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How are BREEAM Credits easily lost during design and construction?

How are BREEAM Credits easily lost during design and construction?

BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 – How are Credits easily lost during design and construction?



When completing BREEAM assessments, we often find that certain credits targeted in the pre-assessment are lost in the later stages of an assessment. In this document SRL highlight the BREEAM issues where project teams frequently lose credits and explain the common reasons for this.


Man 01 – Project brief and design

  • Stakeholder and third-party consultation is not complete by the end of RIBA Stage 2.
  • Some elements of the BREEAM consultation criteria have not been addressed.
  • BREEAM Advisory Professional (AP) is not appointed by the end of RIBA Stage 2.
  • The BREEAM AP is not invited to all key meetings.

Man 03 – Responsible construction practices

  • The site team forget to record energy (in kWh) and water (in m3) consumption on site, as well as distance travelled to transport materials and waste to and from site (in km).

Man 05 – Aftercare

    • The client or building occupier do not commit funds to pay for a Post Occupancy Evaluation one year after the development is substantially occupied.


Health and Wellbeing

Hea 01 – Visual comfort

  • The average daylight factor credits are often targeted but not achieved; the design team is often unable to calculate or predict the achievable daylight factor at the early stages of the project.

Hea 02 – Indoor Air Quality

  • Ventilation pathways are not BREEAM compliant. This criterion is designed to minimise the ingress and build-up of air pollutants inside the building.

Hea 07 – Safe and healthy surroundings

  • The criteria for this issue are very lengthy and often building designs do not incorporate them all. For example:
    • dedicated parking or
    • waiting area for goods vehicles which is separate from the manoeuvring area and staff and visitor car parking.



Ene 01 – Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions

  • The project team often overestimates the number of credits the Part L BRUKL report will achieve.



Tra 02 – Sustainable transport measures

  • The project team often overestimates the number of sustainable transport measures that can be implemented on site.



Wat 01 – Water consumption

  • The project team often overestimates the efficiency of the domestic water-consuming components they are planning to install.
  • Alternatively, the targeted credits are achieved during the design stage assessment but a change in the type of shower installed may mean fewer credits are awarded during the post construction review, e.g. a shower with a flow rate of 5 litres/min may have been specified at design change, but a shower with a flow rate of 8 litres/min is actually installed.

Wat 03 – Water leak detection

  • A BREEAM compliant leak detection system is often specified at the design stage but then not installed due to the cost.



Mat 03 – Responsible sourcing of materials

  • The project team often overestimates the % of available responsible sourcing points they can achieve. The credits achieved are often reduced because it’s difficult and time-consuming to collect BREEAM-compliant responsible sourcing certificates.

Mat 05 – Designing for durability and resilience

  • The project team often overlooks the criteria for protecting exposed parts of the building from material degradation, i.e. completing a detailed assessment of an element’s resilience when exposed to environmental factors (e.g. assessing the resilience of external walls and cladding to weathering).



Wst 01 – Construction waste management

  • The project team will often underpredict the amount of waste generated per 100m2. Teams regularly commit to achieving 3 credits (≤ 4m3 / ≤ 3.2 tonnes per 100m2) but on many occasions the final waste figures only result in 1 credit being awarded (≤ 13.3m3 / ≤ 11.1 tonnes per 100m2).

Wst 03 – Operational waste

  • The project team do not recognise that the storage area for recyclable materials must be in addition to areas and facilities provided with dealing with general waste and other waste management facilities.


Land Use and Ecology

Le 02 – Ecological risks and opportunities

  • The project team overlooks ecology stakeholder consultation criteria. This determines the optimal ecological outcomes for the development and identifies the ecological measures that must be implemented to achieve this by RIBA Stage 2.
  • The project team do not recognise the link between the criteria within Le 02 and the rest of Le, e.g. if the stakeholder consultation is not done, no credits can be awarded within Le 03 and those available within Le 04 and 05 become limited.

Le 03 – Managing impacts on ecology

  • Even when the stakeholder consultation has been done, the project team overlooks the further planning that is required to avoid and manage the negative ecological impacts on-site. This must be done in-line with BREEAM’s methodology by the end of RIBA Stage 2.

 Le 04 – Ecological change and enhancement

  • The project team overlooks the criterion where valuable ecological data from the site must be provided to local environmental record centres nearest to, or relevant for, the site.

 Le 05 – Long term ecological management and maintenance

  • As stated above, if the relevant criteria within Le 02 have not been achieved, a credit will also be lost for Le 05.



Pol 02 – Local air quality

  • Combustion plant installed to provide space heating and domestic hot water exceed the maximum NOx levels set by BRE. In many instances, teams commit to achieving the criteria at design stage, then specify plant that fails to meet the criteria.