Industry collaboration drives BREEAM UK consultation
The BREEAM UK New Construction scheme has gone live following BREEAM’s most comprehensive industry consultation to date.
The new version has looked at key industry challenges, such as the performance gap, as well as lifecycle assessment, and offers more 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. It rewards detailed energy modelling in design, and allows for this to be reviewed, which enables modelled and actual building performance to be compared easily.
Lifecycle assessment: The materials category now encourages whole building lifecycle assessment, 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.
Travel: The transport criteria has been restructured to focus on rewarding positive action, rather than proximity to existing services.
Industry has welcomed the review and recognises 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 2.2M buildings registered under its schemes.
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