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BREEAM….ahead in your sustainable buildings

Our short guide to understanding WHY you should adopt BREEAM and HOW to successfully achieve it in your building projects..

 

Your company and your amazing projects will benefit from implementing BREEAM in numerous ways:

  • Be seen as the best – A BREEAM assessment is regarded by the UK’s construction sector as the measure of best practice in environmental design and management

 

  • Potentially sell or rent a property quicker! – It can promote the environmental credentials and benefits of a building to potential purchasers and tenants

 

  • Give added value to your clients – It will enable to demonstrate your firm’s variety of skills in delivering environmentally friendly and energy efficient buildings

 

  • Be seen as an innovator – BREEAM encourages designers and contractors to seek innovative ways of delivering projects and to consider environmental aspects at a much earlier point in a project

 

  • Potentially increase value of a property – Buildings certified under BREEAM will have lower running costs, lower water, less energy consumption, less waste and often incorporate passive design, renewable energy and responsibly sourced materials

 

  • Be part of the community – The certification shows that the building reduces ecological damage from construction and therefore adds value to the local community

 

  • Promote Healthy living – BREEAM buildings provide a healthier environment for users

A BREEAM certification means more than just a sustainable building! It is well known that tenants are more likely to be attracted to green buildings, which means more competitive rental income!

 

So what is BREEAM?

Firstly, did you actually realise that the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) was developed 25 years ago?  As a comprehensive assessment system used to demonstrate a building’s sustainability, BREEAM is without doubt a success story for the construction industry with over 425,000 buildings assessed so far.

BREEAM covers issues relating to occupant health and wellbeing, ranging from the quality of indoor air and thermal comfort to good daylight. Therefore, occupants are happy, healthier and more productive. The construction industry will also need to meet tougher Building Regulations to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the built environment and therefore, sustainable buildings will become even stronger.

A BREEAM assessment considers the entire life of the building and it should start right from planning stage.

An initial assessment will take place at the early planning stage to establish the potential performance of the building. Issues that have been targeted will be monitored and improved throughout the project to receive a full score at the end.  The assessment will consider a host of areas including:

  • Choice of site and building design, including their ecological impact.
  • Nature and sourcing of building materials. It assesses
  • Management of the construction process, including workforce and transportation
  • Energy use issues.

Therefore, in order to benefit from a green building and manage to achieve the highest standards for building control sign off, the design and construction teams will need to think about the whole life cycle of the building. Post-occupancy evaluations can be carried out to review the design and construction process in order to collect information on user satisfaction and building performance. Why wait until after completion, which could very likely be more costly, but still achievable.

 

How to achieve BREEAM Certification

Our EAL Consult experts have the knowledge and experience in achieving the highest ratings in a range of different BREEAM schemes. We become an integral part of the project and work closely with your design team right from the start to advise you on how to achieve the desired rating.breeam-sample-pic-3

The process will include three different stages:

  1. A pre-assessment report
  2. A design stage assessment, where we collect evidence from you and then provide you with a design stage certificate
  3. A final post construction assessment, where we collect evidence from a site inspection and a final certificate is handed over with the rating of the building

 

Obstacles and Challenges

BREEAM covers a full range of sustainability issues, including Health and Wellbeing issues. A problem that often occurs, especially in big commercial developments in London, is that these issues can be easy to overlook when engineering focuses attention on the major construction decisions. It is therefore important for a BREEAM assessor to be part of the design team from an early stage in order to highlight these type of issues that are important when aiming for a high score.

Most major development projects consist of very large design teams, each with their part to play in the BREEAM process. The challenge with this, is ensuring that each individual knows exactly what’s required from them and when their work is due. Our BREEAM tracker supplied by the BREEAM Assessor identifies which elements are the responsibility of each party in the procurement of new building. Thus, avoiding difficulties of keeping track with the entire project team.

The scoring for BREEAM is dependent mainly upon activities related to the developer, e.g site selection, existing transport links, conditions associated with planning (car parking capacity, cycle storage) and the contractor.

A number of BREEAM requirements are more easily achieved if the contractor is well prepared and has effective systems in place for managing an assessment.  so that they can swiftly co-ordinate all the evidence required for each credit and the documentation required.

Good communication is the key for delivering the BREEAM certificate faster! EAL Consult can supply the relevant certified BREEAM certificate, delivered by a licensed organization, at various stages in a building’s life cycle.

We understand some documents like surveys/reports can take longer to be completed but we make sure to gather all other evidence and move forward with the assessment. Time and deadlines are important to us!

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Another challenge for BREEAM is how to drive a greater proportion of new construction to achieve a higher rating when the cost plan is a major barrier.

BRE Research has found that specifying sustainability measures during the design and procurement stages can bring cost savings without adding significantly to upfront costs.
Targeting the higher BREEAM ratings, and more challenging levels of sustainability, incurs some additional cost, but this is typically less than 2%. The return, according to the Canadian Green Build Association, is 10%.  The investigation of lifecycle operational costs showed that any additional cost can be paid back within two to five years through utility savings.

 

The construction industry must ALWAYS guide clients in best practice.

The right approach, taken by all parties, can deliver a highly rated, highly efficient and cost-effective building with features that will genuinely benefit the occupants and the surrounding environment.

For big projects it should be ensured that management systems are in place prior to the appointment of design teams and contractors.

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Finally Remember! A BREEAM is for LIFE

A BREEAM certification means more than just a sustainable building! It is well known that tenants are more likely to be attracted to green buildings, which means more competitive rental income.

If you feel you need further understanding or simply need some advice to get your desired BREEAM rating then please feel free to contact us 020 8930 5886.

 

 

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