BREEAM – Building Research Establishment

• the first version for assessing new office buildings was launched in 1990
• This was followed by versions for other buildings including superstores,
industrial units and existing offices
• A version of BREEAM for new homes called EcoHomes was launched in
• This scheme was later used as the basis of the Code for Sustainable Homes
• This was developed by BRE for the UK Government in 2006/7 and replaced
EcoHomes in England and Wales.
• An extensive update of all BREEAM schemes in 2008 resulted in the
introduction of mandatory post-construction reviews, minimum standards and
innovation credits.
• International versions of BREEAM were also launched that year.
• The latest major update in 2011 resulted in the launch of BREEAM New
Construction, which is now used to assess and certify all new UK buildings
• Projected Date for next update
TIMELINE Quick History of BREEAM
• Work on creating BREEAM began at Building Research Establishment
(BRE) (based in Watford, UK) in 1988
The Netherlands – the Dutch Green Building Council operates BREEAM NL Spain – the Instituto
Tecnológico de Galicia operates BREEAM ES Norway – the Norwegian Green Building Council
operates BREEAM NOR Sweden – the Swedish Green Building Council operates BREEAM SE
Germany – the German Institute for Sustainable Real Estate (DIFNI) is operating BREEAM DE
Austria – DIFNI is operating BREEAM AT Switzerland – DIFNI is adapting BREEAM CH
Luxembourg – DIFNI is adapting BREEAM LU
National Scheme Operators
• Energy: operational energy and carbon dioxide (CO2)
• Management:
management and procurement
• Health and Wellbeing: indoor and external issues (noise, light, air,
quality etc)
• Transport: transport-related CO2 and location related factors
• Water consumption and efficiency
• Materials: embodied impacts of building materials, including
lifecycle impacts like embodied carbon dioxide
• Waste: construction resource efficiency and operational waste
management and minimisation
• Pollution: external air and water pollution
• Land Use: type of site and building footprint
• Ecology: ecological value, conservation and enhancement of the
The total number of points or credits gained in each section is multiplied by an
environmental weighting factor which takes into account the relative importance of each
CATEGORIES Environmental Impact
BREEAM rewards performance above regulation which delivers
environmental, comfort or health benefits. BREEAM awards points or ‘Credits’
and groups the environmental impacts as follows:
BREEAM International New Construction is the BREEAM standard for
assessing the sustainability of new residential and non-residential buildings in
countries around the world, except for the UK and other countries with a
national BREEAM scheme (see below). This scheme makes use of
assessment criteria that take account of the circumstances, priorities, codes
and standards of the country or region in which the development is located.
BREEAM In-Use is a scheme to help building managers reduce the running
costs and improve the environmental performance of existing buildings. It has
three parts – Parts 1 (building asset) and 2 (building management) are
relevant to all non-domestic, commercial, industrial, retail and institutional
buildings. Part 3 (occupier management) of the BREEAM In-Use certification
scheme is currently restricted to offices.
SCOPE The focus areas of BREEAM
BREEAM New Construction is the BREEAM standard against which the
sustainability of new, non-residential buildings in the UK is assessed.
Developers and their project teams use the scheme at key stages in the
design and procurement process to measure, evaluate, improve and reflect
the performance of their buildings.
BREEAM Communities focuses on the master planning of whole
communities. It is aimed at helping construction industry professionals to
design places that people want to live and work in, are good for the
environment and are economically successful.
Very Good
* there are additional criteria for achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating
SCOPE The focus areas of BREEAM
BREEAM Refurbishment provides a design and assessment method for
sustainable housing refurbishment projects, helping to cost effectively improve
the sustainability and environmental performance of existing dwellings in a
robust way. A scheme for non-housing refurbishment projects is being
developed and is targeted for launch in early 2014. The launch date will be
announced once the piloting and independent peer review processes has
been completed.
