Last edited 09 Dec 2020

BREEAM Operational waste


[edit] Aim and benefits

The aim of this issue is to encourage the recycling of operational waste through the provision of dedicated storage facilities and space.

Well-designed buildings provide convenient and well integrated waste storage areas in suitable locations, ensuring that building occupants have the facilities to enable them to sort waste at source whenever possible.

>> Ensuring great collection and sorting of waste in the buildings, in order to avoid landfill and incineration.

>> Facilitating the maintenance of the building.

>> Optimization of occupiers flows.

[edit] When to consider

This credit may be addressed during the whole design stage from its very beginning. During construction the most important thing to check is that the agreed surface in design stage is not diminished for the benefit of other surface requirements.There are also some issues to take care of at handover.

[edit] Step by step guidance

Determine whether the proposed dedicated space complies with the BREEAM requirements based on information provided by the design team.

Confirm that the facilities for recyclable materials are in addition to areas and facilities provided for general waste.

Confirm that internal facilities are sized to ensure ease of access for vehicles collecting recyclable materials.

[edit] Detailled process

Early design :

Step 1 : Determine BREEAM minimum size requirements for recyclable waste facilities.

BREEAM provides default guidance for dedicated space requirements for situations where it is not possible to demonstrate the required size based on known waste streams.

  1. At least 2m² per 1000m² of net floor area for buildings < 5000m²
  2. A minimum of 10m² for buildings ≥ 5000m²
  3. An additional 2m² per 1000m² of net floor area where catering is provided (with an additional minimum of 10m² for buildings ≥ 5000m²).

Step 2 : Compare that surface to the surface needed by the user of the building. You need to know about :

  • Waste networks of your community/city/county/…

What kind of recyclable waste are to be collected ?
What type of sorting is required before collection ?
How often is the collection ?
Does the community/city/county/ gives bins ? If so, what are there size ?

  • What kind of recyclable waste will the end-occupier produce ?
  • What quantities of each categories are susceptible to be produced ?
  • What kind of equipment is therefore needed ?

How many bins ?

After answering all these questions (non exhaustive list), you can now estimate the size needed for perfect operation of the building.

Step 3 : Address accessibility of the recyclable facilities. The recyclable waste facility may be easily accessible. Check :

[edit] Technical design :

Ensure that the dedicated space is available/designed in your building, and that water evacuation and water tap are included on technical plans. Encourage the team to choose the best location as possible (see above) : easy access, securisation of the local if needed, protection of external areas from weather.

Ensure that every local is correctly ventilated (if they are internal).

If the dedicated space is located in the same local as non recyclable waste, the emplacement dedicated to recyclables may be clearly identified on the plans.

[edit] Final Design and tender documents :

Check the tender documentation. Check if labelisation is included in the tender documentation.

[edit] Construction :

For internal locals : check that the water outlet/inlet are installed and that the flooring is adequates and the walls protected (linked to MAT 05).

For external locals : Water outlet near the facility.

Check that the size of the recyclable waste local is still compliant and sufficient for the project needs.

[edit] Handover :

During its site inspection visit, the BREEAM Assessor must check that everything is installed and take pictures of relevant fixtures (water inlets/outlets/ labelisation/ flooring and wall protection/ if external : acces conditions and security of the local). If the recyclables are in the same local as organic waste, the dedicated space must be marked with floor painting in addition to the local labellisation.

All information regarding waste management facilities must be included in the Building Users Guide handed at handover.

[edit] Questions to ask while seeking compliance

The assessor needs to be satisfied that the sizes and facilities meet the criteria based on the building type, occupancy and the likely waste volumes generated as a result of these.

Typically ‘accessible’ is defined as being within 20m of a building entrance.

Where a building’s recyclable waste is sorted off-site, BREEAM requirements relating to segregation of recyclable waste need not be met. In such cases, the assessor seek evidence of the following:

[edit] Tools and resources

Operational waste - Top 10 easy win issue

Tools and resources mainly depend of the country and specific context of the project. Check public/private facility websites, and ask around the community about its needs.

