The updated BREEAM UK New Construction scheme goes live this week, following BREEAM’s most comprehensive industry consultation to date.
The revision of the world leading sustainability assessment method for real estate addresses key industry challenges around the performance gap as well as lifecycle assessment, offering benefits for developers, investors and users. It also adopts fresh approaches to sustainable travel and ecology to reflect evolving best practice.
BRE worked with industry to align the updated scheme to today’s sustainable development priorities. The learning from that collaboration has driven a string of improvements, the most important being:Performance gap: The energy category now addresses one of the industry’s most pressing concerns, through potential action at design and occupation phases. It rewards detailed energy modelling in design, and allows for this to be reviewed as part of its new post-occupancy stage. This enables modelled and actual building performance to be compared easily.
Lifecycle assessment: The materials category now encourages whole building lifecycle assessment, in a move designed to help increase industry understanding and inform decision-making based on true impact of materials specified Ecology: New criteria for this category promote the integration of holistic, best practice ecology approaches across the lifecycle of the building. These criteria are based on BREEAM’s Strategic Ecology Framework, a pioneering methodology linking ecology with all aspects of development.
Travel: The transport criteria have been restructured to focus on rewarding positive action, rather than proximity to existing services.
Industry has recognised the potential benefits of the improvements:
Jane Wakiwaka, Sustainability Manager for The Crown Estate, says,
“BREEAM schemes provide our developments with a measurable and comparable benchmark against which to assess and improve environmental performance. We support the launch of the 2018 New Construction scheme as a means of driving the industry forward, as well as challenging design and construction teams to improve and innovate in the performance of the built environment.”
Alexandra Vella, Principal Engineer at Hoare Lea, says,
“BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 has adapted its method in the way energy use is predicted and the associated rewards gained. Verifying actual energy usage and using these figures when designing will better equip designers to accurately predict building needs and avoid oversizing services. Realistic records of energy use and carbon emissions could then be used to update guidelines in this area.”
The arrival of BREEAM UK New Construction marks the latest stage in the continuing development of the sustainability assessment method, which is now applied in 77 countries and has more than 2.2 million buildings registered under its schemes.