Raise the Roof Standards: New funding models unlock benefits of refurbishment

Much of the UK’s older commercial and industrial building stock is in need of refurbishment, and roofs are one of the most common areas in need of attention.
Patched-up roofs up and down the country are currently maintained almost on the brink of
the end of their useful lives. This causes big problems for tenants, in the form of high energy bills and envelope weather-tightness issues, and equally creates huge challenges for landlords when they come to re-lease their buildings. But the capital cost of roof refurbishment can be prohibitive, and the question of who pays and who benefits; tenant or landlord, adds a further barrier to getting this important work done. Kingspan Energy has launched a new refurbishment offering to help alleviate this strain, giving the UK’s building stock the opportunity for much-needed improvement, and benefiting tenants and landlords alike.

Most commercial and industrial premises owned by large institutional landlords are let to tenants on “full repairing and insuring” (FRI) leases. Once tenants have signed the lease they are responsible for repairing the structure of the building, including the roof, and possibly even replacing it, if anything goes wrong during the term of the lease. Either the tenant will need to employ and pay consultants and contractors to fix the problem, or the landlord will, recharging the cost of the works to the tenant under the service change mechanism contained in the lease. Either way, in theory, the buck stops with the tenant.

But poor condition roofs are still a big problem for landlords too. If an empty building has a poor roof the landlord will struggle to let it on FRI terms. Any potential tenants’ surveyors will spot the problems and the landlord will have to pay for the roof to be patched up or replaced.

In an ideal world, every roof that needs it would be replaced, allowing tenants and landlords to benefit from the multiple positives that a more modern, structurally sound roof provides. However, the high upfront capital cost of a roof replacement, coupled with a lack of alternatives to finance these works, often prevents this from happening. Roofs are patched up time and again, losing integrity and functionality each time, until there is absolutely no alternative but to replace them.

Landlords and tenants recognise the need for these vital refurbishment works, but lack the funds to finance them. That is where Kingspan Energy comes in.

Kingspan Energy has launched a new range of market-leading solutions to help landlords and tenants to get these projects moving and deliver them now, without having to pay 100% of the capital cost upfront. By combining new high thermal performance roof panels with technologies like solar PV and LED lighting, Kingspan Energy offers the innovative products the building needs, while its unique funding model provides the capital that landlords and tenants so desperately require.

Blog ImageThe Kingspan Energy package is tailor-made to client requirements, and combined with traditional services and works performed by the consultancy and contracting markets. Kingspan Energy manages the roof refurbishment from beginning to end, taking away the burden from the building owner. It allows for the roof to be repaired and upgraded with a further installation of a rooftop solar PV system.

The PV system is of course good for the environment, but it is installed for reasons of sound commercial sense. It offers a host of benefits that work in harmony with the broader business objectives of the building owner, and their tenant. Not only do both parties benefit from the better performance of an improved roof, but they also take advantage of the reduced energy costs and strong carbon credentials of solar PV electricity generation.

With the long-term forecasting for on-grid energy prices making grim reading for businesses, the energy security and price benefits of an off-grid system will become an increasing driver for the best tenants. In fact, poorly insulated roofs, and a lack of alternative energy sources, is likely to soon become a big issue for tenants when seeking new premises to lease; even in areas with a shortage of large warehouse space.

So while tenants benefit from purchasing electricity at discounted prices and the reduction in heating, cooling and lighting bills that comes with a more efficient roof, landlords benefit by gaining additional income from their property portfolio and a marked improvement in the quality, integrity and marketability of their property assets. And of course, the market benefits too, as these refurbishment projects generate more business for consultants and contractors. A very rare win-win-win.

Roof replacements can be managed and financed in more innovative ways today than ever before, and Kingspan Energy is involved in this process at every step of the way, giving unrivalled assurances in terms of quality, credibility and innovation. It will be fascinating to see how the UK’s commercial and industrial building stock is changed for the better as landlords unlock the potential of their assets using new funding models like these.

By Peter Turley, Kingspan Energy.

Published by Refurb Projects (click here to view the article).


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