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RIBA voices fears over EPC roll-out

The RIBA has echoed concerns voiced across the industry about the number and quality of assessors needed to carry out the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) reviews.

As of the beginning of this week (6 April) all non-domestic buildings over 10,000m2 put on the market for sale or rent will need an EPC assessment – an A-G rating similar to those found on fridges – as will all new homes.

Although the programme was welcomed by the RIBA for ‘encouraging further transparency in indicating how energy-efficient a property is as a building’ the institute added that the standard of assessors would be instrumental in making the new regime work.

Keith Snook, the RIBA’s director of research and development said: ‘For the system to work successfully it is essential to ensure that assessments are carried out stringently.

‘[This]is why the RIBA is currently working with Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists to prepare a training scheme for EPC assessors, which will be completed in the late summer.’

However, Alan Shingler, director of sustainability at Sheppard Robson, did not see the potential lack of assessors as an issue.

He said: ‘The same question was asked about the planning supervisor role when that legislation came in, but the market plugs the gaps and it is not a reason not to do this.

‘The certificates will have the same affect on the business market as they do on the domestic industry with white goods. If a developer wants to produce a competitive product for the market, buildings will not just be about floorspace and floor-to-ceiling height, but will also have to have competitive performance ratings.’

EPCs will be needed for all other non-dwellings over 50m2 before October.

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