Another set of building regulation updates brings yet another version of the well known environmental assessment method, BREEAM. But what are the changes?
The format of process remians largely the same, although the 2014 version now has different credit weightings for shell only and shell and core developments. The assessment process for these types of development should also be easier with fit-out related credits now filtered out of the assessment, dependent on the project type. This will include, for example, water consumption and impact of refrigerants for shell only projects, and aftercare credits in shell and core projects. This removes the need for the unpopular Green Lease Agreements.
The management section has been rearranged to make things clearer, although the contents are broadly similar.
There are additional credits for showing in the thermal model that the buidling can adapt to climate change temperature predictions, for developing sustainable procurement plans, for incorporating structural and fabric resilience (again in relation to adaptation to climate change), and for conducting a building specific functional adaptation strategy appraisal.
How will it affect you?
Naturally any update to a scheme like BREEAM is going to push the standards further. It has to stay above the level set by building regulations to reward innovative, exemplary low carbon designs. So you will have to revisit tried and tested BREEAM strategies and tweak them to get the same score. Some developments may find the new version beneficial, particularly shell only projects.
The key thing is to act now if you are already in the design process for a new building. To make sure that predicted BREEAM scores remain the same, make sure the project is registered with BRE before the end of June to lock the assessment into the 2011 version.
Further changes to BREEAM are in the pipeline from BRE with the introduction of BREEAM Refurbishment at the end of the year. This will enable refurbishment and fit-out projects to be assessed properly, rather than having to use the old BREEAM 2008 scheme.
For more information regarding BREEAM please contact James Parker – BREEAM Assessor, Flatt Consulting.
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