BREEAM Thermal comfort
 Aim and benefits
To make sure buildings users are warm enough in the winter, cool enough in the summer, and can have control over their own heating.
(In UK NC 2014) There are 3 credits:
- Is your building cool enough in the summer and warm enough in the winter?
- In the future with climate change, will your building still be thermally comfortable?
- Have you got thermal zones and controls so building users can control their own thermal comfort?
 When to consider
See Step by step guidance below for some guidance on actions with regards to the RIBA timeline
 Step by step guidance
Is your building comfort cooled? If yes, you should achieve credits 1 and 2, as long as your system is sized OK.
Is your building mechanically ventilated? If yes, you’ll probably achieve the credits. Is your building fully naturally ventilated? If yes, you should achieve the first credit, but the climate change one will be really tricky.
There’s no excuse in this day and age for not achieving the 3rd credit. Note, in a school situation, it might only be that FM can control the heating/cooling so that kids don’t keep changing TRVs etc. In retail buildings/prisons etc the credit only refers to staff controlling temperature.
- the type of people that will use the building
- how au fait they will be with the different types of equipment
- how often they’ll be using the spaces and what the spaces will be used for
- How do individuals want to interact with heating/cooling controls?
- How can you balance different peoples’ requirements?
- How will the systems interact with each other?
- Does there need to be an override so systems aren’t used totally inefficiently?
If you’re working for an M&E sub contractor you may need to produce a markup of an as built drawing showing the zones and controls. You may also have to confirm formally that there have been no changes to the design which would affect the overheating risk, or make the building too cold in the winter. The BREEAM assessor will take a bunch of photos of the site showing that there are heating and cooling systems as per the design.
 Questions to ask while seeking compliance
See Step by step guidance RIBA stage 2 above for some questions
 Tips and best practice
Don't forget winter time thermal comfort
TM52 isn’t a limiting stop. A building won’t necessarily be comfortable because you met TM52. Try not to let the thermal zoning exercise feel like “something you just have to do for BREEAM” – control strategies are a really important part of soft landings and trying to reduce the performance gap
 Typical evidence
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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