Last edited 20 Mar 2018

Main author

Atiyeh Rose Pourmatin Other Consultant Website

The case for BREEAM Communities

BREEAM Communities is a way to improve, measure and certify the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the plans for large-scale developments by integrating sustainable design into the masterplanning process. There is a range of benefits for developers, local authorities and other masterplanning professionals from using BREEAM Communities. It significantly improves the process of stakeholder engagement on large developments, smoothing out the planning process and reducing associated costs. It also provides a credible and transparent means of measuring and defining sustainability at the neighbourhood scale, differentiating the site and demonstrating alignment with National Planning Policy Framework policies. This document further highlights the benefits of BREEAM Communities, including feedback from numerous stakeholders who have had experience of using the scheme.

Contents

[edit] Creating sustainable places

BREEAM Communities supports the creation of more sustainable places by providing design teams with a simple framework to consider sustainability. The scheme supports engagement with the community and key stakeholders at the earliest possible stages, optimising the opportunity for the integration of sustainable design. Design teams have reported that using BREEAM Communities brought about a variety of sustainability benefits including:

[edit] Saving time and money

BREEAM Communities saves money and time by;

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  • Smoothing out and reducing costs in the planning process, by front-loading stakeholder engagement, resulting in a smoother and more efficient planning process, avoiding refusals and appeals and the need to re-work designs
  • Increasing the long-term value of the area, promoting the higher sale and rental prices

[edit] Improving the planning process

Internationally, BREEAM Communities gives developers and local authorities a clear framework to demonstrate sustainability of a development proposal. Both parties know what to expect and can easily measure the sustainability outcomes and successes of the development. The scheme will aid pre-application discussions, bringing them to the forefront in the early stages of the project, thus improving efficiency and reducing the likelihood of the need to rework of designs.

In the UK BREEAM Communities helps to demonstrate that a development proposal satisfies local policies and the National Planning Policy Framework. This is particularly useful in the case of the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’.

Benefits of certification

BREEAM Communities provides third-party certification that is designed to ensure independence, credibility, and consistency. This supports;

[edit] Improving Project Management

Feedback to date suggests that BREEAM Communities reduces the amount of work involved in the masterplanning process. It is a framework to facilitate good planning, with most of the mandatory requirements being studies that developers are already required to complete for projects of a significant size, for example, an Environmental Impact Assessment.

The scheme ensures these studies are undertaken at the right time, bringing together and making use of the evidence from these studies to identify what can be done with the unique issues and opportunities on the site.

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[edit] Facts and Figures

BREEAM Communities is being used both within the UK and internationally. This map demonstrates the international uptake of the BREEAM Communities scheme.

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To date 19 projects have been certified under BREEAM Communities with a further 37 currently registered and undergoing assessment, with the size of development ranging from 2 ha to 179ha (as of the publication date). There are currently 94 licensed assessors in 15 countries across the world.

Further information about the BREEAM Communities scheme including case studies can be found on the BREEAM Communities UK and International webpages here: http://www.breeam.com/communities

--Atiyeh Rose Pourmatin 10:53, 20 Mar 2018 (BST)