Last edited 28 Oct 2020

BREEAM Designing for durability and resilience


[edit] Aim and benefits

The aim is to encourage and recognise adequate protection of exposed elements of the landscape and building. This will minimise the frequency of replacement and maximise materials optimisation.

There is inherent value in knowing the long-term costs, in maintenance and in replacement, to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Robust materials used as building elements can reduce maintenance costs and future expenditures where known climatic erosion, weathering processes, and wear and tear are expected.

Quality in design and specification of durable materials add commercial value to a property. Hospitals and schools adopt durable and resilient materials by default for the wear and tear the building receives under high volume and constant use. Longer life-cycles of products will contribute positively to the LCA (life cycle assessment) balance.

[edit] When to consider

Architects should consider the requirements and identify vulnerable areas as early in the design process as possible. Collaborate with the landscape designer and M&E engineers to allow for any potential measures affecting the lifetime of the materials.

At RIBA stage 3/4 - architects should consider future repairs and replacements, as well as their associated costs, when designing and specifying materials for a new building. Also consider the impact of climate change on the external materials. These considerations are expected to be included in the specifications.

At the construction stage - contractors should ensure all measures are installed and implemented as specified.

[edit] Step-by-step guidance

The design should be reviewed to identify any areas vulnerable to damage both internally and externally and where possible the risk should be removed. Where this is not possible, the risk should be reduced by specifying protection measures. Drawings should be marked up to identify the risk areas both internally and externally. This could include areas of the building at risk from damage from vehicle movement i.e. close to vehicular parking or manoeuvring; internal vehicular/trolley movement or areas of high pedestrian traffic such as main entrances, public areas and circulation routes.

Suitable durability and protection measures to vulnerable parts of the building can include:

Vehicular impact protection must be positioned at an adequate distance from the building to protect the fabric from impact from any vehicle with a measurable overhang of the body from the wheel track, in particular in any goods delivery areas.

In vehicle movement areas only, additional protection must be provided such as bollards or protection rails in addition to the specification of an external robust wall construction.

The process to assess criteria 2 is:

  1. Identify from the list of ‘applicable building elements’ under Table 50 the elements that are appropriate to the building being assessed.
  2. Establish from the ‘environmental factors’ list those factors that are likely to cause material degradation effects in the identified applicable building elements.
  3. Confirm the design and specification measures in place to limit these degradation effects.
  4. The assessor should use their professional judgement in determining whether the design team have adequately demonstrated that they have designed and specified materials and/or measures which will be effective in preventing unnecessary deterioration, so reducing frequent replacements, repairs and maintenance through the life cycle of the building.
  5. At post construction stage, where the design and specification measures installed differ from those proposed at the design stage, the assessor must ensure that these measures still meet the aims of the criterion as detailed in point 4 above.

[edit] Protecting exposed parts of the building from material degradation

The scheme should show that exposed parts of the building are protected from degradation. This covers the following elements and only apply if they are exposed to the external environment:

Under this, state which environmental factors apply:

Environmental agents:

Biological agents:

Environmental agents:

  • Air contaminants.
  • Ground contaminants.

Material degradation effects could include:

  • Corrosion.
  • Dimensional change e.g. swelling or shrinkage.
  • Fading / discolouration.
  • Rotting.
  • Leaching.
  • Blistering.
  • Melting.
  • Salt crystallisation.
  • Abrasion.

A suggested format for evidence is a table with the following headings:

Applicable Building Elements Environmental Factors Possible Degradation Effects Measures to Minimise Effects

Measures to minimise effects could be specifying protective paint finishes or durable materials which are not susceptible to the possible degradation effects applicable to that element.

[edit] For shell only or shell and core assessments

Where vulnerable elements identified are internal and do not form part of the shell and core developer’s remit, i.e. they are within speculative areas and compliance is subject to the tenant’s/future occupier’s fit-out specification, these areas can be excluded from assessment.

[edit] Questions to ask while seeking compliance

[edit] Tools and resources

[edit] Typical evidence

Design stage:

Post construction

[edit] Applicable schemes

The guidelines collated in this ISD aim to support sustainable best practice in the topic described. This issue may apply in multiple BREEAM schemes covering different stages in the life of a building, different building types and different year versions. Some content may be generic but scheme nuances should also be taken into account. Refer to the comments below and related articles to this one to understand these nuances. See this document for further guidelines.

This article created originally in a BREEAM Professionals workshop by Tom Abbott, Azita Dezfouli and Jane Morning

BRE Global does not endorse any of the content posted and use of the content will not guarantee the meeting of certification criteria.

--BREEAM Professionals Workshop 15:53, 21 Feb 2018 (BST)

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