GRESB: Survey, Submission, Success! (Free eBook)

How to prepare your assets and portfolios for success in the 2017 reporting cycle


In this first volume of our new series of free resources, we have collated our most popular pieces of GRESB thought leadership, plus some brand new content, into this handy 20-page eBook.

Download this free eBook today if you:

  • would like to learn more about the benefits of having an established Environmental Management System (EMS)
  • are interested in how to save endless frustration and time thanks to GRESB data automation
  • have wondered whether or not GRESB really can help to deliver fund performance
  • need to clue yourself up on the key changes to the reporting cycle this year
  • would like to give yourself the best possible chance for preparing for the 2017 reporting cycle
  • would like to improve your GRESB score(s) in 2017

Download now


For any questions about GRESB, including support with your 2017 submission(s), please don’t hesitate to contact our experts today.


GRESB Premier PartnerAs a GRESB Real Estate Premier Partner, we are perfectly positioned to provide GRESB support. View our official Premier Partner profile.

We can work with you to complete the submission and understand your scoring, as well as develop a sustainability plan that will improve your future GRESB performance and align with your organisation’s key environmental objectives.

INREV and Sustainability Reporting: Mandatory Requirements and Best Practice Recommendations

INREV is the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles. It is recognised as the leading platform for sharing knowledge on the non-listed real estate industry and has a goal to improve transparency, professionalism and best practices across the sector.


In 2016 INREV Sustainability Reporting Guidelines were revised to establish a disclosure framework that enables delivery of meaningful data to increase visibility and insight into an investment vehicle’s ESG efforts and also details their next course of action for improvements. The new guidelines aim to present a clear picture of sustainability strategies and require the reporting of energy performance data.  They are aligned, where possible, with other industry standards including GRESB, EPRA and GRI.

The new INREV Guidelines published in 2016 consist of mandatory sustainability reporting requirements and best practice recommendations.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The 2016 #INREV Guidelines consist of mandatory requirements and best practice recommendations” quote=”The INREV Guidelines consist of mandatory sustainability reporting requirements and best practice recommendations.”]

The mandatory requirements have to be reported on an annual basis to claim compliance with the INREV Guidelines. Managers are required to report, based on these guidelines, over the year 2017.


Mandatory Requirements

  • Describe the overall approach to setting a long term ESG strategy for the vehicle
  • Detail the vehicle’s approach for ensuring compliance for current legislation relating to ESG issues is in place
  • Set out the annual objectives and associated targets for the coming 12-month reporting period
  • Detail objectives for the next 12-month reporting period for ensuring compliance with current legislation in relation to ESG and about preparations for any future legislation that may be undertaken in this period
  • Report against annual objectives and associated targets set for the vehicle
  • Report against compliance with current legislation requirements and objectives and associated targets for preparations for upcoming legislation
  • Disclose absolute and like-for-like environmental data for the proportion of the vehicle’s portfolio that is in the fund manager’s operational control.  This should cover:
    • Energy
    • GHG Emissions
    • Water
    • Waste

Best Practice Requirements

  • Detail any additional key material aspects for the ESG strategy for the vehicle
  • Detail additional information on other annual objectives (related to key material aspects referenced above) and associated targets for the vehicle based
  • Report against the annual objectives and associated targets as set out above
  • Disclose absolute and like-for-like environmental data for the available tenant data for the vehicle’s portfolio

Whilst this blog focuses on INREV, EPRA – The European Public Real Estate Association – sets out CORE and Additional Requirements in much the same way.

EVORA, supported by our proprietary software, SIERA, is highly experienced in the collation, analysis and reporting of data.  For further information, please get in touch.

The true cost of design – measuring embodied carbon at Hammerson’s Orchard Park retail development

This post was originally published on CIBSE Journal.


A new database tool is helping designers assess the environmental impact of their specifications. Our EVORA EDGE Director, Andrew Cooper, looks at how Hammerson is trialling the tool to assess the CO2 impact of a retail park in Didcot.


Approximately 10% of all UK carbon emissions are associated with the manufacture and transport of construction materials. These emissions are all upfront, contributing towards global warming before the building is opened. Yet measuring embodied carbon has often been thrown in the ‘too hard’ basket because of the difficulty in obtaining transparent and comparable data, and to implement consistent and auditable frameworks and processes within a reasonable budget. There is also a lack of policy drivers to measure and control embodied emissions in building projects.

