BREEAM – Sustainability Services

Annabel Clark
BREEAM - New Construction 2014 and 2018. – Scheme changes, value and assessments

BREEAM is the leading sustainability assessment method for infrastructure, masterplanning and buildings.

Accreditation for sustainability is a high priority within the construction industry. In the UK, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certification scheme is designed to assess a building’s sustainability against suitably tailored criteria.

The scheme is updated every three to four years to improve environmental performance and reflect industry development. The BRE will launch the updated 2018 assessment at the start of March. Any new projects can be registered under the 2014 scheme until 23rd March 2018. The proposed 2018 manual progresses the existing holistic issues with more onerous requirements to increase sustainability and reduce the impact of buildings. The manual increases the focus on two key areas, the performance gap and lifecycle analysis. The emphasis on these issues will support better design and construction of new buildings. A reduction of the predicted and actual energy performance gap will ensure efficiency, reduce overheating and reduce costs. An increased understanding surrounding the life cycle impact of the building will recue the embodied carbon impacts from new construction. The 2018 assessment creates positive steps to increased recognition of sustainability and increasing overall industry standards to futureproof developments.

BREEAM is designed to help mitigate the environmental impact of buildings through appropriate design, construction, refurbishment and management. The scheme is an evidence and credit-based system which scores the performance of buildings during the design (RIBA Stage 1-4), construction phase (RIBA Stage 5-6) and into operation for new and refurbished buildings, extensions and existing buildings.

Third party certification assesses the asset’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance. BREEAM has a holistic approach in addressing the following nine issues:

  • Management
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Waste
  • Land Use and Ecology
  • Pollution

BREEAM encourages clients to fully embrace sustainability and sets the standards for best practice in sustainable design and environmental performance. As an environmental rating system, the scheme has the potential to provide market recognition for sustainable and low environmental impact buildings. There is an assurance that best environmental practice is incorporated, reducing running costs and improving working environments. This can increase building user satisfaction, productivity and achievement levels. An increased understanding of the whole life cycle cost will reduce risk, reduce operational and maintenance costs and increase value. Higher valuations and rentals can be achieved for commercial buildings. BREEAM can also provide inspiration for innovative designs and solutions.

To unlock the full BREEAM potential of a building project, it is important to consider BREEAM at the earliest opportunity in the project conception to ensure the highest possible rating and provision of evidence.

A collaborative effort with a connected design and construction team and clear responsibilities will ensure the assessment runs smoothly. It is also important to establish a realistic target rating with a flexible approach to targeted credits. Early involvement of BREEAM in a project will help influence the design and ensure that these benefits are realised. This will result in the delivery of cost effective, high quality sustainable buildings.


Faithful+Gould’s Strategic Asset Management Team can provide BREEAM services including life cycle cost analysis specialists who can undertake the Man02 credit. Soft landing services and post occupancy evaluations can be provided for a smooth transition from design and construction phases of a building, to effective and efficient whole life operation.


If you have a building or project that would be benefit from undertaking a BREEAM assessment or advice from a BREEAM Accredited Professional, please contact Annabel Clark

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