A Brief Explanation of BREEAM and Its Importance

What constitutes a sustainable building, and how can you demonstrate it? Utilizing the BREEAM certification is one approach. Its purpose is to evaluate the long-term viability of a construction project, assign a rating, and offer suggestions for raising those ratings.

The questions “What is BREEAM?” and “What are the BREEAM categories and ratings?” are among those we address today. In addition to “How to become BREEAM certified?”

The advantages BREEAM can bring to your upcoming construction project will be highlighted in a separate article, so be sure to read it after this one! If you want to know more about BREEAM then try browsing Breeam Hea 06 assessments UK.

What Exactly is it?

The full title of the abbreviation is “Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.” The Building Research Establishment (BRE), which invented the method in the United Kingdom in 1990, offers the BREEAM definition: “The top-tier and most popular technique for evaluating the environmental impact of communities and buildings. It is the de facto metric for describing how well a building performs in terms of the environment and sets the bar for best practices in sustainable design.

By using these research methods, structures are guaranteed to be compliant with sustainable construction, operation, and design. It can be used to evaluate both new developments and already existing renovation and refurbishment plans.

The Purpose of Using Environmental Assessment Methods

Urbanization rates are at their highest levels ever worldwide. Did you know that, from now until 2060, the amount of floor space needed to equal Paris will increase every five days and that needed to equal Japan every year?

Buildings play a significant role in causing climate change as they emit close to 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. To achieve the Paris Agreement’s 2030 emission reduction goals, existing buildings must be renovated at a significantly faster rate, as well as more renewable energy must be produced and purchased.

The goal of environmental assessment techniques like BREEAM is to lessen the environmental impact of buildings during the early stages of development, construction, and building operation.

The level of sustainability of a building is determined by BREEAM, along with the economic, environmental, and social advantages it offers to those involved in its life cycle. In our article on the advantages of BREEAM assessments, we go into this topic in more detail.

What do BREEAM Categories mean?

Originally a 20-page guide for new office developments, BREEAM underwent an update in 1998 to expand its scope to more types of structures as well as additional eco- and sustainability-related topics. Additionally, weightings were introduced to emphasise the significance of specific categories.

Over 400 pages long and applicable to almost any type of building in the world, the 2011 edition of BREEAM is available now.

There are some categories in the current BREEAM assessment:

  • Energy
  • Innovation in health and wellbeing
  • Land Use Resources
  • Pollution
  • Transport 
  • Waste 
  • Water

What is the BREEAM certification process?

For getting a BREEM certificate it is important to follow the following steps.

  • Select the BREEAM standard that best fits your development.
  • Hire a BREEAM Appraiser who is duly licenced.
  • Set up registration with the Assessor for your project.
  • Performing a pre-assessment alongside the Assessor
  • Throughout the project and the assessment, gather and provide the Assessor with all necessary information.
  • All information will be reviewed and submitted to the certification body by the BREEAM expert Assessor.
  • Get the BREEAM certificate you requested.

BREEAM certifications are available for a variety of projects, as was previously mentioned, including:

  • Sustainable design is integrated into the master planning process for new communities and regeneration projects, according to the BREEAM Communities programme. 
  • Infrastructure using CEEQUAL and BREEAM For projects in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping, and the public realm, there is an evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating, and awards programme called CEEQUAL.
  • BREEAM In-Use – Measuring the performance of all types of existing non-domestic buildings to the nine categories mentioned earlier in this article. Read more
  • Refurbishment and Fit Out (RFO) under BREEAM is the process of evaluating a building’s performance after changes have been made to the structure, exterior envelope, interior design, or local or core services. 
  • A new building development’s design, construction, intended use, and future-proofing are all evaluated using the BREEAM New Construction methodology, as well as the building’s immediate surroundings, whether they be natural or artificial.

Why BREEM Is So Important?

Numerous factors contribute to the growing significance of BREEAM certification. Sustainability measures in buildings have been included in the modern investor’s decision-making process and checklist because they are increasingly required by local authorities and offer numerous social, community, health, and economic benefits.

Of course, BREEAM has also contributed to a greater emphasis on development strategies that centre on minimising construction waste, figuring out how to lower CO2 emissions, and enhancing the environment for wildlife in the surrounding area.

Final Words

There aren’t any goods that are “BREEAM approved” because BREEAM is a building-level accreditation programme. Procedures which assess or test the environmental sustainability or ethical sourcing of particular goods are recognised by BREEAM.

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