Leading multi-disciplinary real estate consultancy Virtus Consult, has completed a 2-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Oxford Brookes University to refine and promote a holistic methodology for enhancing energy performance in existing buildings.
The partnership followed a major energy efficiency improvement and carbon reduction project undertaken for an NHS Trust, which saved the client 18% of its energy costs through guaranteed savings (equivalent to £900k pa) with a payback of less than 5 years.
For this project to deliver such exceptional results, Virtus Consult developed a unique 5-stage process, which it believes would offer similar savings for other NHS Trusts seeking to deliver the requirements of the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy, whilst powering, heating and lighting ageing buildings.
Given its expertise in sustainable construction, Oxford Brookes University was the natural choice to support Virtus Consult’s ambition to validate, refine and package its unique methodology for energy management, which could then be promoted as a consultancy product.
Jan Ponsford, director at Virtus Consult, commented: “Developing an innovative approach to energy management for one NHS Trust is one thing, proving the results can be replicated with others is something else altogether.
“The Associate we recruited as part of the KTP programme, first undertook a huge amount of market research to establish the key drivers for Trusts to hit their carbon emissions targets and 5% cost reduction targets, as mandated by the NHS.
“Our Associate in the role of Energy Performance Programme Analyst soon discovered that an impediment to the successful implementation of our consultancy product was the method by which public bodies could engage our services, with accepted frameworks very much the preferred route.”
As a result of the work undertaken on the KTP project, Virtus Consult was appointed to three different frameworks: LHC Energy Efficiency and Refurbishment Framework; LGSS Construction Consultancy Services Framework; Bloom Framework (formerly NEPRO)
Ponsford continues: “The impact of our position on these frameworks was almost immediate, with Virtus Consult securing energy sustainability projects for three new NHS organisations, expected to deliver total annual savings in the region of £640k.
“Virtus Consult is in a strong position, with an unrivalled capability and expertise in energy sustainability. We now have a validated methodology that can help organisations across the public and private sectors, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions through demand and supply side improvements.”
The project validated the Virtus Consult methodology and the final grading from UK Innovate, the government agency tasked with driving science and technology innovations, assessed the project as ‘very good’.
The assessment and the results of the project, stand testament to the value of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme and what it delivers for the organisations involved.