Last edited 16 Nov 2020

Main author

Tom Blois-Brooke Engineer Website

BREEAM Energy monitoring


[edit] Aim and benefits

The aim of this credit is to encourage the installation of sub-meters to allow building facilities managers and building users to monitor energy consumption within the building and facilitate identifying end uses with a higher energy demand with the intention to reduce consumption where possible (saving money and CO2 emissions).

In an ideal world, it would also allow building occupiers compare meter readings to predicted values to help identify whether there is faulty equipment or the building is being operated incorrectly. As it stands, the "performance gap" makes this difficult. ENE 01 under BREEAM 2018 aims to start to address this.

This issue offers the following potential benefits to end users and clients:

[edit] When to consider

RIBA Stages 3-4 (Developed Design-Technical Design)

[edit] Step-by-step guidance

[edit] Sub-metering of major energy-consuming systems

1. Define all energies relevant for the assessed building (electricity, gas, district heating/cooling, gas, LPG, etc.)

2. Identify all energy-consuming systems present in the building, performing the following functions (in the BREEAM Manual see additional information on the Issue) and these are to be sub-metered:

  1. Transport systems (lifts, escalators, moving platforms).
  2. Covered car parks.
  3. Dedicated computer room, server rooms, datacentres.
  4. Kitchen and catering equipment.
  5. Water features (swimming or hydrotherapy pool, fountains, etc.).
  6. Telecommunications (mobile providers, etc.).
  7. Electric cars charging stations.
  8. Drama studios and theatres with large lighting rigs.
  9. Ovens or furnaces.
  10. External lighting, advertisement, decorative lighting.
  11. Floodlighting.
  12. Ventilation, heating and cooling in circulating areas (revolving doors, air curtains etc.).

CIBSE GIL 65: Tab 13 Size of plant for which separate metering would be reasonable:

Plant Rated input power (kWh)
Boiler installations comprising one or more boilers or CHP plant feeding a common distribution circuit 50
Chiller installations comprising one or more chiller units feeding a common distribution circuit 20
Electric humidifiers 10
Motor control centres providing power to fans and pumps 10
Final electrical distribution boards 50

3. The designer is to provide estimated annual energy consumption for each sub-metered part.

4. Calculate whether metering of individual systems covers at least 90% of each energy/fuel consumption. Consumption of systems/areas without metering can be calculated based on deduction of other sub-metered values or based on operating hours, installed load etc. Where the sum of sub-metered consumption is less than 90%, additional sub-metering is needed. For more guidance see CIBSE guidelines, especially General Information Leaflet 65 (link below) with easily understandable diagrams and schemes.

5. Define the scale of the building for correct metering system selection:

6. Ensure that meters will be easily identifiable to the building users (property, facility or office manager) through meters labelling and/or Building Management Systems (BMS) designation.

[edit] Sub-metering of high-energy load and tenancy areas

1. All meters and their monitoring systems are specified according to the points 5. and 6. above.

2. Identify the future building use and potential tenanted areas.

3. Ensure each tenanted area has sub-metering for the significant majority (> 90 %) of the energy supply, where applicable:

4. For single occupancy, building metering must be divided per floor and per functional area. Functional area types depend on the building usage and are not exhaustive (see the list below).

For small tenant units (GIFA < 250 m2) only one meter for electricity, heating and hot water per unit fulfils the requirement. For larger tenant units (GIFA > 250 m2) metering for both the whole unit and for relevant functional areas is required.

List of functional areas types (in BREEAM Manual see Compliance note – Building type specific):

  1. Offices (metering by floor plate and by tenants).
  2. Catering.
  3. Tenant units.
  1. Sales area.
  2. Storage and warehouse.
  3. Cold storage.
  4. Offices.
  5. Catering.
  6. Tenant units.
  1. Office areas.
  2. Operational area.
  3. Ancillary areas (e.g. canteens etc.).
  1. Kitchens (excluding small staff kitchens and food technology rooms).
  2. Office area.
  3. Computer suites.
  4. Workshops.
  5. Lecture halls.
  6. Conference rooms.
  7. Drama studios.
  8. Swimming pools.
  9. Sports halls.
  10. Process areas.
  11. Laboratories.
  12. High containment suites within laboratories.
  13. Controlled environment chambers.
  14. Animal accommodation areas.
  15. Data centres.
  16. IT work and study rooms, including IT-equipped library spaces and any space with provision of more than one computer terminal per 5m².
  17. Individual sub-metering of standard classrooms or seminar rooms is not required.
  1. Office areas.
  2. Catering (kitchens or restaurant).
  3. Conference suites.
  4. Swimming pool or leisure facilities.
  5. Hotel bedrooms metered per floor, core, floor plate, in a strategy that would provide benefit to facility management.

[edit] Questions to ask while seeking compliance

[edit] Tools and resources

[edit] Tips and best practice

[edit] Typical evidence

[edit] Design stage evidence

A schematic/layout for electricity and gas/other energy sources across the development, which should indicate meters and sub-meters on the supply to each relevant energy consuming end-use. If not otherwise stated on the schematic, annotations detailing connectivity to an energy monitoring and management system or, for smaller buildings, provision of meters with an open protocol/pulsed output for connection to a future energy monitoring and management system and confirmation that the sub-meters are identifiable to building users (e.g. labelled).

Confirmation that 90% (under UK New Construction 2014 or equivalent in other schemes) of regulated and unregulated energy consumption can be monitored via sub metering.

[edit] Post-construction stage evidence

Ask the M&E engineers to check their Design Stage evidence prior to the site visit (just in case there have been any major changes you need to look out for), an As-Built issue of the schematics/layouts would be useful as evidence.

Whilst on site, take photographs of meters and sub-meters, showing labelling/connection to the energy monitoring and management system. You could also take photographs of the energy monitoring and management system screen to demonstrate that the energy consuming systems are metered appropriately.

[edit] Applicable schemes

The guidelines collated in this Issue Support Document 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.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again