News release

JLL contributes to UKGBC guide to accelerate industry action on commercial retrofit

The UK Green Building Council guide will support the industry to retrofit poorly performing commercial buildings the UK

May 04, 2022

Eleanor Parry

Communications Manager, JLL
+44 7719 004580

JLL has contributed to the UKGBC’s new guide, Delivering Net Zero: Key considerations for Commercial Retrofit, which provides the industry with a common approach to commercial retrofit through the lens of net zero carbon. 

It begins by providing much needed clarity on retrofit types such as “light retrofit” and “deep retrofit”, enabling built environment practitioners from varied backgrounds to speak with a common language and improve cross-industry communication. Ten fundamental considerations are outlined for net zero focused retrofits, as well as real-world case studies which exemplify these considerations. The approach set out within the report provides property owners and key stakeholders with a transparent picture of the value of opting for a net zero focused retrofit versus standard practice.

Informed by a cross-industry advisory group, which included JLL, the guidance highlights the actions which built environment practitioners should take to address the role existing commercial buildings play in the industry’s trajectory to net zero, and how attention must shift towards whole life carbon to successfully retrofit our existing built assets. It also demonstrates the wide-range of benefits which retrofit can deliver – beyond improved energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption – such as increased wellbeing and improved thermal comfort for occupants, reduced need for repairs and lower running costs for facilities managers and building owners.

The guide has been designed to support industry professionals and stakeholders, from architects and engineers, planners and facilities managers, to landlords and building owners, who are involved in the scoping, planning, delivery, and management of commercial retrofits with the intention of enabling successful delivery of net zero focused retrofit project outcomes. The retrofit library captures a broad range of projects of varying scales, exemplifying the established key considerations and how they can be delivered in practise.

UKGBC’s Head of Climate Action, Yetunde Abdul, said:  

“Improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings could reduce nearly one quarter of the UK built environment’s total carbon footprint. Whilst government regulation in this space is beginning to recognise the action needed to improve the performance of commercial real estate, without accelerated industry action we will fail to achieve our net zero goals – both as a sector and as an economy.  

“Drawing from established industry thinking and discussions with built environment professionals, this foundation setting publication has outlined key information to support and ensure the right considerations are made from beginning to end of the project to deliver net zero.” 

JLL’s Head of UK Net Zero Design Consulting, David Bownass, added:

“Demand for sustainable space is surging, with occupiers driving towards net zero targets and investors responding to market expectations and increasing regulation – not only to avoid ‘brown discount’ and risk of stranded assets, but increasingly acknowledging the need to act to secure a global sustainable future. Collaboration across the sector is now key to drive towards this common purpose. 

“JLL estimates that, to meet global emissions standards by 2050, the rate at which we’re repurposing our commercial building stock needs to increase to around 5% annually. In the UK, this means that the pace of office redevelopment needs to at least double from levels seen over the last ten years, while delivering a step change to achieve the 59% reduction in energy use needed by 2050.”

The full guide can be read here.


About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $19.4 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 98,000 as of December 31, 2021. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit