BREEAM Functional adaptability
 Aim and benefits
The aim of this issue is to avoid unnecessary material use, cost and disruption arising from the need for future adaptation works as a result of changing functional demands and to maximise the ability to reclaim and reuse materials at final demolition in line with the principles of a circular economy.
Buildings should be designed structurally to enable flexibility of internal layouts and the external facade where possible. Ideally, there should be room for expansion of the building or building services to accommodate future changes in use, demand or technology. There should be scope to adapt and refurbish the building to another use or function, where the existing one has become redundant, without the need to demolish and rebuild.
 When to consider
Stage 4 - Technical Design - Architect to provide an update to the Stage 2 report in the form of a Functional Adaptation Implementation Plan. They will also need to provide a Building Adaptability and Disassembly Guide
 Design for Disassembly and Functional Adaptability - Recommendations (one credit)
A building-specific functional adaptation strategy study must be undertaken by the client and design team by Concept Design (RIBA Stage 2 or equivalent), to explore the ease of disassembly and the functional adaptation potential of different design scenarios and develop recommendations or solutions based on the study. Examples of functional design measures which may be adopted for each assessment part when considering accessibility, spatial adaptability and expandability are included in table Wst06.1.
A functional adaptation strategy study should consider:
- Feasibility – the likelihood to contain multiple or alternative building uses, area functions and different tenancies over the expected life cycle e.g. related to the structural design of the building.
- Accessibility – Design aspects that facilitate the replacement of all major plant within the life of the building, e.g., panels in floors and walls that can be removed without affecting the structure, providing lifting beams and hoists. Accessibility also involves access to local services, such as local power, data and infrastructure.
- Versatility – The degree of adaptability of the internal environment to accommodate changes in working practices.
- Adaptability – The potential of the building ventilation strategy to adapt to future building occupant needs and climatic scenarios.
- Convertibility – The degree of adaptability of the internal physical space and external shell to accommodate changes of in-use.
- Expandability – The potential for the building to be extended, horizontally or vertically.
- ‘Refurbishment potential’ – The potential for major refurbishment, including replacing the façade.
Fabric and structure:
|Use of products or systems which allow easy replacements||Location of structural components within the floor space||Provision to add extensions or alterations to increase building capacity|
Core and local services:
|Inclusion of facilities management requirements and construction design management feedback for future operational needs||Provision of capacity in infrastructure to enable future expansion and adaptation|
|Use of products or systems which allow easy replacements||
Layout in standardised grids
Use of inherent finishes to allow replacement
Use of standardised material sizes
Identifying or recognising potential future functional requirements
 Questions to ask while seeking compliance
 Tips and best practice
 Typical evidence
A copy of the Functional Adaptation Strategy Study Report should be provided at Stage 2.
As design stage, no further evidence required, unless the Disassembly Guide needs updating.
 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.
--Jane Morning 10:05, 05 Jun 2019 (BST)
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Issue support documents
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Issue support documents are written for named BREEAM Issues or sub-issues. More info. (ac) = awaiting content.
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- BREEAM Sustainability champion
- BREEAM Environmental management
- BREEAM Considerate construction
- BREEAM Monitoring of construction site impacts
- BREEAM Aftercare support
- BREEAM Seasonal commissioning
- BREEAM Testing and inspecting building fabric
- BREEAM Life cycle cost and service life planning
- BREEAM Stakeholder consultation (ac)
- BREEAM Commissioning (ac)
- BREEAM Handover (ac)
- BREEAM Inclusive and accessible design (ac)
- BREEAM Post occupancy evaluation
 Health and Wellbeing
- BREEAM Visual comfort Daylighting (partly ac)
- BREEAM Visual comfort View out
- BREEAM Visual comfort Glare control
- BREEAM Indoor air quality plan
- BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation
- BREEAM Thermal comfort
- BREEAM Internal and external lighting (ac)
- BREEAM Indoor pollutants VOCs (ac)
- BREEAM Potential for natural ventilation (ac)
- BREEAM Safe containment in laboratories (ac)
- BREEAM Acoustic performance
- BREEAM Safety and security (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions
- BREEAM Energy monitoring
- BREEAM External lighting
- BREEAM Low carbon design
- BREEAM Passive design
- BREEAM Free cooling
- BREEAM LZC technologies
- BREEAM Energy efficient cold storage (partly ac)
- BREEAM Energy efficient transportation systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient laboratory systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient equipment (partly ac)
- BREEAM Drying space
- BREEAM Transport assessment and travel plan
- BREEAM Public transport accessibility
- BREEAM Sustainable transport measures
- BREEAM Proximity to amenities
- BREEAM Cyclist facilities
- BREEAM Alternative modes of transport (ac)
- BREEAM Maximum car parking capacity
- BREEAM Travel plan
- BREEAM Home office (ac)
- BREEAM Water consumption
- BREEAM Water efficient equipment
- BREEAM Water monitoring
- BREEAM Water leak detection (ac)
- BREEAM Hard landscaping and boundary protection
- BREEAM Responsible sourcing of materials
- BREEAM Insulation
- BREEAM Designing for durability and resilience
- BREEAM Life cycle impacts
- BREEAM Material efficiency (ac)
- BREEAM Construction waste management
- BREEAM Recycled aggregates
- BREEAM Speculative floor & ceiling finishes
- BREEAM Adaptation to climate change
- BREEAM Operational waste
- BREEAM Functional adaptability (ac)
 Land Use and Ecology
- BREEAM Site Selection
- BREEAM Ecological value of site
- BREEAM Protection of ecological features
- BREEAM Minimising impact on existing site ecology
- BREEAM Enhancing site ecology
- BREEAM Long term impact on biodiversity (ac)
- BREEAM Impact of refrigerants
- BREEAM NOx emissions
- BREEAM Flood risk management (ac)
- BREEAM Surface water run-off (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of night time light pollution (partly ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of noise pollution
Once an ISD has been initially created the '(ac)' marker can be removed
This particular index is based around the structure of the New Construction and RFO schemes.