Buildings are responsible for 30–40% of carbon emissions, and improving energy efficiency not only lowers bills but also helps the environment. So why wouldn't you make upgrades where possible?
Retrofitting property is a massive task, however, as Jon Warren of Energiesprong explains in this issue, and although professionals are starting to look at the impact that efficiency has on value the picture is still to emerge clearly, professors Sarah Sayce and Sara Wilkinson observe.
A different kind of efficiency is in focus in Andrew Pollard's introduction to Place Partnership. This innovative public–private organisation aims to make the most of public-sector property by streamlining asset use and looking at what really works in real estate.
Continuing our investigation into the challenges of housing supply, Jan Ambrose asks why councils in England are having difficulty exercising their powers to bring empty properties back into use, and Dr Judy Kraatz covers research on the benefits of social housing in Australia.
Meanwhile, UK government proposals to end the use of section 21 evictions have caused consternation among landlords – will they help tenants get a fairer deal, or will they create frustration and financial loss for owners with knock-on effects for those looking to rent? Scott Goldstein explores the potential fallout.
On a more positive note, an increasing number of deposit disputes between landlords and tenants are being resolved without needing to go to adjudication thanks to a revised process, Steve Harriot of TDS reports.
Health and well-being certification is a new area for real estate but one that may soon become a significant means of differentiating assets, as Nick Hobbs explains. Alongside this piece, David Farr argues for the value that cycle parking facilities can add to commercial property as two wheels become an ever-more popular means of commuting.
Finally, a couple of important notes for readers. Elections for 15 market seats on the RICS Governing Council open on 17 October, so please get involved and cast your vote before 21 November.
A reminder, too, that the RICS Commercial Conference 2019 is on 12 December, and you only have until 18 October to get tickets at early-bird prices, so don't miss out. Look forward to seeing you there.