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Realising opportunities for resource efficiency through surveying. Introducing the Refurbishment Survey Toolkit (Pilot). What is resource efficiency ?. Material Quantity. Energy. Water.

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Realising opportunities for resource efficiency through surveying

Realising opportunities for resource efficiency through surveying

Introducing the Refurbishment Survey Toolkit (Pilot)

What is resource efficiency
What is resource efficiency?

Material Quantity



“Resource efficient construction makes best use of materials, water and energy over the lifecycle of built assets to minimise embodied and operational carbon”

Recycled Content





Components of resourceefficiencythat can be influenced by a building surveyor


End of Life



Why be more resource efficient
Why be more resource efficient?

Business benefits of resource efficient construction include:

  • Cost savings;

  • Risk reduction;

  • Opportunities for innovation;

  • Compliance with regulations, standards and planning requirements;

  • Supporting industry objectives; and

  • Improved reputation.

Realising opportunities for resource efficiency through surveying

The need for resource efficient refurbishment

  • Approximately 70% of buildings that will be present in 2050 are in existence

  • Significant refurbishment of buildings required in order to meet the Government’s carbon budgets

  • Effective refurbishment can offer considerable benefit

Realising opportunities for resource efficiency through surveying


  • Given the scale of refurbishment required there exists huge opportunity to improve resource efficiency in terms of:

    • Selection of appropriate materials

    • Reducing waste

    • Improving operational efficiency

Background to the project
Background to the project

  • WRAP has undertaken a range of projects related to refurbishment (research / engagement / case studies)

  • Opportunities to improve resource efficiency of refurbishment are currently being missed

Surveyors have a key role to play

Surveyors and the construction supply chain
Surveyors and the construction supply chain

  • The influence of the building surveyor:

  • At concept stage the surveyor can provide strategic advice on schematic development plans

  • At detailed design stage they can advise on alternative design plans

  • Alternatively they can advise clients before a commitment is made to purchase a real estate asset

Introducing the refurbishment survey toolkit project
Introducing the Refurbishment Survey Toolkit project


Assemble working group of experts to test and understand:

  • Barriers / opportunities

  • Advantages

  • Disadvantages....

    ....of a resource efficient approach

    Identify what is required to increase awareness and help surveyors to deliver more resource efficient refurbishment projects

Introducing the working group
Introducing the working group

Patricia Newman Practice

Feedback from working group
Feedback from Working Group

What are the potential advantages / disadvantages of a more resource efficient approach?

  • Advantages

  • Identify and capture benefits

  • Closer engagement with the client / supply chain

  • Reputation

  • Disadvantages

  • Finance / time implications

  • Information overload

  • Up-skilling / re-skilling

How to overcome the disadvantages
How to overcome the disadvantages

  • Demonstrate the business case through evidence and real life case studies

  • Provide quick to use, free guidance

  • Ensure the supply chain is committed to resource efficiency and collaborate from top downwards (and vice versa)

  • Obtain endorsement from clients, trade bodies, etc

What does the surveyor need to improve resource efficiency
What does the surveyor need to improve Resource Efficiency?

  • Clear remit from client

  • Information about the scope of works

  • Understand key stakeholders

  • Awareness of quick wins and success factors

  • Knowledge of where to go for more information

Other findings from working group
Other findings from working group

  • Extent of influence dependent on the scale of project

  • There are many areas relating to low carbon refurbishment that the surveyor may not currently addressing but can do so with correct guidance

  • The remit and ability of the surveyor to influence Resource Efficiency strongly linked to the Project Brief that they were allocated

Specification for toolkit derived from working group
Specification for toolkit (derived from working group)

  • Simple and quick to use

  • Explains Resource Efficiency and associated benefits

  • Describes process for embedding Resource Efficiency through procurement process

  • Provides example quick win opportunities

  • Signposts to further information

Introducing the refurbishment survey toolkit pilot
Introducing the Refurbishment Survey Toolkit (Pilot)

Next Page


Process of addressing Resource Efficiency

Further Information





  • Free to use

  • Supported by RICS

  • Informed through working group of industry specialists

How to use the toolkit
How to use the toolkit

1) Background

Click here to understand what Resource Efficiency (RE) means and why it is of relevance to clients and surveyors

Click here to understand the Resource Efficiency actions that can be applied at each construction stage.

2) Process of addressing Resource Efficiency

2a) Procurement

Click here to view WRAP's recommended approach to resource efficient procurement and understand how to embed this within your projects

Click here to view the key Resource Efficiency considerations that may be applicable to your project (and understand the associated benefits). Links to case studies and business cases are provided.

2b) Survey

Click here to view relevant information such as legislation, environmental assessment and useful websites for different UK regions.

3) Further Information


  • Explains actions for clients and surveyors (based on project stages)

  • Provides links to subsequent sections

Explaining the procurement process
Explaining the procurement process



Project Specific Resource Efficiency Brief

(RMP scoping output)

Contract Clause


Project Implementation



Resource Management Plan

(Management framework)

nThe Policy Statement declares the high level commitment (and typically contains actions and goals for being more resource efficient).

nThe Project Specific Resource Efficiency Brief details the actions to be taken based on project specific circumstances.

nThe Contract Clause formalises the approach and requires adherence to the agreed actions (e.g. through the Resource Management Planning process).

nThe Project Implementation stage defines the information that should be gathered to evidence actions.

Click on each link to view more information about each step of the process and model wording to be used in your own documents

The resource efficiency survey
The Resource Efficiency survey

  • Section split into four Resource Efficiency categories:

  • For each category the following information is provided:

  • Links to business cases

  • Links to case studies

  • List of quick win opportunities





Business case and case studies materials
Business case and case studies - Materials

Case study:62-64 Seymour Street

Refurbishment of 5 storey Victorian residential

block; mixed use.

- Set 'Cradle to Gate' targets for embodied carbon

- Concrete frame - 439tCO2e (50% GGBS)

- Cladding 740tCO2e

- Transport study demonstrated a 30-40% contribution of total embodied carbon of precast concrete due to transportation

- Analysis of three suppliers (Lincolnshire, Dublin and Brussels) local supplier used despite higher cost.

Optimising Materials Use On Site


Numerous opportunities exist throughout the survey, design and construction stages to embed Resource Efficiency in a refurbishment project through simple consideration of the materials used.

Equally, organisations can take advantage of opportunities to reduce costs through considered material specification, with lifetime maintenance and management costs typically around five times greater than the cost of initial construction.

View full case study

  • Understanding the business case

  • Throughout the construction sector clients are expecting more from designers and consultants. A particular challenge is keeping costs down whilst meeting the high sustainability standards sought by planners, investors and occupiers. Resource use (materials, energy and water) is an increasingly important component of both cost and environmental impact:

  • since 2000, resource costs have increased by ~150%. Real energy and water costs are up ~120% and 60% respectively in the last decade; and

  • construction materials are responsible for ~10% of UK carbon emissions.

View full business case

What next links with tablet based reporting systems
What next? Links with ‘Tablet’ based reporting systems

  • Tablet based, ‘Cloud’ reporting tools are gradually becoming normal practice for conducting on-site surveys for many practices of all sizes.

  • WRAP is in discussions with leading ‘Cloud’ reporting software companies to develop a ‘resource efficient’ cloud based reporting tool – watch this space.