Many ‘low-energy buildings’ are found to use more energy than the designers thought they would. Benchmarking is key to evaluating a building's likely energy costs, and we can provide a service that does this for you.

Benchmarking and the performance gap

As a result of increases to energy costs, building users and owners are becoming increasingly aware of this 'performance gap'. The performance of low-energy designs is often little better, and sometimes worse, than that of an older building they've either replaced or supplemented.

Evaluation of operational energy use at the design stage by benchmarking provides a key tool to evaluate the likely energy costs, and make informed decisions in relation to the design of the building including and during value engineering. Understanding the basis for the benchmarks is also key to ensuring that building designers, operators and energy managers are comparing expected performance against relevant and comparable buildings.

Our sustainability and energy specialists are experienced in the use of industry-recognised energy benchmarks including CIBSE TM46 and CIBSE Guide F.  

Examples of our benchmarking services:

  • Calculation of heating and cooling loads using dynamic simulation modelling software (DSM).

  • Evaluation of operational energy performance of buildings at the design stage using CIBSE method TM54.

  • Comparison of predicted operational energy consumption against industry recognised benchmarks including CIBSE TM46, CIBSE Guide F and ECON 19.

  • VolDEC. Our Voluntary Display Energy Certificates are a new and innovative voluntary operational energy rating scheme designed for commercial office buildings. They are based on relatively simple data, making them inexpensive and quick to produce. In particular, they solve the issues associated with the landlord and tenant energy split and the lack of relevant benchmarks to enable performance to be measured and compared sensibly and consistently.

Related case studies


Orbit Group - social housing stock modelling

Having set a strategic target for all its 30,000 properties to be rated EPC band C or above by 2020, we were commissioned by Orbit Group to assess the level of required intervention and impact.

Milton Keynes Parks Trust - energy efficiency audits

Milton Keynes Parks Trust required energy efficiency audits, an onsite renewable energy feasibility study and a lifecycle cost analysis for three commercial properties in Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes Council - Lakes Estate regeneration phase 2 monitoring

Milton Keynes Council wanted to develop a greater understanding of the energy performance of their retrofitted homes, so we were appointed to undertake a research study to determine energy and carbon savings, resulting from a set of retrofit energy measures that had been installed.