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One in Ten London Offices Could Be Unusable By 2023

One in Ten London Offices Could Be Unusable By 2023
09 August 2021

Commercial buildings that don't meet future legal minimum energy standards are at risk, according to Colliers.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for commercial properties will be expanded in 2023, meaning that buildings with an EPC rating lower than E will not be able to be leased.

According to Colliers, a tenth of London's offices fall short of this standard and will require heavy investment.

Tom Wildash, Co-Head of Office Leasing in London’s West End at Colliers told the Financial Times: “If you are sitting on a building that’s below an E rating and you want to get to a B rating, that’s a substantial bit of refurbishment. There will be a lot of people who haven’t been prepared and don’t have the appetite or experience to do it.”

Great Portland Estates' Nick Sanderson agrees that net-zero by 2050 ambitions, as well as the changing legislation, may well mean more "stranded assets":

“We are starting to see signs of offices being stranded by the growing demands of occupiers and regulators for sustainable buildings.”

Wildash estimates that retrofitting existing buildings to make them more sustainable could cost developers about £200 per square foot compared with £300 per foot to build from scratch.

Colliers argue that MEES may result in offices being demolished and rebuilt, causing carbon-emitting repercussions. 

Picture: a photograph of London's skyline

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 09 August 2021


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