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In 2006, when Gensler published the Faulty Towersreport, we were anticipating the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). They were a requirement of the European Union (under the Energy Performance for Buildings Directive) and were expected to be introduced in the United Kingdom early that year. The Gensler report surveyed the opinions of 100 property professionals, half of whom were property developers, the others investment managers of large portfolios.
At that time, the U.K. economy was still showing no signs of swerving from an unprecedented period of stability and growth, and the property market was booming. Nevertheless, some had nagging doubts as to whether this could all be sustained, and oil prices that year hit the dizzy heights of $75 per barrel. In 2006, the economic downturn from the bursting of the dot.com bubble in 2000 and 2001 looked like an unfortunate short-term