What is BREEAM?
Despite having been around for over 20 years and having had more than 1 million buildings registered for assessment, BREEAM (BRE’s Environmental Assessment Method) is still a mystery to many people within the construction industry. However, despite the popular misconception, BREEAM is not something which is shrouded in secrecy and assessors are not holders of some closely coveted wisdom. To put it simply, BREEAM is an auditable method of assessing the environmental performance of a development by considering a number of different environmental issues.
BREEAM assessments are generally carried out on new buildings and/or on major refurbishment projects. Assessments are usually undertaken based on the design stage commitments with the final ‘As Built’ development being checked for compliance A BREEAM assessment is split into 9 main sections, each covering a different environmental issue. Each section is then further split into a number of credits which are awarded based on the development achieving a number of set environmental criteria. These credits are then added together to produce a single overall score and given a rating on a scale from Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.
The full BREEAM credit guidance document can be downloaded free of charge from www.breeam.org/
If you are wanting/required to achieve a BREEAM rating, then you will require the services of a licensed BREEAM assessor. It is strongly recommended that the BREEAM assessor is appointed as early in the design process as possible (in order to ensure that the maximum rating can be achieved in the most practical way). The BREEAM assessor will typically stay involved throughout the entire construction process and up until completion of the final ‘post construction’ assessment. Full details of our approach to BREEAM assessments can be found under the BREEAM tab at www.peaksustainability.co.uk
In reality, achieving a BREEAM rating is quite often a lot of work. However, our advice is to employ an assessor who specialises in BREEAM and who includes advice and support within their scope of works, as this will save time and money in the long run.