However, European developer Hammerson has measured embodied carbon to inform the design processes on a new retail development in the UK – and used a cost-effective tool to do so. Hammerson plans to add to its portfolio of 58 UK, Irish and French shopping centres and retail parks, with an extension to the Orchard Centre in Didcot, Oxfordshire. The proposed scheme is targeting a ‘very good’ Breeam assessment and has a number of sustainable design principles, including an urban drainage scheme and a green roof.

To increase its chances of achieving a ‘very good’ rating, Hammerson has – for the first time – used Impact modelling to calculate the environmental impact of the proposed development, to achieve credits under the MAT01 Life-cycle impacts assessment issue. Impact is a specification and database for software developers to incorporate into their tools, to allow consistent life-cycle assessment and costing in property. It takes quantity information from building information modelling (BIM) and multiplies this by environmental impact and/or cost ‘rates’. It is based on the BRE database on environmental impacts and, by making this more widely available, the costs of embodied-carbon assessments are significantly reduced. It was also developed with integration into Breeam in mind.

Using it can gain up to four credits for UK Breeam assessments and up to six credits for international Breeam assessments.

Richard Quartermaine, environmental manager at Hammerson, says the company wants to make significant reductions to all areas of its carbon footprint, and the least well understood is the embodied carbon of its development activities. ‘Using Impact allows us quickly and consistently to assess the embodied carbon of a project at an early stage – to raise awareness among the design team and inform its decision-making.’

Envision is undertaking the Breeam assessment for the project, and EVORA EDGE has been appointed to do all the Impact modelling using IES VE Pro.

[clickToTweet tweet=”How EVORA is helping @Hammersonplc to measure embodied #carbon at its new retail park. ” quote=”How EVORA is helping Hammerson to measure embodied carbon at its new retail park development. “]

An energy model was developed by the building services engineer using IES VE software. This was used for the energy strategy, to comply with Part L and to calculate Breeam energy credits. The model was also issued to the Impact modeller to undertake the life-cycle impacts assessment using the same software.

The first task was to check the suitability of the model for an Impact assessment. Models must be constructed using the ApacheSim (DSM) format – in Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) terms, this is considered to be Level 5. The geometry must also be extremely accurate; discrepancies that may have a minimal impact on the built emissions rate (BER) could have a significant impact on a life-cycle assessment by affecting material quantities.  For example, if the height of each floor of a 10-storey building with a floor plate of 1,000m2 is 25mm out in a model, this is unlikely to have a significant effect on predicted energy consumption or the BER. But 10 x 1,000m2 x 0.025m equates to 250m3 of material. Assuming the floors are concrete, the concrete alone would amount to around 100 tonnes of embodied CO2 as an inaccuracy. Add steel reinforcement and/or steel decking to this, and the amount increases.

Having assessed the model, and made minor adjustments to ensure its suitability, a study was implemented to identify the construction details and materials. Material data was imported from the BRE library into the model. The scope of the study covered the mandatory building elements detailed in Breeam Assessor Guidance Note GN08, which include piled foundations, lowest floor construction, steel frames, all upper floors, roofs, windows, and internal walls and partitions. Having determined the environmental impacts, an advisory report was prepared for Hammerson.

The software can measure a number of environmental impacts, including acidification of land and water, fossil-fuel depletion, human toxicity, and global warming potential. In this case, the primary metric that Hammerson wished to adopt was embodied CO2, and benchmarking was used to advise on whether the proposed scheme had a high or low impact.

Monitoring the embodied carbon emissions of different types of buildings is a relatively new field of research, and there are not yet regulatory standards or academic studies offering peer-reviewed benchmark values. However, the RICS document Methodology to calculate embodied carbon of materials, 1st edition provides some useful benchmarks for cradle-to-gate embodied carbon emissions. The MAT01 study is based on cradle to grave – and the RICS benchmark is regarded as indicative only – but, for completeness, metrics were supplied to Hammerson for cradle-to-grave and cradle-to-gate emissions. (See panel, ‘Product life-cycles’.)

