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No need to fear BREEAM 2014

Julia Messenger Julia Messenger 31 Oct 2014

Are you spooked by BREEAM 2014? No need to fear- the BAM BREEAM-busters are here…

The BREEAM 2014 new construction scheme can seem quite daunting but plenty of BAM projects are already taking on the challenge and targeting Excellent ratings. Released in summer 2014, the BREEAM UK New Construction 2014 assessment covers the majority of non-domestic new builds. This can be used for fully fitted, shell only or shell and core-only projects. Also, the new BREEAM 2014 UK Refurbishment and Fit-Out (RFO) scheme is being released today (31 October 2014).

BAM's Atlantic Square develpoment, Glasgow, is targeting BREEAM 2014 Excellent

So what’s changed? Here’s what you need to know to keep achieving high BREEAM scores.

BREEAM UK New Construction 2014 - The main changes

Weighting changes

Compared to the 2011 scheme, there has been a reduction in weightings to the energy section, reflecting the growing importance of other BREEAM categories e.g. waste.

The weighting in each of the categories can vary depending on the scope of the build

New credits for future proofing of  buildings

There are several new credits and criteria which require specific studies to be carried out. New credits are available if...

Hea 04 Thermal comfort - Adaptability - for a projected climate change scenario

... a thermal model is run which accounts for climate change (using future weather files). Where thermal comfort criteria are not met for the projected climate change, the project team should demonstrate how the building has been adapted, or designed to be easily adapted in the future, using passive design solutions.

Ene 04 Low Carbon design - Passive design analysis analysis of the building identifies opportunities for the implementation of passive design solutions, that reduce demands for energy consuming building services. The building must use some form of passive design and demonstrate that this produces a meaningful reduction (at least 5% of overall building energy demand and/or CO2 emissions) in the total energy demand as a result.

Mat 03 Responsible sourcing of materials - Sustainable procurement plan

...the principal contractor sources materials in accordance with a sustainable procurement plan. 

Mat 05 Designing for durability and resilience

A new, additional, requirement has to be achieved to gain this credit. Relevant building elements must incorporate appropriate design and specification measures to limit material degradation due to environmental factors (solar radiation, wind, vegetation, pests etc.). 

Mat 06 Material efficiency

...opportunities have been identified, and appropriate measures investigated and implemented to optimise the use of materials in building design, procurement, construction, maintenance and end of life.  

Wst 05 Adaptation to climate change – structural and fabric resilience

...a climate change adaptation strategy appraisal for structural and fabric resilience has been conducted. This involves identifying potential hazards resulting from climate change, and then estimating, evaluating and managing the risks from these hazards.

Wst 06 - Functional adaptability

...a building-specific functional adaptation strategy study is undertaken by the client and design team which includes recommendations for measures to be incorporated to facilitate future adaptation. For example, the potential for major refurbishment, the adaptability of the internal environment to accommodate changes in working practices.

Fewer Mandatory credits

The 2014 scheme also has fewer mandatory credits compared to the 2011 scheme, allowing design teams to be more flexible about the credits they want to target. 

The 2014 scheme has fewer mandatory credits compared to the 2011 scheme

Shell and core assessments

Having been ingrained in the 2008 and 2011 BREEAM Schemes, BREEAM 2014 has removed the green lease agreement requirements for shell only and shell and core (including Cat A) assessments. There is an exception though - Ene 01 Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions can require a contractually agreed green fit-out agreement. Otherwise the default settings within appropriate energy the modelling software to achieve the minimum relevant national Building Regulation requirements must be assumed, which may result in a failure to achieve the mandatory BREEAM requirements for an ‘Excellent’ or ‘Outstanding’ rating. 


BREEAM UK Refurbishment and Fit-Out (RFO) 2014

The new BREEAM RFO scheme is split into four parts, allowing for flexibility on projects. 

Part One deals with the building fabric and structure (Shell)

Part Two is concerned with core services (e.g. centralised M&E plant)

Part Three deals with local services 

Part Four with interior design

The number of parts being assessed will be dependent on the scope of the project. The scheme can also be used to ‘top up’ a shell and core or shell assessment to achieve a full BREEAM rating.

The RFO scheme goes live today (31 October) and the deadline for registering refurbishment and fit-out projects under either the previous 2008 or 2011 schemes is midnight on 16 February 2015. After this date, all new refurb or fit out projects must be registered under the BREEAM RFO 2014 scheme (unless there is contractual requirement in place to use a previous version).

Overall, BREEAM 2014 allows teams more flexibility to focus on the project-specific positives, whether in design, construction or operation.  So nothing to be scared of…!

Julia Messenger is a Sustainability Advisor at BAM




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