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Have you changed your BREEAM clocks? The new scheme has sprung forward!

26 Mar 2018

Registration for BREEAM 2014 closed on Friday and BREEAM 2018 sprang into action. The new scheme pushes the sustainability boundaries and paves the way for future sustainable buildings. Design and construction teams should be aware that achieving the same rating under the new 2018 scheme will be more challenging than it was under the 2014 scheme. It will be vital that sustainability aspirations are encompassed into the early design stages. Although it will take time to realise the finer details, here are the headline changes you should be aware of:

Under Man 01, BREEAM AP now stands for Advisory Professional, and there is both a ‘design’ and ‘site’ qualification:

BAM has in-house BREEAM Advisory Professional: Design & Site, who can help implement BREEAM throughout the assessment. BAM's regional sustainability advisors can act as the Advisory Professional: Site, during project construction if they have undertaken the BRE Site Sustainability Manager (SSM) training.

Man 03 - Responsible Construction Practices, has also been updated. You no longer receive specific credits for achieving a minimum Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) score. Instead, there is a table of criteria which need to be met to receive the different credits. Although the table covers various items included under the CCS (and therefore CCS certificates can be used as partial evidence) it also includes additional criteria about vehicle management on site and security. There is one credit available if a project can meet nine specified criteria, two credits for an additional six items, and for the exemplary credit all of the criteria must be met.


The Hea 06 - Security credit now has its own section, but continues to have similar criteria to the 2014 scheme. However there is a new credit available for achieving a compliant risk-based security rating scheme such as Secured by Design. Hea 07 – Safe and healthy surroundings, also contains a new credit for creating an outside space providing building users with an external amenity area.


Ene 01 – Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions, has seen some major changes in order to address the performance gap between a building’s design and as-built energy use. Although the ‘normal’ credits have become more challenging, there are new credits for undertaking a design workshop focusing on operational energy performance, and applying additional energy modelling during the design and post-construction stage to generate predicted operational energy consumption figures. As well as this there are two new exemplary credits for post-occupancy stage reporting of the energy model to the BRE.


This section has been restructured so instead of the five sections under 2014, there are now only two - Tra 01 and Tra 02. The travel plan credits are similar but now also include requirements to calculate the site’s current ‘baseline’ transport accessibility index, and produce a strategy to increase or improve sustainable modes of transport. Tra 02 awards up to 10 credits for implementing sustainable transport measures; the credits are calculated on the number of ‘points’ achieved for improving on the baseline accessibility index number (calculated in Tra 01), as well as additional measures which have been implemented in the design.


There have also been major changes to the materials section under BREEAM 2018. Mat 01 – Environmental impacts from construction products, now focuses on a building’s life cycle assessment (LCA). The LCA firstly looks at the superstructure, and then additional credits are available for substructure and hard landscaping. Exemplary credits are available for the analysis of building services, and aligning the LCA and life cycle costs for third party verification. (The BRE will provide a simplified tool to achieve some of the credits).

As hard landscaping is covered under Mat 01, Mat 02 now covers Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). A credit is available for selecting materials which have EPDs, with the amount of detail covered in the EPD equating to more points.

Within the materials section there is also an increasing emphasis to ensure that decisions are implemented early. Under Mat 03 – responsible sourcing of construction products, the sustainable procurement plan credit needs to be in place by the concept design stage and used by designers before being taken up by the construction teams. The percentages for achieving the remaining responsible sourcing credits have actually been lowered, in recognition of the difficulty of achieving these credits in practice.


Like the materials section, the waste section recognises that to reduce waste there needs to be considerable thought during the design process. Under Wst 01 – Construction waste management, a new credit is now awarded for a pre-demolition audit. This needs to be carried out at concept design, when there is opportunity to implement solutions to prevent waste during construction.  


After an in-depth review and consultation period, the ecology credits have changed significantly. There are now two routes to achieving the credits; a lighter touch engaging mainly with the design team, or a more comprehensive analysis by a suitably qualified ecologist. The route taken will depend on site circumstances which will then determine the number of credits which are available to be achieved.


Although many of the credits in the pollution section have similar criteria to the 2014 scheme, there has been an interesting update to Pol 02 – Identifying and understanding the risks and opportunities for the project. With an increasing focus on air quality in general, they have expanded the criteria to include particulate matter and VOCs as well as NOx emissions. The method now also includes assessing if the project is located in a high or low pollution area, which will determine the limits the plant can emit (a project located in an Air Quality Management Area will have different credit thresholds to an area not located in an Air Quality Management Area).

This summary outlines some of the major changes to the new scheme, there are of course further detailed changes to be aware of and if you would like to read in more detail about these, click here to see a copy of the guide. Remember to check back at our blogs to see how some of these changes affect assessments in practice!


Julia Messenger is a Sustainability Advisor at BAM

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