The study concluded that the impact of the Orchard Centre is within an expected range, based on the nearest matching RICS benchmarks of between 750 and 935 kg CO2 per m2for comparable buildings (Table 1). It recommended interventions that could lead to a reduction in the project’s environmental impact of between 6% and 7% – amounting to more than 1,000 tonnes of embodied CO2.

The Internet of Things: Thinking Smart in the Commercial Real Estate Sector (Part 2 of 3)

There is no doubt that the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the commercial real estate sector. It has emphasised the use of space in buildings, tapping into the connections of people and the environment. For real estate investment and management, buildings, people and energy performance form part of the network which can benefit from the IoT movement.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Exploring the role of #data and the #IoT in the commercial real estate sector #CRE #sustainability” quote=”Exploring the role of data and the Internet of Things (IoT) in the commercial real estate sector.”]


In Part 1, I eluded to the IoT as the ecosystem of things that are interconnected through sensors and connections. A building is a perfect example of this. When we start to connect the dots between the elements of a building’s design and operation, we can use the data to tell us more about what is going on in that building and how we can manage it in a better way.

What are the opportunities for the IoT in buildings?

Many sensors in the building can ‘sense’ the environment and gather information in real-time. The types of information that can be collected are light, humidity and temperature etc. With the IoT, it is possible to collect, compile and analyse data remotely about that building, which can be conveniently accessed via the cloud. As I mentioned in Part 1, data is the currency in this age.


Here are five ways the IoT can add-value:

1. Energy Efficiency

IoT technology can help increase efficiency through enhanced building performance and better management of the portfolio. One way this can be achieved is through looking at how spaces are being used. Data exchanges can give an insight into the value of processes and interactions between occupants and building operation. The building will become a smarter hub, where data can inform systems which can directly engage with occupants and adjust for their needs and the environment. From this, we can create more targeted energy distribution strategies and tenant engagement programmes.

2. Connectivity to the Cloud

IoT enabling technologies such as sensors can ensure data availability and visualization without being on-site at the building. Data can give an indication of how the building is operating and patterns can be identified in energy consumption or temperature for example. From this, many metrics can be linked together to give the larger picture on building performance.

3. Improved Living and Working Spaces

IoT is the step forward in making the environment more comfortable and reduce wastage; this creates new avenues for revenue generation through tapping into the essence of building use and adjusting where necessary. In the future, we can expect smart building technologies to have self-learning capabilities, like the human brain, to recognise patterns and make real-time adjustments.

4. Sustainability strategies

Building sustainability management strategies can be informed by data, which can lead to more accurate predictive capabilities and better asset management. The building can be optimized and operational costs reduced through IoT-enabled Building Management Systems (BMS). For example, occupant comfort is an opportunity and the use of better zoning controls can help achieve this; keeping occupants happy whilst reducing operational costs.

5. Building Design

Sensors collect data on how spaces are being utilized and this data can feed into the mathematical models for building intentions at the design-phase.

[clickToTweet tweet=”5 ways the #IoT can add value to the commercial real estate sector. #CRE #sustainability” quote=”Five ways the Internet of Things can add value to the commercial real estate sector.”]


Overall, the IoT movement has the potential to generate new avenues for revenue generation by tapping into the connections between people and buildings. As the world is becoming an increasingly interconnected place, cities are becoming smarter and the need for data applications accessible through the cloud is necessary.

Why not look at our software, SIERA, which has been created specifically for the commercial real estate sector? In Part 3, we will explore SIERA in more detail.


To speak to us about SIERA, or for any other enquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

EVORA EDGE Supports Guildford Borough Council to Develop Planning Policy

We are delighted to announce that EVORA EDGE, our new technical engineering division, has been instructed to undertake a strategic technical study for Guildford Borough Council. The study is to analyse the policy and cost-effectiveness of increasing the target carbon emissions rates for new build properties as part of the council’s proposed local plan.

Legislation allows local planning authorities in England and Wales to include policies imposing reasonable requirements on developers for:

  1. a proportion of energy used in development in their area to be from renewable sources in the locality
  2. a proportion of energy used in development to be from low or zero carbon sources
  3. development in their area to comply with energy efficiency standards that exceed the energy requirements of building regulations.

EVORA EDGE will undertake analysis on whether it is cost effective for developers to use renewable energy, or low or zero carbon technologies, in order to meet a proposed council increase to the target emissions rate.

