Call: 01962 657180    email:  
Open Menu Schedule a Call

What are Digital Building Logbooks (and how can they boost sustainability)?

June 26, 2024

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

The National Retrofit Hub has published its guide to Digital Building Logbooks, which use data and personalised insights to enhance nationwide retrofit and inclusive sustainability.

In the quest for net zero and the broader green agenda, the need to find more efficient ways to conserve energy and contribute to sustainable construction has never been stronger. Recently, The National Retrofit Hub (NRH) has unveiled a new guide on Digital Building Logbooks: a vital tool for developing sustainability in the built environment. 

What are Digital Building Logbooks? Digital Building Logbooks track the lifecycle data of a building, compiling energy usage, maintenance records, and material specifications. They enable more efficient energy management, reduce waste, and support sustainable practices.

Here we share information from the Digital Building Logbooks guide, alongside how they can contribute to the path to net zero.


What are Digital Building Logbooks?

A Digital Building Logbook is a comprehensive, electronic repository of data capturing the lifecycle of a building. It’s a centralised platform used to manage and store various types of information that are essential for the efficient operation, maintenance, and management of a building. 

There is a lot that can be included in a Digital Building Logbook. Some of these pieces of information include: 

The overall aim of a Digital Building Logbook is to promote transparency, facilitate better decision-making, and improve the overall management and operational efficiency of the building. 


How do Digital Building Logbooks work alongside retrofit plans?

Digital Building Logbooks have the potential to massively shift how we approach retrofit projects. Their ability to hold key metrics – such as carbon emissions, energy consumption and performance indicators – mean that logbooks can provide unparalleled insights into the efficacy of retrofit interventions. In addition, they can be used as a tool for monitoring progress over a period of time, allowing for data-driven decision making and consistent progress.

Working alongside logbooks, retrofit plans provide a unique pathway for developing the current energy efficiency of an existing home. Some of the ways that they can support one another include:

Providing ALL of the building’s existing data for reference.

A Digital Building Logbook provides up-to-date information on the building’s structural, mechanical, and electrical systems, as well as historical data and performance metrics. These can help retrofit plans identify areas for improvement.

Improved planning and decision-making.

Utilising the accurate, detailed data available in a Digital Building Logbook, retrofit planners can conduct thorough assessments, set realistic goals and pinpoint the very best solutions.

Facilitating collaboration.

Digital Building Logbooks allow seamless collaboration and communication between stakeholders, such as building owners, architects, engineers, contractors and facility managers. They also provide real-time updates, making sure that everyone is on the same page continuously.

Enhanced project management. 

Throughout a retrofit process, a Digital Building Logbook helps project managers track progress, keep on top of documentation and stay on top of regulatory requirements, ensuring that all retrofit activities meet local building codes and standards.

Post-retrofit evaluation and monitoring.

Following the retrofit, a Digital Building Logbook can also help performance tracking, ongoing maintenance and continuous improvement.

Lifecycle management.

Remember – the retrofit is just one part of a building’s life cycle. In addition, the Digital Building Logbook facilitates long-term asset management as well as future retrofits and upgrades. 

What is the National Retrofit Hub guide on Digital Building Logbooks?

The NRH guide on Digital Building Logbooks has recently been released and will serve as a vital tool for those using the logbooks for the first time.

The document gives an overview of what Digital Building Logbooks are, outlining work to date, and exploring how the expansion of logbooks – with more detailed building information and renovation plans – could help scale the local delivery of good quality retrofit.

Supported by a matrix showcasing UK building data, the guide allows you to explore who holds what data, how it is accessed and used. NRH advises that it is a working database, and they encourage readers to get in touch if they are aware of any other sources of data on the UK’s buildings. 

You can find out more about the National Retrofit Hub and their Digital Building Logbooks here.

Or, to have a chat about your own greener construction roadmap, get in touch with a member of the Buildpass team.

More from the Buildpass Sustainable Construction Blog

More From Our Sustainability Blog

AECB Building Knowledge
BREEAM New Construction


Schedule a Call
Buildpass Logo 12 Foster Way Romsey Hampshire SO51 OAW Registered in England No. 11310114