BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is a sustainability assessment methodology for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings; it was first launched in 1990. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice sustainable design and build. The assessment addresses a range of environmental and sustainable issues which helps developers and designers to prove their buildings credentials.
Within BREEAM, there are ten categories all of which have mandatory elements, which are Management, Health and Wellbeing, Energy, Transport, Water, Materials, Waste, Land Use & Ecology, Pollution and Innovation.
BREEAM offers assurance to clients and construction teams that the standard of environmental practice is being adopted on their projects. It is also very common for planning authorities to request BREEAM certification as criteria of planning approval for new developments. Having BREEAM certification can also be used as a marketing tool for potential buyers, tenants or users of your building.
BREEAM is a three stage process. The first stage is Pre-Assessment, where the design and specifications are reviewed and improvements advice is offered to provide direction and assurance that the required certification level is achievable.
Second stage is Design where interim certification is issued based upon design intent and development.
The third stage is Post Construction where design intent is checked against as built and final certification is issued with the final rating awarded.
The levels of certification are Unclassified, Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding and ratings are offered based on the following scoring:
≥55% Very Good
Currently most planning schemes and policies across the UK stipulate a minimum ‘Very Good’ level to be achieved in the case of Education facilities the aim is for ‘Excellent’ with an aspiration of ‘Outstanding’.
BREEAM is predominately a UK certification, however there are equivalent schemes in other parts of the world including LEED in the USA, CASBEE in Japan, Greenstar in Australia and HQE in France.
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