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BREEAM Consultants

BREEAM is the world's leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It addresses a number of lifecycle stages such as New Construction, Refurbishment and In-Use. Globally there are more than 556,600 BREEAM certified developments, and almost 2,260,100 buildings registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990.

It is also used for smaller scale projects across the UK. Sometimes it is used for individual properties. Ordinarily BREEAM will only be used when it is requested by the local planning authority, often with a BREEAM Pre-Assessment Report. This is because BREEAM adds yet another layer of consultation and assessment, to a process which is already very complex.

BREEAM measures sustainable value in a series of categories, ranging from energy to ecology. Each of these categories addresses the most influential factors, including low impact design and carbon emissions reduction; design durability and resilience; adaption to climate change; and ecological value and biodiversity protection. Within every category, developments score points – called credits – for achieving targets, and their final total determines their rating.

BREEAM Refurbishment

This standard allows real estate investors, developers and building owners to assess and mitigate unnecessary environmental damage caused whilst completing a refurbishment or fit out project.  Following the assessment process a certificate is awarded, which recognises the environmental performance of the building once improvements have been made to the external envelope, structure, core services, local services or interior design of a building. 

SWEL are only involved at the BREEAM Pre-Assessment Stage where we will assess plans for the projects, and work out likely scorings. Build energy systems etc. can be discussed with our client so we can decide on the best route forward.

BREEAM New Construction

Applies to all newly constructed public, private, residential and commercial buildings, including building extensions. For developments that do not fall within the scope of different build types and listed within the standard, we recommend you take a look at the BRE Bespoke Process.  This allows the criteria to be adapted to the clients development needs.

Purpose of BREEAM

BREEAM works to raise awareness amongst owners, occupiers, designers and operators of the benefits of taking a sustainability approach. It helps them to successfully and cost effectively adopt sustainable solutions, and provides market recognition of their achievements. Using independent, licensed assessors, BREEAM assesses scientifically based criteria covering a range of issues in categories that evaluate energy and water use, health and wellbeing, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes. Buildings are rated and certified on a scale of ‘Pass’, ‘Good’, ‘Very Good’, ‘Excellent’ and ‘Outstanding’. By setting sustainability benchmarks and targets that continue to stay ahead of regulatory requirements – and by encouraging the use of innovative means of achieving these targets – BREEAM drives greater sustainability and innovation in the built environment.

BREEAM Advantages

The focus of BREEAM is to reduce environmental impacts, however, studies have found, for example, that buildings achieved a 21% premium on transaction prices and an 18% premium on rents.

BREEAM Further Reading

BREEAM Pre-Assessment Reports

BREEAM Methodologies

BREEAM Example Projects

BREEAM Pol 3 Report