Common contractor errors
This article highlights some common contractor errors which should be considered when approaching construction.
 Step by step guidance
 Responsible construction practices
Considerate Construction scores count and it is the last assessment which contributes to the final BREEAM assessment. This can be forgotten.
 Construction site impacts
The contractor must be aware from the beginning what they are required to monitor. It is usual for all energy and water use to be monitored but transport is less common. The contractor should be informed about what needs to be in place to achieve the credit. Sometimes the required units are not provided.
 Stakeholder participation
Building User guide, all contractors will be familiar with O and M manuals and can be mistaken thinking they are appropriate here. The Building User Guide requirements should be highlighted to them, they are found in the BREEAM manual. It is important that each relevant heading is addressed. This document is often left to the end of the construction and then drags on. If the guide is begun early it should not be as much of a burden at the end. There are companies available which will out a BUG together for a fee.
Minimising Sources of Air pollution. The architect’s specification should detail compliant products, sometimes specific products. The contractor may be unaware of the importance of the standards detailed and the effect a change could have on the BREEAM score. The contractor should be made aware that any change in product needs to still be compliant. Collection of manufacturers datasheets as the products are procured is helpful to negate a paperchase exercise at the end of the project.
 Acoustic Performance
The acoustician will carry out calculations and make recommendations for compliance during the design. The contractor can forget that when the acoustician carries out testing at the end of construction, if the building does not pass remediation must be carried out and this is a cost. Careful consideration to the acoustician’s recommendations should help avoid this.
The contractor should be wary of changes to insulation, lighting, u-values these can have impacts on the energy model and resultant BRUKL. Energy monitoring can be queried as more metering means more of a cost. The metering provision should be checked that it meets the criteria and is not in excess of it if cost is an issue.
Sometimes sanitary fittings are changed without consideration to flow rate. The flow rate and flush volume is what dictates the achievement of Wat 1. Increase in volumes can mean loss of credits.
It is important that an exercise to determine the achievable responsible sourcing credits is carried out early and where possible with the contractors input. The contractor will likely know who will supply their materials and so the level of responsible sourcing will be known. Certificates should be collected as materials are procured to negate a paper chase at the end of the project. Credits are easily lost here because suppliers were not compliant or did not provide certification.
Overly ambitious project managers or design teams can sometimes commit to difficult waste reduction levels. If possible, the contractor should have input before commitments are made or be fully aware of the requirement in their pre-lims. There is no way to get waste credits back.
The contractor if targeting ‘Long term impact on biodiversity’ will need to have a biodiversity champion. There are training requirements and a log book which must be carried out. If one item is not completed the credit is likely lost.
 NOx Emissions
A change in plant can have a big impact on the Nox emissions. Where any change is made the calculations should carried out again.
 Questions to ask while seeking compliance
BREEAM Manual and Knowledgebase
 Tips and best practice
 Typical evidence
Formal letters – signed, dated and on headed paper
Extracts from the Pre-lims. Must be clear they are for the specific project
Training sign in sheets
BRE Global does not endorse any of the content posted and use of the content will not guarantee the meeting of certification criteria.
--Emma Houston 11:16, 18 Jan 2018 (BST)
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