Team work makes the grade: Refurbishment of a Listed building achieves good energy rating

Property investment decisions have traditionally been based on yields and internal rates of return. Several factors contribute to this, such as location and value. The introduction of minimum standards of energy efficiency and a prohibition on leasing those buildings which do not meet the standard is having a disrupting influence on the investment market.

Murton & Co were instructed to assess the refurbishment works on this five storey grade II listed building in Manchester city centre. Two of the upper floors had undergone substantial refurbishment a few years previously and were occupied by tenants. The top three floors were still undergoing refurbishment during our survey. The work involved  extending the space heating and ventilation system as well as upgrading the lighting and introducing secondary glazing.

An EPC had been registered following the original refurbishment of the first two floors. The EPC had a band C rating. We therefore expected our assessment to generate a better rating. Our initial calculations were considerably worse than the current EPC, so we set about analysing the previous assessment and found there to be errors, particularly in the selection of the space heating system.

The EPC survey is a visual, non-destructive assessment. On-site testing of the building fabric is not a requirement for the EPC, so the default U values contained in the calculation model had to be used. We did liaise with the client’s M&E consultants and project manager to obtain as much detail as possible on the efficiencies of the building services and lighting design. After completing our evaluation, the calculations showed the building to achieve a band D. Whilst not achieving the rating we had initially expected, we were satisfied that having carried out a thorough review, our assessment was accurate and met the quality assurance checks by our Accreditation Scheme.

“QA result is Acceptable. A well-presented QA submission showing a good selection of photographs. A good EPC with clear site notes, floor plan and additional information. BER variance is 0.”
Elmhurst Accreditation Scheme Quality Assurance.