[edit] Tips and best practice

[edit] Accessibility of the facilities

Typically ‘accessible’ is defined as being within 20m of a building entrance. In some circumstances site restrictions or tenancy arrangements could mean it is not possible for the facilities to be within 20m of a building entrance. If, in the opinion of the BREEAM assessor it is not feasible for the facilities to be within 20m of a building entrance, their judgement can be used to determine if the facility is deemed to be ‘accessible’ to the building occupants and for vehicle collection.

In situations where direct vehicular access to the recyclable waste store is limited by logistics or if size is a problem, for example inner city locations, some flexibility to the application of the criteria is allowed.

[edit] Waste local labellisation

>>The labelisation of the locals and features is often missing in tenders contracts. A lot of projects realise they need it at the end of construction. APs have to ensure that they are included into contracts. This can become a problem if labelisation was supposed to be realised by the tenant (explaining why its not in the tender contracts). If it is to be installed by the new tenant/owner, it could involve delays for the BREEAM certification process : the new tenant/owner may not be able to instal theses fixtures for several months.
>> When projects team involve labellisation at the beginning of the project, ensure that waste locals and features are not forgotten.

[edit] Waste local surfaces

If the BREEAM space requirements aren’t met, the client and design team can provide a valid justification and propose alternative solutions. Compliance can be achieved provided that it is clearly demonstrated and evidenced that there is adequate justification for the type of facilities & size of waste storage provided.

The BREEAM minimum requirements for waste management facilities is 2m² minimum (for projects with a net floor area under or equal to 1000 m² for non-residential buildings). However, regarding the project use and main waste stream, designing a bigger local can really enhance the project in-use life.

[edit] Catering/ kitchen facility

If there is to be a catering/kitchen facility in the building : closely work with the kitchen designer (which may sometimes be a separated expert). Refer to the reglementation of the countries : localisation of the facilities may be subject to strict hygien rules. Countries regulation may also specify particular treatment of waste (e.g. compulsory composting) if the regulation thresholds are met.

[edit] For mixed use buildings commercial/office buildings with surface constraints

Instead of going with only one big local for every use, think about the possibility of creating/ using two separated smaller locals. The total of the surface could meet the minimum requirements, but storing and waste management will be easier.

[edit] Influence of the price per m² of buildings

In big cities were the price per m² is really high, some project developers try to reduce as much as possible the size of waste collection locals. This issue needs a close checking during design.

[edit] Building User’s Guide

Information concerning the waste management facilities may be included in it.

[edit] Composting

Projects with a lot of external land are often really willful to install external composting facilities on site. For these installations to be really used during exploitation, the design team must be sure that the final occupier is aware of the maintenance requirements of these. The precise use of compost (or collection by waste companies) may be known early. For projects with few land and a big compost-waste production, on site collection by public/private services can be a pretty good solution.
For projects with a lot of external space using composting on site, the design team must think about implementing several small point of use composting units across the its land instead of a big facility alone. This will help the person in charge of external spaces : the compost will be nearer the plantations where it is needed.

[edit] Reducing waste needs

A good waste management includes educating the building occupiers to produce less waste. This can be done through the Building Users Guide, Information panels implemented on the project, workshops (for example for educational buildings)... It can also be done by providing water fountains in buildings and avoiding giving out water bottles (see credit HEA 09 in NC schemes). The best waste is a waste that is never produced. It is really efficient to teach that schools : educated kids will become aware adults.

[edit] BREEAM Assessor's site inspection report

During your visit of the site at the end of works, be sure to be shown technical locals. Take clear pictures showing the waste management facilities : labellisation on the doors of the locals, and picture showing the inside of the locals : floor and wall resistant coverings and protection, water outlet & arrival…

[edit] Typical evidence

Design stage :

Post construction stage :

[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.

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