What is The Pros & Cons of BREEAM?
BREEAM, or the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is a widely-used sustainability assessment method for buildings. Developed in the UK, it has since been adopted in many countries across the world. The aim of BREEAM is to provide a comprehensive and objective way of assessing a building's environmental performance, including its energy efficiency, sustainability, and impact on the environment. In this blog, we'll discuss the pros and cons of using BREEAM in your building projects. Pros:
Comprehensive Assessment Method: BREEAM is a comprehensive assessment method that takes into account a wide range of factors that contribute to a building's sustainability. This includes the use of materials, energy efficiency, water usage, waste management, and many more. The assessment method covers all aspects of a building's life cycle, from design to construction and operation.
Recognition: BREEAM is recognized as a leading sustainability assessment method for buildings, and its certification is widely recognized as a mark of quality. This recognition is valuable for building owners, as it can improve their reputation and attract tenants who are looking for environmentally-friendly buildings.
Cost-effective: BREEAM provides a cost-effective way to assess a building's sustainability. The assessment process can be done in-house, and the certification is relatively inexpensive compared to other sustainability assessment methods. Furthermore, the cost of the assessment can often be offset by the energy savings that result from the assessment.
Improves Building Performance: BREEAM encourages building owners to adopt best practices in sustainability and environmental performance. By incorporating these best practices, buildings can become more energy-efficient, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly. This can result in cost savings for building owners, as well as improved environmental performance.
Encourages Innovation: BREEAM encourages building owners to adopt new and innovative technologies and building practices. This can drive innovation in the construction industry, as building owners are encouraged to find new and better ways of building sustainable buildings.
Complex Assessment Process: The BREEAM assessment process can be complex and time-consuming, particularly for larger projects. This can be a significant challenge for building owners and contractors who are already under time and cost constraints.
Cost of Implementation: Although BREEAM provides a cost-effective way to assess a building's sustainability, the cost of implementing the necessary changes to achieve certification can be high. This can be particularly challenging for building owners who are working on a tight budget.
Lack of Standardization: Although BREEAM is widely recognized as a leading sustainability assessment method, there is still a lack of standardization in the way that it is applied. This can lead to inconsistencies in the assessment process and make it difficult to compare buildings that have received BREEAM certification.
Limited Geographical Reach: Although BREEAM is used in many countries across the world, it is still primarily used in the UK and Europe. This means that building owners in other countries may not have access to the assessment method or may have to adapt it to meet local regulations.
Limited Focus on Some Aspects: While BREEAM covers a wide range of factors that contribute to a building's sustainability, it may not focus enough on some key aspects of environmental performance. For example, it may not consider the environmental impact of the materials used in the building, or the impact of transportation to and from the building.
In this blog, we will discuss a real-life example of a building that has undergone a BREEAM assessment and achieved a high level of certification.
The building in question is a new office development in London, known as "The Green Building". The building was designed with sustainability in mind and was constructed using materials with a low environmental impact. The Green Building's designers also incorporated many energy-efficient features into the design, including a ground source heat pump and a green roof.
The building underwent a BREEAM assessment and achieved a "Very Good" rating, with a score of 72.9%. This score is considered to be a high level of certification, and demonstrates the building's commitment to sustainability and environmental performance.
One of the key factors that contributed to The Green Building's high BREEAM rating was its energy efficiency. The building was designed with energy-efficient features, including double-glazed windows and high-efficiency lighting, which helped to reduce its energy consumption. The building also incorporated a ground source heat pump, which provided heating and cooling using renewable energy.
The Green Building's green roof was another important factor in its BREEAM assessment. The green roof helped to improve the building's insulation and reduced its overall carbon footprint. The green roof also provided a natural habitat for wildlife, helping to improve the local environment.
The Green Building's use of materials was also a key factor in its BREEAM assessment. The building was constructed using materials with a low environmental impact, including recycled steel and sustainable timber. This helped to reduce the building's overall environmental impact and contributed to its "Very Good" rating.
In addition to these factors, The Green Building also incorporated several water-saving features, including rainwater harvesting and low-flow fixtures. This helped to reduce the building's overall water consumption and contributed to its high BREEAM rating.
Overall, The Green Building is a great example of how a building can achieve a high level of BREEAM certification by incorporating sustainability and environmental performance into its design and construction. The building's energy-efficient features, green roof, use of materials, and water-saving features all contributed to its high BREEAM rating, demonstrating the importance of sustainability in modern building design.
In conclusion, BREEAM is a valuable tool for building owners and designers who are looking to create sustainable and environmentally-friendly buildings. By incorporating sustainability into the design and construction of buildings, building owners can reduce their environmental impact and achieve high levels of BREEAM certification. The Green Building is a great example of how BREEAM can be used to create high-performing, sustainable buildings that make a positive impact on the environment.