Sustainability has never been more essential than it is today, which is why an environmental assessment is required at every stage of a construction project. In many situations, local governments are now requiring sustainability assessments to be done as a condition of approval, so it’s vital to understand how such ratings are determined and calculated.
The BREEAM certification is the most thorough environmental assessment. In this post, we’ll explain what BREEAM certification is and how buildings are evaluated for sustainability, as well as how your project may obtain a “BREEAM Excellent” grade.
What Is the BREEAM Rating System?
The BREEAM rating system was created to provide a score for a building’s environmental impact, considering important elements such as energy consumption and material choices. BREEAM is an independent third-party assessment system that can be used on buildings, construction projects, and communities.
‘BREEAM’ is a building research establishment environmental assessment method that was first established in the United Kingdom in the 1990s. Although it was at first a voluntary rating, local government authorities and councils have started to use the system to evaluate a building project’s overall sustainability.
The BREEAM rating system has been the most important international evaluation method since its inception. The status of having an Excellent BREEAM accreditation is highly coveted, demonstrating that a construction project has been planned in such a way as to be sustainable and minimize environmental impact.
The BREEAM rating system is a method for assessing the environmental impact of a structure. It is not only important for architects and builders to meet building codes, but it also has an enormous influence on the world. The BREEAM rating system assigns a building a score based on several variables.
An accredited BREEAM Assessor undertakes the BREEAM assessment, which includes a benchmarked percentage score and an overall BREEAM rating for a structure.
The BREEAM accolade of excellence is the most prestigious, with an outstanding grade being the highest achievable rating. A pass mark of 85 per cent or greater is required to earn an Excellent score. To pass, a building must achieve a minimum score of 30%. A structure will be unclassified if it does not receive a BREEAM ranking.
How Are Buildings Rated Through BREEAM?
BREEAM is an independent sustainability indicator that refers to a structure’s ability to endure over time. A BREEAM Assessor must be qualified and impartial in order for a building to be evaluated by this method.
An independent BREEAM Assessor usually does two separate evaluations of a structure during the Design Stage. The first is a sustainability measurement during the Design Stage of a construction project, and certain levels of accreditation may be required for planning applications to be accepted. After the building has been completed, the second stage of assessment is conducted, providing an overall measure
Typically, a BREEAM Assessor focuses on ten distinct domains of sustainability throughout both stages of evaluation to determine the resulting BREEAM accreditation score.
BREEAM accreditation takes energy efficiency into account. This implies examining which energy sources will be utilized over the course of the building’s existence, how much energy a structure will waste, and how energy efficiency may be increased. A BREEAM Assessor will assess how much carbon pollution a facility is likely to produce and ways to minimize it.
BREEAM examines how management teams manage to achieve sustainability goals, which is critical. From every stage of the design process through to completion, BREEAM evaluates management policies in terms of the environment and best sustainability practices.
BREEAM accreditation considers how much water a project is going to consume. This is measured in terms of the water needed to build and the water needed to sustain a building while it is being used. BREEAM assesses overall water usage, water waste, and water management policies.
The BREEAM assessors look at how much waste will be generated as a result of the construction project. This includes the waste produced throughout the construction process as well as future waste. The ultimate objective is to decrease waste as much as feasible, and projects are graded on how successful they are in doing so.
A project should produce the fewest quantities of pollutants possible. BREEAM assesses a project’s total quantity of pollutants throughout its existence, with the aim of reducing pollution as much as feasible and, if feasible, eliminating the chance of pollution altogether.
Health and Wellbeing
A BREEAM evaluation considers not only the physical characteristics of a structure but also the health and wellbeing of its occupants and workers. The health and safety, emergency planning, ventilation and light levels are all evaluated in this category.
BREEAM examines the long-term viability of materials utilized in a building’s construction and any additional supplies required for future upkeep. Sustainable design is encouraged, and this includes consideration of the sort and source of materials employed as well as their usage.
BREEAM certification assesses a project’s connection to eco-friendly modes of transportation. The goal is to encourage integration into current public transport systems, lowering carbon emissions and improving the overall sustainability of a project.
BREEAM considers the consequences of a project on the environment, ensuring that land use is long-term. This category examines whether a site is a brownfield or greenfield, and it looks at the effect that an endeavour will have on current wildlife habitats and biodiversity.
The last category for evaluation is innovation. This broad class of assessment looks at how a project goes above and beyond the ordinary to become sustainable. BREEAM Assessors will consider new cutting-edge building and community design ideas and systems in order to enhance their overall sustainability.
What Is BREEAM Excellent?
BREEAM Excellent is the best rating that can be granted to a structure or project through the ranking system. A BREEAM Excellent degree of certification is one of the greatest standards to aim for, indicating that a project is long-lasting and environmentally friendly in design and operation.
Only about 10% of evaluations earn the coveted Excellent grade, according to BREEAM. The criteria for Outstanding are more stringent than Excellent but achieving this level of certification is considerably harder. According to BRE, less than 1% of projects achieve this status, and it is only granted to industry leaders.
How Do You Achieve BREEAM Excellent?
The most coveted accreditation is BREEAM Excellent. The first step in attaining Excellent certification is to hire a dedicated BREEAM Assessor to manage your application. A BREEAM Assessor will have the necessary skills, training, and authorization to carry out the accreditation procedure on your building or project.
An application for the BREEAM Excellent quality must obtain a minimum score of 70% to be recognized. This percentage is derived from the total number of ‘points’ given to a structure. Each of the many categories, such as waste or water, has its own set of possible points.
To be BREEAM Excellent, a structure must show that it has sustainability credentials in all categories, not just one. However, certain categories are given greater importance than others, based on what is determined to be the most essential in terms of sustainability. The importance of a building’s sustainability credentials can change depending on whether it is residential or commercial.
Contact the SRE department.
BREEAM certification has been a part of our services for over 16 years. We are BREEAM experts. Our team of experts is qualified to perform independent BREEAM assessments and will ensure that projects satisfy their sustainability criteria.
SRE’s sustainability specialists look for ways to improve and work together with design teams on a variety of projects to guarantee that the environmental impact is as small as possible.