With the words ‘climate change’ on everybody’s lips, addressing sustainability in its widest sense is perhaps one of the most important issues facing the property sector, as the following special reports illustrate.

The EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is designed to get landlords up to scratch in terms of the efficiency of the premises they own. But as Alan Simpson of HBJ Gateley Wareing discusses, lack of clarity on the terms involved is likely to create a transactional backlog.

Denton Wilde Sapte partner Stephen Ashworth, meanwhile, takes tall buildings as his point of departure. They can beautify cities, he argues, but if not planned correctly they can end up being unsustainable ego monuments.

Sustainability also needs to be understood in terms of social integration. Eversheds partner Adrian Stanley says the Government’s affordable housing policy is leading to housing associations taking on an increasingly pivotal role.