Photo credit: Vistry Partnerships
Photo credit: Vistry Partnerships
BREEAM is one of the world’s leading sustainability assessment methods and is a brilliant framework for building a better future. It:
- Sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and construction
- Is used to describe a building’s overall environmental performance
- Addresses several life-cycle stages such as New Construction, Refurbishment and In-Use
- Is measured in credits within nine different categories: management, health & wellbeing, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, land use & ecology, and pollution. These credits accumulate to give you a final score that determines your rating of Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent or Outstanding.
“We spend a lot of time supporting people like you through the process. Our focus is on demystifying the BREEAM requirements, working with you to ensure you are clear on what practical processes and procedures need to be implemented on site,” says Michael Brogden, operations director at Darren Evans.
To ensure sustainability is fully embedded into the design and way of working, engage your BREEAM Assessor early in the design stage. This avoids it becoming a more expensive ‘add-on’ later in the process. This will enable you to gain as many credits as possible and help you achieve the highest possible rating.
- Start early to achieve outstanding status
To achieve BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding status, it’s vital to involve a BREEAM Assessor at the start of your project.
Under BREEAM 2018, several reports need to have been completed and considered in the early design before planning submission. Failure to do this makes it difficult to achieve Excellent and impossible to achieve Outstanding.
- Invest upfront to save time and money later on
“Not capturing discussions and decisions made at RIBA stages 0-2 is one of the biggest mistakes we see,” says Michael.
“Capturing early-stage discussions and decisions within the BREEAM framework enables you to achieve BREEAM credits that are often overlooked at the design stage. So often we see projects that have done the work but failed to document it, and so miss out on being awarded the credits.”
- Choose a company that offers a wide range of services
BREEAM assessments require a range of interlinked services. Partnering with a company that offers a variety of different services will simplify the co-ordination between different areas. The BREEAM assessor in that company can play a dynamic role, tweaking, adjusting and devising creative solutions.
- Some BREEAM categories are more important than others
Some categories such as Ecology, Waste, Water and Materials carry more weight than others. Focusing on achieving BREEAM credits in these areas is a cost-effective way of passing your assessment.
Watch out for:
BREEAM 2018 is very different from the 2014 requirements.
“For example, the 2018 standards require calculations to be done much earlier in the process, and in some areas require calculations that many projects will not have considered before. Technical specifications have also changed, so what you’ve done before is not always relevant,” says Michael.
- Charlotte Hardy, our customer services manager, worked in the BREEAM team at BRE for 12 years. She led the development of the 2018 BREEAM scheme so knows it inside out.
- Let us help you. Send us your plans and any other information you have. Michael and Charlotte will then take you through how we can help and discuss next steps
Wherever you are in the construction process, we can support you to make buildings more energy efficient and sustainable. If you’d like some specific advice, please upload relevant documents such as design drawings. That will enable us to give you bespoke support more quickly.