SCOPE The focus areas of BREEAM
BREEAM New Construction Assessment
BREEAM New Construction Assessment
BREEAM Key Performance Indicators
BREEAM General Information
Minimum Standards
BREEAM General Information
BREEAM Score Card
On top of the BREEAM assessor fees for the time allowance, BRE certification
fees must be paid. Currently these are £1,230 (for the design stage and post
construction – same cost if just doing the post-construction stage
Additional fees apply for BREEAM Other Buildings.
The time for completing the process (design stage and post-construction
may take anything from three months to three years depending on the type of
building, type of assessment, project programme and how quickly the required
documentation is provided by the project team to the BREEAM Assessor.
BREEAM Criterias
Innovation Credits
Innovation credits are awarded for either complying with pre-defined BREEAM
issue exemplary level requirements, through the appointment of a BREEAM
Accredited Professional or Suitably Qualified Assessor or via application to
BRE Global to have a particular building feature, system or process approved
ASSESSMENT Stage Wise Procedure
ASSESSMENT Stage Wise Procedure
It is essential to ensure that the scheme is appropriately registered with the
BRE. This is done by completing and returning the registration checklist. Once
registered, the scheme is then protected from future changes and updates to the
This stage is undertaken by design teams wanting to establish a realistic
baseline for a development from which they can explore the options available to
enhance its performance. Pre-assessments are normally undertaken for funding,
planning or viability purposes and are generally undertaken as early as possible
in the design process, before the design and servicing options have been
The process starts with the assessor meeting with the design team to talk
through the BREEAM criteria and to develop a score based on commitments
made in the meeting and using any other information available at that time. This
meeting can take 2-3 hours. After the meeting the design team will be given a
period of time to review the commitments made in the meeting and to respond to
the assessor with any further comments or information. After this point, and with
the rating agreed, the assessor will complete and issue the pre-assessment
The Pre-assessment report is designed to show how, based on the information
and commitments provided, the development is capable of achieving a certain
ASSESSMENT Stage Wise Procedure
ASSESSMENT Stage Wise Procedure
Initial Guidance / Design & Procurement Assessment:
The Design and Procurement (D&P) assessment is the first official stage in the
BREEAM assessment process and is undertaken for the majority of BREEAM
projects. A D&P assessment should be started as early as possible in the design
stage in order to ensure that the development picks up as many credits as
possible in the most pragmatic and cost effective way.
The first stage in the D&P assessment process is for the assessor to meet with
the design team in order to establish an ‘agreed’ list of credits to be pursued
which will enable the required rating to be achieved. This meeting can take
between 2 and 3 hours.
After the design team meeting, the assessor will prepare a guidance report
which will detail the performance requirements for each credit. In addition the
assessor will provide an information required schedule (IRS) which will confirm
the documentation required for each credit.
The design team will then have an agreed period in which to supply the relevant
information to the assessor. Throughout this time, the assessor will continually
update and re-issue the IRS to reflect the information received. The assessor
will also be available during this time to provide support and assistance to the
design team.
Once all the information has been received/the agreed target has been
achieved, the assessor will submit the D&P assessment report to the BRE for
quality assurance and issue of the D&P (Interim) certificate.
It is recommended that the design stage assessment is completed prior to the
start of works on site or as soon as possible after works commence.
Post Construction Review:
The post construction review (PCR) is undertaken upon practical completion of
the development. The main purpose of the post construction review is to ensure
that the ‘as built’ development meets the standards committed to during the
design and procurement stage.
ASSESSMENT Stage Wise Procedure
Whilst there is no formal BREEAM construction stage, Peak Sustainability
continues to offer support to the design team to ensure that, if not yet complete,
the appropriate information is provided for the design stage assessment and
also to provide ongoing advice with regards to the preparation and recording of
evidence for the post construction review.
Once all the information has been received/the agreed target has been
achieved, the assessor will submit the PCR assessment report to the BRE for
quality assurance and issue of the PCR (Final) certificate.
