This checklist breaks down the complex issues into simple, easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1 of 3: Be clear about your vision

  • Get your Board or key stakeholders to buy into the benefits

  • Decide what level of sustainability you want to achieve

    • High
    • Medium
    • Average
  • Decide what BREEAM rating you want to achieve

    • Outstanding
    • Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    • Pass
  • Decide what LEED rating you want to achieve

    • Platinum
    • Gold
    • Silver
    • Certified
  • Define your project objectives

    • Increase energy efficiency to reduce ongoing costs
    • Reduce carbon emissions
    • Comply with CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme2 reporting requirements
    • Comply with (or exceed) building regulations (Part L, Part F)
    • Comply with (or exceed) CIBSE and BSRIA Guidelines
    • Make better use of your space
    • Boost productivity
    • Create a healthier workplace (reduce VOCs3, improve air quality)
    • Create or enhance your Corporate Social Responsibility programme
    • Communicate a sustainable ethos to staff, stakeholders and clients
  • Assess and compare your potential buildings for energy efficiency

    • Measure the CO2 and CO emissions of the assessed building/office space
    • What is the difference in CO2 emissions (by percentage) between your site, and a notional building that complies with 2002 building regulations?
    • Request a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and the associated building report
    • Choose a building that is already BREEAM (or LEED) rated
    • Measure the building's solar gain to assess the impact it will have on energy use
    • Check the compass direction of the space. Is it north or south?
    • Assess how you can use daylight to reduce your lighting demand
    • What is the energy rating of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems?
    • Will they need to be replaced?
    • Does the space have a building management system, to enable the monitoring and control of energy use?
    • Is there sufficient sub-metering in place to measure and report energy use?
    • Are there enough public transport links to satisfy BREEAM standards?
    • Is there space for the installation of bicycle racks and showers, to meet BREEAM standards?
  1. BREEAMĀ® (BRE's Environmental Assessment Method) and LEEDĀ® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's 'green building' rating system) are the two most recognised and authoritative systems for rating how 'green' or 'eco-friendly' a building is.

  2. CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is a new regulatory regime that is intended to encourage large, non-energy intensive businesses (for example; retail chains, banks, local authorities and many institutional landlords) to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions.

  3. VOCs are volatile organic compounds, emitted by many paints, glues, wirings, carpets and other materials. They can be harmful over time.