Last edited 04 Dec 2020

BREEAM Insulation


[edit] Aim and benefits

To recognise and encourage the use of thermal insulation which has a low embodied environmental impact relative to its thermal properties.

Credits are awarded based on an insulation product's Green Guide Rating score multiplied by the thermal resistance (thermal conductivity value x volume ). Where an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) exists, this can be used to increase the score.

[edit] Value to Clients

This is the most certain way to achieve thermal comfort without ‘eco-bling’ and reduce energy costs. It is also a relatively low capital cost input.

[This section is no longer separated in NC 2018]

[edit] When to consider

The issue should be considered once the detailed and technical design stages commence and insulation materials are being selected i.e. RIBA Stages 3 to 4 and at a stage where the assessor/BREEAM AP are still able to influence the choice of materials used to ensure compliance.

On shell or shell and core projects, only the insulations being installed during that phase of works needs to be considered.

On Refurbishment & Fit Out Projects, this issue is not applicable to Part 4.

On Refurbishment & Fit Out Projects, where there will be no new insulation, this issue will be filtered out.

[edit] Step by step guidance

The design team should complete a schedule to confirm the insulation products used. The assessor can help apply any green guide ratings. This will cover all insulation used in the thermal envelope - external walls, roof and ground floor, and in the building services.


Evidence to be collated for each product, will include technical literature or product data sheets confirming the insulation type and thermal conductivity, green guide rating or EPDs.

Where a product requires a bespoke green guide rating, the assessor will need to submit an Insulation Proforma to the BRE (available to assessors on BREEAM Projects under Documents - Green Guide to Specification - Assessor information).

The data provided should be input into the Mat04 Calculator Tool to confirm the Insulation Index score - 2.5 is required to gain a credit.

[edit] Questions to ask while seeking compliance

What insulation is being specified and where, its thickness and area (or for building services - the volume)?

[edit] Tools and resources

BREEAM UK New Construction 2014 Issue 5.0 - Mat04

GreenBookLive link to search EPDs

[edit] Tips and best practice

Where insulation is incorporated as part of an off-site manufactured element, this will have been assessed under Mat01, the insulation can therefore be awarded an A+ rating under Mat04.

[edit] Typical evidence

[edit] Design Stage

Drawings and/or specification or completed Mat04 Schedule (example under Step by Step Guidance section. Manufacturer's data sheets. Copies of any Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) where applicable. Print off from GreenBookLive to show green guide rating for specific product and building type where EPDs are being used.

A copy of the completed Mat04 calculator tool.

[edit] Post Construction Stage

Written confirmation from the design team to confirm the information provided at design stage is still current or a copy of the updated Mat04 schedule. Where required, an updated copy of the Mat04 calculator tool. Where available, photos of the insulation on site could be used as 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.

<Jane Morning>

Designing Buildings Anywhere

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