ASSESSMENT Stage Wise Procedure
The post construction review starts with a site visit by the assessor. This visit
can take 2-3 hours as the assessor collects photographic evidence of the
various systems, materials and features of the development. It is recommended
that the site visit takes place as soon after PC as possible in order to prevent
credits being lost as a result of changes made by future occupants.
After the site visit, the assessor will prepare a post construction information
required schedule (IRS) which will confirm the ‘as built’ documentation required
for each credit. The design team will then have a period of up to 12 weeks in
which to supply the relevant ‘as built’ information to the assessor. Throughout
this time, the assessor will continually update and re-issue the IRS to reflect the
information received. The assessor will also be available during this time to
provide support and assistance to the design team.
190 GBP
250 GBP
1230 GBP
2.Clients are required to pass an on-line test prior to registering an their
first asset. The cost of the test is 75 GBP.
3.BREEAM New construction certification is based on an on-line self
assessment which is audited by an independent BREEAM Assessor. The
assessor charges a market based fee dependent upon the complexity of
the audit which is generally in the range of 5,000 GBP. Engaging an
external auditor is a mandatory part of the process.
4.Project Consultant – Typical fees range from 5,000 – 10,000 GBP for a
BREEAM assessor to assist in preparing the necessary
documentation. Use of a consultant is not a requirement for BREEAM
certification, indeed the system is designed so that the client can complete
the initial assessment in-house. The assessor acting as consultant does
not need to be independent and is often an in-house resource, however
this assessor can not also audit the Assessment.
FEE For New Construction
Certification Fee – Per Part
Total (3 parts)
Waitrose Supermarket, Stratford
This Waitrose supermarket at Stratford City forms part of the new Westfield
Shopping Centre. Waitrose took on the empty shell and fitted it out to the
company’s own specification.
Waitrose operates an in-house policy that all of its stores are BREEAM
assessed, with the minimum requirement being a ‘Very Good’ rating. As there
was opportunity at the Westfield site to connect into the development’s ‘Energy
Centre’, Waitrose decided to do this and to strive for an ‘Outstanding’ rating for
the fit-out work.
Project team details
Client: Waitrose Limited.
Employers Agent: Underwood Carpenter
Contractor: RG Carter Limited
Architect: Bamber & Reddan Architects
Building Services: Synergy BSS Limited.
Waitrose Supermarket, Stratford
Overview of environmental features
Connection to Westfield’s Energy Centre resulting in a CO2 reduction of more
than 20%.
No use of traditional refrigerants – hydrocarbons only, which have a much lower
detrimental effect on the environment.
Fit-out materials all carry EMS certification.
Excellent public transport links, with Stratford and Stratford International train
stations, the Underground, DLR and bus links in close proximity.
Water saving sanitary ware and technologies, such as sanitary supply shut-off
valves, installed as standard specification.
Free cooling in the form of cold air retrieval from the refrigerated cabinets used.
An ‘A’ rated Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – CO2 index of 24.
No electric heating, thereby minimizing the NOx emissions associated with the
Key facts
BREEAM rating: Outstanding
Score:Design Stage – 89.27%. Final – 86.29%
Size: 3012m²
Stage: Design Stage Complete, Post Completion Stage Complete
BREEAM version: Retail 2008 Version 4.
Waitrose Supermarket, Stratford
Green strategy
The strategy of connecting with Westfield’s Energy Centre has delivered
reduced CO2 emissions and a reduction in the reliance on fossil fuels.
A focus on sustainable management and on waste has resulted in maximum
BREEAM credits being awarded in the management and waste categories.
Building services
The Westfield Energy Centre provides the Waitrose supermarket with its primary
means of heating and cooling – all of the store’s heating demand is provided via
the Centre, and cooling to the back-of-house areas is provided via the chilled
water supplied from the Energy Centre.
The Centre also provides the cooling demand for the water cooled food
refrigeration system.
All of the sales area’s cooling demand is met via cold air retrieval from the
refrigerated food cabinets located in the sales floor.
