BREEAM (Building Research Environmental Assessment Method) is an international scheme designed to provide impartial third-party certification of the sustainability of individual buildings.
The scheme has recently introduced a pre-approval process. This should enable architects and designers to come up with a general specification, which they can then apply to multiple projects.
Improving Productivity and Efficiency
Some developers will work to a pattern where they create a standard design and specification that they will then roll out across several separate structures.
What the BREEAM pre-approval process will do is help save time and avoid the duplication of work, providing an upfront approval by evaluation by BRE Global
This is based on a pilot scheme which enabled clients to assess the real value of the process. They were able to achieve a percentage of their overall score in advance of then having individual buildings assessed.
One of the participants in the pilot scheme was Lidl.
Why BREEAM Adds Value
For over 20 years, BREEAM has been an environmental impact assessment method in the UK and globally.
It helps developers deliver sustainability goals and gives their buildings demonstrable credentials when marketing them to potential occupiers.
BREEAM also provides planning authorities as a tool to show they are meeting environmental performance standards.
BREEAM has been applied to a large number of schemes throughout the UK, and the new pre-approval process will ensure that it continues to set the standard for sustainable development
It is regularly reviewed and updated to meet changing standards in property and construction.
As part of its update process, BREEAM reviews technical issues, and can make major alterations to assessment criteria, such as measuring energy use, transport, health and wellbeing developments and building resilience.
It reflects ongoing changes in the wider world, including developments such as electric vehicles and the impact of climate change on buildings.
Making BREEAM More Achievable
There may always be budget constraints in some sectors, but the pre-approval process should streamline certification for certain developments, allowing for a wider application of sustainable building standards.
BREEAM should be helping to liberate project teams, so that they can design energy efficient buildings that are properly fit for purpose, whatever the sector.