Jonathan Ridd MBA, MD of GreenBuild Consult, explains why an integrated approach to energy efficient buildings is key to ensuring compliance and mitigating risk.

With the growing pressures of new EU and UK government energy efficiency directives — which directly affect local authorities — inconsistencies are becoming apparent throughout the country, because local authority planning departments are interpreting the directives independently and are formulating their own sustainability policies.

Many planning departments are implementing stringent sustainability policies that require a minimum percentage of energy being provided from decentralised and renewable or low carbon sources. Planning departments have also incorporated their own framework structures to reduce predicted CO2 emissions, but the lack of consistency between local authorities is causing frustration for those who working to deliver energy efficient and sustainable buildings.

Traditionally, the procurement of design teams has been achieved by engaging various disciplines individually, which has failed to capitalise on sustainability opportunities. By appointing the various disciplines on an ad hoc basis means that there are no common core values that would work in concert to enable the delivery of sustainable and energy efficient buildings. Whereas an integrated approach at the start of every project would ensure that there was one organisational culture and one methodology that would be accountable from initial concept to hand-over.