Last edited 15 Dec 2021

Main author

Emma Houston Other Consultant Website

BREEAM Ecological value of site


[edit] Aim and benefits

To encourage development on land that already has limited value to wildlife and to protect existing ecological features from substantial damage during site preparation and completion of construction works.

[edit] When to consider

Before RIBA stage 1 where possible. A site inspection by an ecologist must be carried out before any works begin on the chosen site. Where there is a choice of sites, inspections will be required of each and where able the site with the lowest ecological value should be selected. If an area of the site needs to be protected then the design and works will have to work around that and the earlier this is known the better.

[edit] Step-by-step guidance

The ‘BREEAM checklist for defining land of low ecological value’ can be used by the Assessor. Where a project wishes to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating an ecologist will need to be involved as part of the minimum requirements and so would be best placed to advise on the ecological value of the site too.

Where the BREEAM checklist is being used the assessor will need to be provided with the following information:

When using the BREEAM checklist if any of the answers to the questions are yes then an ecologist will need to become involved to determine if the site is of low ecological value.

For ease, it is best to involve a suitably qualified ecologist from the start.

Before procuring an ecologist, it should be checked that they are suitably qualified in line with BREEAM requirements.

If using an ecologist, they will need to carry out a site inspection prior to any works beginning on site and at appropriate times of the year to determine if there is any ecological value in the site. If the overall value of the site is low the credit will be achievable but if there is value the site cannot gain the credit. See compliance notes in the BREEAM manual if the site was cleared prior to purchase.

Where the ecologist confirms the overall value is low but there are some features that should be retained and protected during construction these should be highlighted to the design team as early as possible.

The contractor should know they must put in place protection measures before they are appointed.

[edit] Questions to ask while seeking compliance

[edit] Tools and resources

[edit] Tips and best practice

[edit] Typical evidence

[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.

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

--Emma Houston 11:15, 18 Jan 2018 (BST)

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