Last edited 21 Apr 2018

Common pitfalls relating to BREEAM assessments


[edit] Assigning responsibilities

  • Lack of commitment from site team as they have more important concerns
  • For any BREEAM project, there should be a Project Manager/Lead who will clearly explain the purpose and necessity in achieving the targeted BREEAM rating for the project. It is very difficult for BREEAM assessors to undertake the assessment without any support from the PM/Lead as the assessors do not usually have the authority to push the project team to work towards to meeting the BREEAM criteria. This should be agreed from the beginning between the assessor and the client/project team.

[edit] BRE QA

  • Not taking into account time taken to complete BRE QA
  • BRE QA feedback may require a resubmission thus delaying certification
  • Misunderstandings from the BRE QA team concerning some provided evidence. Solution: the newly created QA chat for assessors helps a lot to avoid these misunderstandings.

[edit] Changes

[edit] Communication

[edit] Criteria details

  • Level of overly prescriptive requirements in some criteria compared to others (eg transparency of blinds - doesn’t make a building more sustainable so possible not appropriate to include)
  • Criteria that suits some projects better than others, e.g. Wst 01 waste targets are easily achieved on Industrial units (and all shell only, shell and core projects) but for a fitted out building it’s very onerous.
  • Some credits such as Waste storage and cycle storage credits are difficult to get on small office/ retial units, when no site wide provisions are available. At design stage, credits were achieved as these were shown on drawings but at PC, there wasn’t anything provided physically as this meant reduction in net lettable space.
  • Mandatory LE03 credit missed because there is not the space or resources in place to mitigate the ecological impact.
  • Site records not being kept as confirmed at design stage even though a meeting has been held with the site team to discuss and run through their requirements.
  • Specification not carrying specific enough requirements to fulfill BREEAM targets (eg Sustainable sourcing of timber. I found it quite common that architects are writing in their specification that all timber should be responsibly sourced but if not available then …. - this second part after “but” should not appear if you want to achieve BREEAM)

[edit] Planning

[edit] Scope

  • Pre Assessment tracker does not align with actual contract terms of agreement for scope - not picked up until later stages

[edit] Timing

  • Clients can miss the early RIBA credits, including the AP ones which can make achieving ‘Excellent’ very difficult
  • Late engagement (e.g. client expecting contractor to take the risk of compliance)
  • In most of our current RFO projects, our appointment has been at late stage 2 or early RIBA stage 3, due to which early credits are lost.
  • Appointing consultants at the correct stage to help inform the design is often an issue.
  • Client only considers BREEAM when it comes up as a planning or funding requirement - misses early stage credits, this will be more critical for BREEAM 2018 which has far more early stage requirements e.g. Ene 01, Mat 01.

[edit] Tracker tools

  • If using your own tracker always use BRE tools to double check scores and weightings etc to ensure no mistakes

[edit] Unrealistic commitments

[edit] Value engineering

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--Multiple Author Article 21:49, 21 Apr 2018 (BST)