EVORA is delighted to call Guildford Borough Council a new client, and to be working with it on this interesting project which will potentially inform planning strategy in the borough for years to come.

Andrew Cooper, our EVORA EDGE director who will be heading up the study, says:

“This is an exciting step for EVORA, having only launched EVORA EDGE a few weeks ago to increase our technical and engineering capabilities. This new project demonstrates the scope of technical work that we are now able to provide to our clients.”


To learn more about us, or about EVORA EDGE specifically, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.


We already need a new Energy Consultant to join EVORA EDGE! Click here for details.

A Connected World: An Introduction to the Internet of Things (Part 1 of 3)

The world is becoming more interconnected than ever before. The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is an exciting development for many industries and disciplines. You do not have to be a technology expert to realise the potential of IoT.

This blog series takes you on a journey to demystify the IoT concept. Throughout the series, you will understand the implications for real estate investment and management and applications to energy and sustainability performance and we will give you an insight into our very own SIERA platform.


Let’s begin with the concept of the Internet of Things. What is it?

The IoT is a network of physical objects, an ecosystem of devices, buildings and other ‘things’ connected to one another electronically, through software, sensors and connections. Data flows between these ‘things’. They are internet-enabled with links between devices, apps and services, data and the cloud. This sits within something called the ‘Internet of Everything’ which is the connection of data, processes, people and things. As the world is becoming an increasingly interconnected place, some people have even called this phenomenon the 4th Industrial Revolution.


What’s all the fuss about?

It’s all about data and how it interacts with the ‘things’. Through data exchanges, we can begin to get a deeper understanding of the value that can be extracted from core processes and interactions. For real estate investment and management, buildings, people and energy performance forms part of the network. Later in the blog series, we explore the opportunities of IoT for the industry. Many industries are now future-proofing for IoT; attention has been drawn to big data and data management.

Gartner summarised it quite nicely by framing ‘data’ as the currency of the IoT, from which the value can truly be harnessed if the data can be translated to information which can create business transformation and inform strategy.


Four Impacts of the IoT

Impact 1:

The IoT will transform and shape the future for many industries including the commercial real estate sector

Impact 2:

Connectivity and platforms are crucial. There is a requirement that data can be accessed anytime and anywhere in the world. Whether you are in Hong Kong, New York or London – your data is there, anytime, anywhere, in any context and on any network.

Impact 3:

It is not just about connectivity, but accessibility, availability and security are also important. We found that in the real estate investment and management sector, data management has been a key issue – data is traditionally stored on numerous computers, held offline on paper and data loss has been a core risk. Nowadays, data is no longer restricted to a hard drive on a desktop computer, or a USB, but the cloud is a popular means to store data.

Impact 4:

A big focus on data. Data visualisation, data analytics and data mining approaches will be some of the ways to interrogate the data in more detail. Data validation and verification will be essential to question the data and ensure it is meaningful.


Sustainability Intelligence Environmental Reporting & Analysis (SIERA)

We are working hard at the leading-edge to understand our industry needs. We have adopted an agile development and management methodology which has enabled us to situate ourselves within a data-driven landscape. Get in touch to book a demo of SIERA today, which is our proprietary sustainability management software designed for the information age. We would love to have a personal conversation with you to assess your current infrastructure and to discover how SIERA could help you tap into new opportunities.

Part 2 of this series will focus on the implications and applications of IoT for commercial real estate investment management, sustainability and energy performance.


To speak to us about SIERA, or for any other enquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

EVORA Needs More Excellent People to Join Its Growing Team!

As EVORA’s exciting phase of growth continues, we are on the lookout for more outstanding candidates to come and join our close-knit team of dedicated professionals.


Energy Consultant

We only launched our new technical engineering division, EVORA EDGE, a few weeks ago, but Andrew and Neil are already so busy with new client work that we are recruiting for an Energy Consultant to support them. The reception to EVORA EDGE has been phenomenal: the unique skills that Andrew and Neil possess are clearly in high demand and they are enabling us to deliver client work that many of our competitors cannot (stay tuned to our blog for more news on this soon). This vacancy therefore represents an excellent opportunity to join an exciting and growing area of the business.

