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Chesterwell Neighbourhood Centre, Colchester

Chesterwell Neighbourhood Centre, Colchester


The Chesterwell Neighbour Centre scheme is being developed by Mersea Homes and includes non-residential retail and office units, and a nursery. This is to compliment phases one and two of Chesterwell which included the construction of a selection of distinctive and high-quality homes to benefit the existing community of historic Colchester. This is now complete, and families are enjoying their new homes on site.


The planning condition specified that the scheme must be registered with the BRE and “a pre-assessment report (or design stage certificate with interim rating if available)” must be submitted indicating that the development can achieved a final BREEAM rating of at least “Very Good”. To comply with this Mersea Homes commissioned SRL to complete the registration of the scheme and pre-assessment only under BREEAM UK New Construction 2018.


We worked with Mersea Homes and Stanley Bragg architects to define BREEAM targets to help achieve their target score at the pre-assessment stage. As there are three different building types, three different BREEAM pre-assessments were completed which included an:

  1. Education (Preschool) Pre-Assessment –This scheme included classrooms, associated administration areas and outside space under a fully fitted scope. We predicted that a score of 69% (BREEAM “Very Good”) was achievable.
  2. Office Pre-Assessment –The scheme included five office studios and outside space under a shell only scope. We predicted that a score of 62.03% (BREEAM “Very Good”) was achievable.
  3. Retail Pre-Assessment under the Similar Buildings Assessment –The scheme included five retail units within one building, a convenience store, and another retail unit in a second building and outside space under a shell only scope. Where there are two buildings, this usually means that two assessments must be complete. However, they could be assessed under one Similar Buildings Assessment as both buildings:
  • were on the same site
  • had the same principle function
  • were of similar construction type and specification
  • were being developed by the same contractor (but fit out being undertaken by the end user).

Each building was still separately assessed, but the BREEAM rating was determined by the worst performing building. We predicted that a score of 62.03 (BREEAM “Very Good”) was achievable.



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