Less than a quarter of organisations are making their buildings more sustainable, according to report by Ridge

Fewer than one in four public or private sector organisations are trying to make their buildings more sustainable according to a new report which claims the UK is “sleepwalking towards a retrofit crisis”.

The report by consultants Ridge and Partners surveyed 101 property and facilities heads across the UK and found just one in 10 organisations had assigned any kind of budget to retrofitting their non-domestic premises.

Many of those asked said the government needed to do more, with 52% saying VAT on refurbishments should be removed and 49% saying business rates discouraged retrofit.

Retrofit shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Building owners have a poor understanding of the scale of retrofit necessary to reach net zero goals, a report by Ridge said

According to the consultant, there remains widespread misunderstanding of the scale of the UK’s retrofit challenge. More than a third believe less than 39% of the UK’s current building stock will still be in use by 2050, whereas Ridge says it will be nearer twice this.

Ridge partner Matt Richards said: “Too many organisations appear to assume that come 2050 our existing building stock will have been replaced with more efficient new buildings but this simply isn’t the case. The bulk of buildings we see around us will still be in use. As a result, vast swathes of UK organisations are sleepwalking towards a building crisis.”

The report warned that facilities and property heads needed to be involved more by their boards in decision making and that building estates’ budgets needed to become more future-facing.

It also argued for more education on the need for retrofit and the provision of more expert knowledge to enable this.

Richards added: “Our research has shown that most organisations have ambitious net zero plans. Combine these with spiralling energy costs and concerns about energy security and there couldn’t be a better time for the government and the UK’s public and private sector organisations to revisit retrofitting our non-domestic assets.”