The watchdog believes changes are needed to the way all public buildings are procured and built if the government’s target, announced in last week’s Budget, is to be met.
CABE said, most of the average individual’s personal footprint of CO2 emissions come from shared public buildings and, if achieved, the 2019 aim could save around 75 million tonnes of CO2 over the next 30 years.
In a statement, CABE said government departments ‘are still failing to make their own new buildings and refurbishments sustainable’, calling for post-completion and post-occupancy test to be rigorously carried out.
CABE said: ‘The government’s own Common Minimum Standards for the public built environment – which require all procurement to support sustainable development – must be rigorously put into practice and monitored.
‘We also need a fundamental shift to “spend-to-save” thinking across the public sector. This means that whole-life costs must have priority over initial capital costs.
‘And we also have to measure and understand how public buildings are performing. Although the Common Minimum Standards require post-occupancy assessment, this is rarely carried out.’