This role will be based in our Bolton office. Click here for full job details and to find out how to apply.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Energy Consultant vacancy for @evoraglobal based in its Bolton office. Apply today! #jobs #energy” quote=”EVORA is recruiting for an Energy Consultant for its Bolton office. Apply today!”]


Business Development Manager

Sorry, this position has now been filled!

This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for an excellent salesperson who is looking for the next step in their career to join a small but rapidly growing business. You will be following-up on the hot leads generated by our Marketing Team to sell our expert consultancy services and our visionary sustainability management software, SIERA. The successful candidate will go on to manage a team of Junior Business Development Associates and will lead on our sales strategy, reporting directly to the Marketing Director to ensure overall alignment of business strategy. This opportunity is only suitable for the most ambitious, proactive and diligent salesperson who is looking to advance his or her career. If that sounds like you, please apply today.

This role will be based in our Head Office in London. Click here for full job details and to find out how to apply.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Salesperson vacancy for @evoraglobal based in its London office. Apply today! #jobs #London” quote=”EVORA is recruiting for a Business Development Manager for its Head Office in London. Apply today!”]


Office Administrator

Sorry, this position has now been filled!

Last but by no means least, we need a truly outstanding Office Administrator to come and join the team in our Head Office. This incredibly varied, hands-on role is only suitable for someone with experience of simultaneously managing multiple administrative tasks in a busy office environment. You will be the go-to person for a team of 17 (soon to be 20!) and no two days will be the same. This opportunity is for you if you have office administration experience and you are looking for an exciting new challenge as part of a close-knit team in a growing business. With a front-of-house side to the role, it is perfect for a warm and friendly person with excellent people skills and a superb telephone manner.

This role will be based in our Head Office in London. Click here for full job details and to find out how to apply.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Office Administrator vacancy for @evoraglobal based in its London office. Apply today! #jobs #London” quote=”EVORA is recruiting for an Office Administrator for its Head Office in London. Apply today!”]


A note to all serious applicants!

Due to the incredibly high number of applications we receive, we cannot reply to each individually.

To stand the best chance of your application being reviewed, please make sure you:

  • first and foremost meet all the requirements listed on the job advert
  • send an up-to-date CV that is eye catching and well formatted
  • send a proper, personalised covering letter, which supports your CV and further demonstrates your suitability for the role and outlines why you want to work at EVORA

If you do those three things, you stand a far greater chance of catching our attention and making our shortlist of suitable candidates. Good luck!

The Role of Smart Metering in Slaying the Blackout Monster

Though the forecast for this week is mild, the current winter has seen the cold bite, and cold weather usually means more demand on power.

You may recall doom mongering headlines over the past few years predicting power blackouts as the National Grid would struggle to meet demand over the winter months. However, so far no such episodes have occurred. Steve Holliday, the former head of the National Grid, appeared on BBC News on Monday morning to defend the National Grid and endorse the Government’s latest capacity auctions for power generation to ensure supply.

Mr Holliday also pointed to several factors enabling the Grid to provide an efficient capacity, including Smart metering. This follows his comments in the Telegraph last year that metering for businesses will contribute four-fifths of the potential energy savings from smart control technology.

EVORA recognises the important role smart metering already plays in reducing energy consumption. As well as providing strategic advice in the provision of smart metering technology in buildings, EVORA has developed a Monitoring and Targeting (M&T) feature in SIERA, its sustainability management software, to help businesses visualise, be notified by, and act upon smart meter data.  This software takes in raw half-hourly data from source meters and presents practical graphical analysis to the end user supported by alerts and custom overlays, giving clear insight to reduce energy wastage.

The process of acquiring data and creating insightful and meaningful reporting is at the centre of our strategy for SIERA. The impact of Big Data and how EVORA is using it to deliver performance and value to businesses is set out in my last blog post.

The use of technology in energy consumption has never been greater as all parts of the energy supply chain, from power generators and the National Grid to consumers rely more and more on software and the Internet of Things to create an accurate picture of consumption that they can act upon. We see SIERA as part of this effort and look to work with our clients to constantly improve its capabilities in this field.

We are also pleased to hear that the lights aren’t going to go out… well, so we’ve been told.


To learn more about SIERA, or to request a demo, please contact us today.