Introduction to BREEAM
GROUP H has been commissioned to carry out a BREEAM Office 2008 pre-assessment of the proposed refurbishment of the Tower Building at the University of Greenwich, SE9 2PQ.
The BREEAM Standard
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method) is the world's leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building's environmental performance.
The aims and objectives of BREEAM are:
Aims of BREEAM
Â· To mitigate the impacts of buildings on the environment
Â· To enable buildings to be recognised according to their environmental benefits
Â· To provide a credible, environmental label for buildings
Â· To stimulate demand for sustainable buildings
Objectives of BREEAM
Â· To provide market recognition to low environmental impact buildings
Â· To ensure best environmental practice is incorporated in buildings
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Â· To set criteria and standards surpassing those required by regulations and challenge the
Â· market to provide innovative solutions that minimise the environmental impact of buildings
Â· To raise the awareness of owners, occupants, designers and operators of the benefits of
Â· buildings with a reduced impact on the environment
Â· To allow organisations to demonstrate progress towards corporate environmental objectives
Building projects are assessed at the design and post-construction stages using a system of environmental
issues grouped within the following categories:
Â· Health and Well Being
Â· Land use and Ecology
The assessment of the building results in a final report and BRE Global BREEAM certificate detailing the performance of the assessed building against the environmental issues covered by Standard. The building's performance is expressed as a BREEAM rating of PASS, GOOD, VERY GOOD, EXCELLENT or OUTSTANDING.
BREEAM is developed, operated and maintained by BRE Global Ltd and the operation and direction of the method is overseen by an independent Sustainability Board, representing a wide cross-section of construction industry stakeholders. Further information about BREEAM, including copies of the BREEAM standards, can be found at www.breeam.org
BREEAM Scoring & Rating
The table below shows the weightings for each category.
New builds, extension &major refurbishments
Building fit-out only (where applicable to scheme)
Land Use &Ecology
The individual credits are added up and then weighted in line with the table above to give a final BREEAM rating. Where a design can demonstrate a reduction in a building's impact on the environment in an innovative way, extra 'innovation' credit can be applied for from the BRE. Design innovations can add a maximum of 10% onto the score.
The table below shows the percentage score required for each rating.
The BREEAM categories contain a number of environmental issues, which reflect the options available when designing, procuring and constructing a building.
BREEAM issues and credits
Each environmental issue has a set number of 'credits' available and these credits are awarded where the building demonstrates that it complies with the requirements of that issue.
A number of issues within a category have set minimum standards, i.e. a minimum number of credits that must be achieved in order for a particular BREEAM rating level to be met.
Innovation credits provide additional recognition for a building that innovates in the field of sustainable
performance, above and beyond the level that is currently recognised and rewarded by standard BREEAM issues. Innovation credits are awarded for either complying with pre-defined BREEAM issue exemplary level requirements, through the appointment of a BREEAM Accredited Design Advisor or Suitably Qualified Assessor or via application to BRE Global to have a particular building feature, system or process approved as 'innovative'.
Environmental weightings, final score and BREEAM Rating
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Once each BREEAM issues has been assessed the category percentage scores are determined (based on the number of credits achieved over those available within a category), and an environmental weighting applied (as shown below).
The weighted category scores are then totalled to give an overall score, and any additional score for
innovation is added to give the final BREEAM score which is used to determine the BREEAM rating.
During November 2010, Group H undertook a BREEAM Offices Pre-Assessment for the proposed refurbishment to the Tower Building. The existing D1 use of the Institution Block is to be converted to permanent B1 use serving small businesses. The existing building includes 2 staircases, circulation areas and several halls as noted the plans. The existing building serves a cafeteria in the ground level and lecture halls at other levels.
Development site: Tower Building (part of University of Greenwich, Mansion Site), London SE9 2PQ.
Client: Mark Mulville
Project Manager: Jennifer
Project Team: Ravi, Juliette, Ade
BREEAM Office Suite
Justification of suite selection
Limitations of Existing Building
This Pre-assessment is carried out using the most recent version of the BREEAM Offices 2008 Manual (SD 5055). The pre-assessment accesses the development using the design stage criteria. Early design stage Advice to the Client has been discussed in section 2.
The proposed development is assessed as a major refurbishment to the existing building under the BREEAM criteria. This assessment is to assist the client's interest in delivering an exemplar 'sustainable' building within a constrained budget. Although the primary focus will be to determine steps required to increase the current rating to the next level.
Land Use &Ecology
In light of the pre-assessment it is predicted that achieving a BREEAM rating of Excellent for this building will be practical. Although this would require that the existing mechanical and electrical services are upgraded, along with other systems encouraging sustainable use of the proposed office spaces. The principle concern would be whether the development could achieve the mandatory six credits required for an Excellent rating under the Ene 1 credit: Reduction of CO2 emissions. This equates to a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) CO2 index of 40 or a B rating.
Table 2: Unavailable BREEAM Credits
Weighted Credit Value %
Due to the specifics of retaining the existing fenestration patterns, the amount of daylight cannot be improved
Summary of credits
Health and Wellbeing
On inspection, the building provides good evidence the at least 80% of the building is adequately lit.
Due to the size and number of the windows in each room, credits were awarded as they have an adequate view out
All windows have blinds that keep sun rays out and a very good credit was awarded for this criteria.
High frequency ballasts are installed on most florescent lamps and this gets a very good credit rating.
With Lux levels of around 500, which is within CIBSE recommended levels, a good credit rating was awarded.
According to CIBSE lighting regulations, larger rooms which are 10m or more long need to have a 6m reach to a light switch. This is not the case in the existing building