With the publication of the guidance note ‘Sustainability: improving performance in existing buildings’, RICS offers building professionals best practice guidance on how to make buildings resource efficient throughout their whole life cycle (from location, design, construction, operation, maintenance, to renovation and demolition).
According to RICS, today there is increasing political and financial support for green initiatives and corporate social responsibility across the globe, and within the property industry this has led to a long list of benefits and drivers for occupiers, owners and investors to assess and improve the sustainability of their buildings.
Chartered surveyors are in a very strong position to advise clients, in particular on the investment potential of sustainable buildings, appropriate strategies and approaches to achievements of high performance levels as well as the essential benefits of sustainable design to help create effective management and delivery of projects that achieve this standard.
RICS members are recommended to follow the list of measures and best practices mentioned in this guidance note as these recommendations meet a high standard of professional competence.
Zsolt Toth, External Affairs & EU Liaison Manager at RICS Europe, said: "Against the background of an increasing number of RICS members getting involved with the sustainability aspect of constructing, retrofitting and operating buildings worldwide, the publication of this guidance note responds to both legal and market needs, as it establishes standardised approaches to sustainability within the refurbishment process and practice.
"Managing resources and carbon budgets more efficiently represents a big opportunity for RICS and businesses operating in the built environment sector. This becomes especially relevant given that governments are incrementally implementing stricter and more comprehensive environmental regulations as illustrated by the forthcoming EU Communication on sustainable buildings.
"RICS has clear educational, training, influencing and leadership roles in this area and with these standards we would like to provide professionals with a concrete roadmap for integrating sustainability into existing buildings."
The guidance note provides recommendations including indications of the potential costs which are extremely helpful when putting together renovation strategies. Moreover, many of the design elements discussed in the guidance note provide a level of practical advice which is based on actual improvements and not on a theoretical energy model.