Problem Addressed

Tackling wasted energy consumption should be the first step in a building’s net zero journey. However, many commercial buildings are still highly wasteful despite their best design efforts. There is a lack of correlation between design (EPC) ratings and actual energy efficiency and some recently built, low carbon certified buildings show energy use twice above net zero compatible targets.

The most successful energy reduction programmes have been shown to engage tenants, as they are responsible for the building’s use and often know the building best. However very often this important “human” element is missed.

Solution Overview

CUBE tackles the dual challenges of occupier engagement and energy efficiency improvement in commercial buildings. It’s an innovative approach that brings landlords, building managers and occupiers together and, through gamification, mobilises them to reduce their consumption – i.e. the logical first step to net zero. With monthly rankings and an annual awards ceremony, the challenge mirrors a sports season. The competition has been running successfully in France for 6 years and has reduced building energy use by an average 12% and up to 55% year on year, just by changing behaviour and basic reprogramming, and without major investment.

For the UK’s first season (2022), CUBE has buildings ranging from small grade II listed buildings to iconic skyscrapers like the “Walkie-Talkie” and the “Cheesegrater”.

The participation fee is dependent on the size and number of buildings entered but is typically £2500 per building for the entire year. With average savings of 12-15% and energy prices steadily increasing, the ROI is normally achieved within the one year timeframe of the competition. Furthermore, participants can also benefit from external PR opportunities, such as media features and interviews, as well as press coverage during the Award ceremony.

CUBE is now mobilising for Season 2 in 2023.

Case Study

The competition has been running in France for over 6 years in almost 1000 buildings of various sizes. Initial results from the first year of CUBE in the UK are in line with their results: ~15% average energy savings.

In the UK, some of the better-known companies participating in the first CUBE season include: Landsec, Stanhope, Howard de Walden, Deka, Nuveen, TOG, Workspace, Frasers Property, Savills and BNP.

In France, Orange achieved 55% energy savings in one year. They have engaged in a wide range of activities throughout the CUBE year to achieve such noteworthy reductions, including:

  • Developing a dedicated CUBE Strategy to harmonise across their many buildings.
  • Engaging with app providers to send regular eco-nudges to all building occupiers throughout the year, including monthly challenges such as “one month of taking the steps”.
  • General reprogramming of lighting and elevators on nights/weekends and when the building is not in use.

Facts and Figures

12-15 %

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