, chief ambassador of CUBE, said: “Our goal was to galvanise the industry into taking stronger action. By encouraging participants to adopt the spirit of competition, they strove to reduce the carbon footprint of their commercial buildings, while also coming together to share experiences and successes. The competition’s first year has delivered some impressive results, and we’re delighted that so many big names from across the real estate world jumped at the opportunity.”

Awards were presented this week for buildings in two categories. In the historical data category, buildings had to improve on past energy consumption. The winner was 40 Holborn Viaduct, owned by Nuveen and managed by BNP Paribas Real Estate, which cut energy usage by 38.8%. Meanwhile, 20 Fenchurch Street owned by H Properties and managed by Savills took second place and XLB’s The Tootal Buildings, managed by Ashdown Phillips came in third.

Awards were also given in the ‘absolute value’ category, which focuses on newly built or refurbished buildings. Each building was given an absolute energy budget based on UK Green Building Council Office Energy Intensity Targets. The Frames owned by Workspace came out top, followed by RO's GNR8 and The Howard de Walden's Estate’s head office at 23 Queen Anne Street.

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