BCO Guide to improving the environmental performance of offices

A new guide by the British Council for Offices released in March 2014 responds to the shift from metrics for potential resource efficiency to actual measures of performance.

The 33-page report describes a more "joined-up" process emerging for design, construction and operation wherein measured high performance is the target.

There is already a strong business case for energy management, shaped by increasingly stringent building regulations and disclosure requirements, higher market demand for more sustainable and high performing building, and the wider cities agenda. Leading companies are already shifting from simplistic design certifications to more sophisticated performance measures.


The case is emerging that staff engagement combined with improving the office environment can be reflected and measured in increased staff productivity, happier occupants, greater well-being and lower sick leave. When it comes to the bottom line, the BCO says a 1% improvement in productivity swamps utility costs, and may represent a saving of as much as £50 per square metre.

The guide provides:

  • methodologies for gathering data and benchmarking
  • occupant evaluations including popular survey tools, BUS Methodology and The Leesman Index
  • seven case studies of performance tracking and occupant satisfaction
  • websites and tools for further detailed information

The British Council for Offices was established in 1990, and is Britain's leading forum for the discussion and debate of issues affecting the office sector. Its members are involved in creating, acquiring or occupying office space, whether architects, lawyers, surveyors, financial institutions or public agencies.

Download the guide 

Guide to improving the environmental performance of offices on the British Council for Offices web site.


Related resources

NABERS Essentials - online course

NABERS Essentials - online course

The NABERS Essentials e-Learning course is for anyone who wants to know more about NABERS.

Commercial Building Improvement Guide

Six step introductory guide to upgrading your building, from consideration and baseline assessment to financing, implementation and ongoing management. Compiled for building owners and facilities
managers of B, C and D grade buildings, the guide also provides an extensive list of resources to assist with the upgrade process.

BCO Guide to improving the environmental performance of offices

A guide by the British Council for Offices providing methods to measure building performance, occupant satisfaction, case studies and more. The report says that high performance can create productivity improvements that swamp utilities costs.

Energy efficiency certification scheme

This certification scheme offered by the Energy Efficiency Council certifies professionals that can lead comprehensive energy retrofits of commercial buildings. Certification helps building owners and managers find professionals they can trust and provides a benchmark for energy efficiency professionals.

Explainer: Green Star and NABERS Ratings

How are Green Star, NABERS used in office tenancies? Currently these two voluntary national accreditation programs exist to measure and report on environmental performance of office tenancies and assist in guiding best practice office fit-outs, and they can be complementary.

Claiming Energy Savings Certificates ('Eskis')'

NSW businesses can improve the rate of return on investment for projects by claiming Energy Savings Certificates (aka 'Eskis') which are redeemable for cash based using NABERS ratings as evidence of savings.
The Tenant & Landlords Guide to Happiness: ebook

The Tenant & Landlords Guide to Happiness: ebook

This e-book explores opportunities for improved collaboration and sustainable outcomes between commercial tenants and landlords. Produced by The Fifth Estate in partnership with Sydney's Better Buildings Partnership, it reveals opportunities for an improved leasing process.

Fact Sheet: Why choose a high performing building

Fact Sheet: Why choose a high performing building

A business case scenario showing how best practice indoor office environments can create savings above those from energy bills. A good building makes healthy and happy staff and improves their productivity.

Green Lease Lifecycle Tool

A comprehensive online tool which outlines each step of the leasing process, providing information on who to engage, when to engage them and importantly the key expectations, issues and resources to consider along the way. Produced by the Better Buildings Partnership.

Search resources