Commercial buildings must reduce their energy use by 80%, according to a new report published by construction specialists ISG.
The research, which was carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) used publically available data to set out regional estimates of the emissions and energy consumption of commercial buildings.
Using the most recent data set available, the researchers found that the average energy consumption across England, Scotland and Wales was 284 kWhe/m2.
According to the researchers, this will need to reduce to 55-70 kWhe/m2 by 2050 in order to comply with the government’s net-zero targets – this equals approximately an 80% reduction.
The education sector has the furthest way to go, accounting for 2.3 million tonnes of oil-equivalent energy.
The researchers also found that an estimated 0.6% of all industrial and commercial energy consumption was attributable to datacentres.
Debbie Hobbs, group director for sustainable business at ISG, said: ‘The scale of the challenge is starkly clear, with approximately 80% of buildings that will exist in 2050 already standing in our communities today and needing major refurbishment to achieve carbon neutrality.
‘We must also be far more ambitious with those buildings currently under construction today – many of these constructed under the latest regulations will require significant renovations in order to meet 2050 net-zero thresholds.
‘The built environment sector has a pivotal role to play in bringing net-zero solutions to market and these will encompass technology, material and methodology advancements, but there also needs to be a cultural shift in procurement and operational practices.
‘We have less than 10, 455 days until 2050 and we need to start taking action today, stepping up, collaborating and sharing knowledge and best practice to tackle this global challenge. We have a collective responsibility to start translating these pledges into real-life action and we can only do this if we are all working to the same benchmark standards with a common purpose and a drive for transformational change.’
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