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BREEAM is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 200,000 buildings holding certified BREEAM assessment ratings and over a million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990.
BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognized measures of a building’s environmental performance.
A BREEAM assessment uses recognized measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use. The measures used represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy to ecology. They include aspects related to energy and water use, the internal environment (health and well-being), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.
It is recommended that a BREEAM Assessor is appointed at the concept design stage. Involving the Assessor at this early stage will make it easier to obtain the desired rating cost effectively, in some cases at no extra cost. Appointing an Assessor at a later stage will reduce the influence that they and BREEAM can have on the project and may result in the desired rating being unobtainable, or being obtainable only through additional investment.
How long does it take to have an assessment carried out?
The time taken to complete a BREEAM Assessment will vary from project to project. It must be remembered that BREEAM certification is based on building performance confirmed by the Assessor through the collation of rigorous and credible evidence of building compliance.
Assessment and certification therefore depends on when the Assessor is appointed, the stage in the design process and the availability and format of information. Interim design stage certification would typically take place between the end of the detailed design stage and the beginning of operations on site. Final certification, which relies on ‘as built’ evidence of compliance with BREEAM, will occur toward the end of operations on site and handover of the building. It can therefore be said that a BREEAM Assessment will take as long as the project.
CEADA are Accredited ‘BREEAM’ assessors and as such can produce both ‘Design stage’ and ‘Post Construction’ assessments. It is beneficial to involve your BREEAM assessor as early in the design process as possible, so as many of the credit-earning issues as possible can be included in the design. All our clients have 24 hour access to the BREEAM ‘Tracker Plus’ system, which tracks the assessment from start to finish, and can be used to access and upload information.
CEADA also offer ‘BREEAM Pre-Assessment Studies’ which can be used as part of a Planning Application or the accompanying Design and Access Statement to establish the applications BREEAM credentials in the eyes of the planners.
Further information on BREEAM can be found at www.breeam.org