Bristol’s commercial property sector facing regulation timebomb

Investment in the sustainability of Bristol’s commercial property sector needs to significantly increase to comply with tightening of regulations – according to new research.

The Envision Sustainability report, which sets out a plan for a low carbon real estate market for the UK, shows that just 22 per cent of Bristol’s EPC certifications lodged for its office market were compliant to the highest A or B standards.

The equivalent figure for the city’s housing stock was 13 per cent – the joint second-lowest nationally.

Other segments across the industry fared similarly. For general industrial space, EPC A and B certifications were 15 per cent, while for retail the amount was 30 per cent.

The research shows the challenges the industry faces as tighter regulations are anticipated to come into force towards the end of the decade. JLL’s analysis of EPC data across the UK illustrates the shortfall between awareness and action, with more than two-thirds of EPCs registered in the last year not meeting proposed future standards.

Simon Peacock, head of the South West at JLL, said: “Bristol’s businesses have long been committed to their sustainability responsibilities. But the conversations we have with clients, as well as our research, shows that they need all the support they can get to achieve their ambitions.

“Clarity on regulations that is likely to come into play over the next decade, as well as a more stable political and economic landscape, will provide business leaders with the confidence to invest in the long-term sustainability of their property portfolios.  We know conditions are tough for occupiers and landlords, however by working together solutions can be found to support sustainability improvements.”

Emma Hoskyn, UK head of sustainability at JLL, said: “There’s no easy fix to create a more sustainable property sector, and our research shows that there’s a gap between knowledge and action.

“But challenges also bring opportunities. We know that sustainable real estate can be crucial to business success. Evidence suggests sustainable assets protect value – and in some cases enhance it – let more quickly and attract higher value tenants. Investors that act now should reap the benefits, while those that delay are likely to experience a reduction in value and tenant appeal for their assets over time.”


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