Management –100%
Waste – 100%
Materials – 85.71%
Transport – 84.62%
Pollution – 80%
Health & Wellbeing – 77.78%
Energy – 68%
Waitrose Supermarket, Stratford
These BREEAM scores are based on the final assessment, which is currently
with BRE Global awaiting audit:
The BREEAM assessment
• Minimum Standards
BREEAM’s minimum standards, pertaining to specific credits or specific criteria
for credits, are tiered based on the target rating, ranging from four to 26 credits
or criteria.
Whereas LEED has a fixed number of eight prerequisites applicable across all
rating classifications (plus one of the seven Minimum Program Requirements
pertaining to sharing energy and water usage data considered to be
• Energy Consumption / CO 2 Reduction
BREEAM encourages reduction in CO 2 to zero net emissions in relation to
Building Regulations Part L 2010 to achieve maximum points worth 10.56% of
the total score.
LEED targets energy reduction, instead of CO 2, based on improvement over an
ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline, and offers maximum points worth 17% of the total
score for an energy cost reduction of only 48%.
• Energy Sub-Metering
BREEAM has a compulsory minimum standard of sub-metering substantial
energy uses for Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding ratings. LEED has no
energy sub-metering prerequisite.
BREEAM’s Relative Strengths
• Materials
In relation to sustainable materials and life-cycle impacts, BRE has produced the
Green Book Live and the Green Guide to Specification (8) which provide useful
information for designers, whereas under LEED, designers must rely on a
evaluations/certifications (Reed et al., 2010, p.147) or relatively simplified
checklists (Saunders, 2008, p.25).
• Transport
BREEAM’s travel plan credit is more rigorous in relation to actual accessibility of
public transport compared to LEED which does not take account of the routes,
hours of service and frequency of service.
• Life-Cycle Cost Analysis
There are no LEED credits for life-cycle costing, therefore it may not encourage
the most environmentally efficient allocation of capital.
• Transparency
LEED’s approach is more consensus-based and transparent compared to
BREEAM’s. For example the technical criteria proposed by the various LEED
committees are publicly reviewed for approval by USGBC’s c. 15,000 member
companies and organizations.
• Resources
LEED provides more extensive publicly accessible resources, research and
case studies than BREEAM. This includes, for example, the Green Building
Information Gateway (9) , a “map-centric” portal providing LEED certification
data and analysis at national, state, city and project level. BREEAM does not
publish data on numbers of buildings certified by type and rating achieved.
• Post-Occupancy Evaluation
Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) provides the scheme operators with valuable
feedback on the effectiveness of particular credits in terms of their take-up and
actual environmental impact, which it can use to disseminate best practice and
inform future development of the assessment method
LEED is more rigorous in this regard. Under the compulsory Minimum Program
Requirements, all certified projects must commit to sharing with USGBC/GBCI
all available actual energy and water usage data for the whole project for a
period of at least five years from occupancy.
LEED’s Relative Strengths
• Thermal Comfort
Although both methods address thermal comfort through design, only LEED
offers an additional credit for verification – by way of a survey of occupiers
between 6 to 18 months of occupancy, and a corrective action plan in the event
that more than 20% are dissatisfied with thermal comfort.
• Indoor Air Quality
LEED’s indoor air quality credit requirements are more sophisticated than
BREEAM’s, driven by the USA’s climate and greater reliance on mechanically
ventilated and air conditioned buildings. Furthermore, LEED addresses indoor
air quality (IAQ) and mold prevention post-construction but prior to occupancy by
offering a credit which requires either a full air flush-out in accordance with
specific air volume, temperature and relative humidity parameters, or IAQ testing
consistent with EPA or ISO methods. BREEAM has no such requirements.
• Heat Island Effect
LEED has credits for reducing the heat island effect (for example through
shading by trees and specifying high solar reflectance materials). BREEAM
does not address this, and although it offers credits for green roofs, it is for the
purposes of mitigating ecological impact and reducing surface water run-off.

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