Why we need commercial retrofit

Commercial buildings currently represent 23% of built environment carbon emissions in the UK. Securing a net zero built environment in line with the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without addressing the operational emissions associated with this sector.  

In addition to the climate impact of commercial buildings, accelerating the pace of commercial retrofit will also be required to meet the growing demand for sustainable office space in the UK. Recent analysis from UKGBC member JLL revealed that real estate assets with stronger sustainability credentials are increasingly attracting higher capital values and rents. Furthermore, JLL note the forthcoming tightening of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) means investors are likely to consider more sustainable buildings to be less risky, and that it will pay to be on the front foot and invest in the green building sector now.  

Key Resources

Building the case for net zero: retrofitting office buildings

This guidance reframes retrofit as an iterative process, rather than a standalone project, and demonstrates that upgrades should be planned and implemented to align with critical opportunities, such as lease and maintenance cycles.

This report outlines which retrofit measures are the most energy and cost efficient, empowering industry professionals to understand what would work best for their particular project. These retrofit measures span the breadth of building upgrade types: building optimisation, light retrofit and deep retrofit.

Part 2 of this workstream will launch later in the spring, please get in touch with ANZ@ukgbc.org if you have any questions.

Delivering net zero: key considerations for commercial retrofits

Understanding the fundamentals

The guide summarises the fundamental considerations for retrofit projects to support the drive towards net zero carbon in our existing commercial building stock. It includes:

  • Definitions for light and deep retrofits
  • 10 key considerations for net zero carbon focused retrofits projects to support net zero pathways and goals
  • Real-world case studies, exemplifying the importance of these considerations and the benefits low carbon focused retrofits can have in the advancing net zero goals.

Related resources


News & Blogs

Advancing Net Zero Partners

Our Advancing Net Zero work is made possible thanks to our programme partners

Commercial Retrofit Project Partners

Our live projects on commercial retrofit are made possible thanks to our project partners