Many commercial buildings are still highly wasteful despite design efforts. There is currently a lack of correlation between design (EPC) ratings and actual energy efficiency. Some recently built, low carbon certified buildings show energy use twice above net zero compatible targets. Overall, UK offices use around 250% more energy than achievable best practice.
CUBE tackles the issue of wasted energy consumption in commercial buildings resulting from occupier usage as well as encourages the uptake of low hanging fruit, such as building reprogramming and minor refurbishments.
CUBE is the first UK-wide competition dedicated to supporting commercial buildings to reduce energy consumption through gamification and behaviour change. Through friendly competition, CUBE brings landlords, building managers, and occupiers together to reduce their climate impact by improving energy performance in their buildings. Throughout the year of the competition, building occupiers are motivated to work alongside building managers and landlords to develop action plans on how to reduce energy consumption. There are prizes and awards for:
- Top performer
- Most absolute reduction
- Top performer by sector
- Most innovative
- Most engaged
Participants first submit three years of historical energy consumption data onto the dedicated candidate platform (as well as relevant building characteristics, such as energy sources) to develop the building’s baseline. Throughout the year, each building submits monthly energy consumption data, normalised for weather events and changes in occupancy rates, which is compared against the baseline to determine the % energy reduction achieved each month.
The platform also provides a collection of resources that support participants to develop highly functioning green teams to develop the action plans, including relevant research, eco-nudge posters, and templates that can be used by those teams to engage all occupiers.
Through the meetings hosted by participants throughout the year, candidates have the opportunity to meet up and discuss challenges, opportunities and conduct walkthroughs of buildings that have engaged in creative approaches to reduce consumption.
CUBE cuts energy use by an average 12% and up to 55% in a single year, just by changing behaviour and without major investment.
Each building is considered an entrant into the competition. A fee of £2500 per building for the entire year covers access to all resources, platform, candidate meetings and the award ceremony. Companies wishing to including 5+ buildings benefit from a significant price reduction. Public buildings, including local councils and universities, also have a reduced fee depending on its size and number of buildings it would like to enter.
Within this fee, participants also benefit from external PR opportunities, including media features and interviews, as well as press coverage during the Award ceremony.
The competition has been running in France for over 6 years, in over 400 buildings of various sizes.
Orange in France achieved 55% energy savings in one year. They have engaged in a wide range of activities throughout the CUBE year to achieve such noteworthy reductions, including the following:
- Developing a dedicated CUBE Strategy to harmonise across many of the different buildings engaged
- Engaging with an app providers to be able to send regular eco-nudges to all building occupiers throughout the year, including monthly challenges such as “one month of taking the steps”
- General reprogramming of lighting and elevators on the weekends and when the building is not in use