BREEAM, or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology, is considered to be the globally leading method for assessment and the rating system for buildings. Currently over 200,000 buildings have received a BREEAM certified assessment rating. Since its creation in 1990 over one million buildings have registered for assessment.
Is that all? No, BREEAM also sets the global standard for the best practices in the construction, design and operation for sustainable building. BREEAM is now one of the most widely recognised assessment measures, due to the comprehensive nature of their measures to accurately gauge the environmental performance of a building.
What Is A Bream Assessment?
Typically, when assessing the environmental performance of a building a BREEAM assessment utilises a number of recognised performance measures. These are then set against pre-established benchmarks in order to successfully ascertain a building’s specification, design, construction and use. The measures utilised as part of a BREEAM assessment are comprehensive and cover a wide range of categories, which range from energy to ecology in their diversity. Included within each of these categories are aspects which relate to energy and water use, pollution, transport, waste, materials, ecology, the internal environment (in layman’s terms health and wellbeing) and the management processes.
Only licensed organisations, which employ assessors who have obtained qualification and training through an accredited UKAS competent person scheme, are able to conduct BREEAM certified assessments. However, BREEAM assessments do not need to be completed during the design or construction phase of a building’s life, they can be undertaken at any stage of a building’s life cycle.
But what tangible results does a BREEAM assessment and rating provide for clients, developers and designers? Collected beneath are a number of the advantages which are provided obtaining a Breaam certified assessment rating:
- An environmental impact benchmark which is higher than those required by existing regulation.
- A practical system which reduces a building’s running costs, whilst also improving both working and living conditions.
- Confidence, both internally and externally within an organisation, that a tried and tested environmental practice is being incorporated and utilised throughout the building.
- A measure of market recognition for low environmental impact buildings.
- A recognised standard which recognises an entity’s progress towards both its corporate and organisational environmental objectives.
Each year BREEAM recognise the highest scoring buildings assessments certified under the BREEAM schemes during the previous year in the BREEAM awards. In order to qualify, a building must meet the following requirements:
- Be completed and certified.
- Have, during the BREEAM assessment, at least obtained an “Excellent” rating.
- Provided evidence to show that the building has excelled in every environmental category within BREEAM.