Common pitfalls relating to BREEAM assessments
 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.
- 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.
- Developer starts new project with same contractor and specifications as previous project but the BREEAM scheme has changed…difficult to reach the same target !
- Design changes - or changes on site that are not communicated properly. So subcontractors and designers not being fully aware of BREEAM requirements and how a specification meets those.
- We are still having Clients telling us as Contractors “don’t worry, the design will just move and change throughout the project delivery.” If they have employed BREEAM AP’s this really should not be something they are saying…...
- Changes in scope of work or building types as project progresses on speculative projects.
- Client’s not understanding what a Contractor can actually deliver means that the scope of works are either too wishy washy leaving the requirements unclear and Contractors confused. At the other extreme, Clients just put all of the risk of BREEAM delivery onto the Contractor but then either don’t feed that into the contractual requirements or don’t check that other contractual requirements contradict BREEAM.
- With traditional projects, with contractors prelims, project teams try to maximise Wst 01 credits by moving them over to the contractor, which sometime gets too onerous for the contractor - forcing them to cut corners (VE) in other areas.
- Client handing an Interim Stage Assessment to a Contractor and saying go deliver this and expecting the Contractor to be able to price and re-design within an extremely tight timescales.
- Have sent a WeTransfer link which expires after a week that was not opened in time - delay on getting feedback
- Achievement of credits at the design stage not always carried over into PCR achievement - break down in communication between design and construction teams
- Assuming future building occupiers will create compliant finishing / fit-out works.
- If a client/contractor sells a project as BREEAM to the future building occupier too cheaply without having any expertise nor motivation.
- Change over points in responsibility for different team members to take the lead with a credit area. This can include, for example, from design team members to Contractor but also between Design Team managers and their site staff- communication is key.
- Contractors who have a pre construction team and forget to advise the construction team of the BREEAM requirements and the commitments that have been made.
- Discuss with the client and the design team about possible cost of each credit
- 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)
- On some of these projects the Planning requirement/ contract agreements require BREEAM Excellent, which is nearly impossible.
- Pre Assessment tracker does not align with actual contract terms of agreement for scope - not picked up until later stages
- 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.
- If using your own tracker always use BRE tools to double check scores and weightings etc to ensure no mistakes
 Unrealistic commitments
- Design teams sign up to credits at the beginning and then key items might be value engineered out meaning credit is lost
BRE Global does not endorse any of the content posted and use of the content will not guarantee the meeting of certification criteria.
--Multiple Author Article 21:49, 21 Apr 2018 (BST)
Issue support documents
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Issue support documents are written for named BREEAM Issues or sub-issues. More info. (ac) = awaiting content
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- BREEAM Sustainability champion
- BREEAM Environmental management
- BREEAM Considerate construction
- BREEAM Monitoring of construction site impacts
- BREEAM Aftercare support
- BREEAM Seasonal commissioning
- BREEAM Testing and inspecting building fabric
- BREEAM Life cycle cost and service life planning
- BREEAM Stakeholder consultation (ac)
- BREEAM Commissioning (ac)
- BREEAM Handover (ac)
- BREEAM Inclusive and accessible design (ac)
- BREEAM Post occupancy evaluation
 Health and Wellbeing
- BREEAM Visual comfort Daylighting (partly ac)
- BREEAM Visual comfort View out
- BREEAM Visual comfort Glare control
- BREEAM Indoor air quality plan
- BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation
- BREEAM Thermal comfort
- BREEAM Internal and external lighting (ac)
- BREEAM Indoor pollutants VOCs (ac)
- BREEAM Potential for natural ventilation (ac)
- BREEAM Safe containment in laboratories (ac)
- BREEAM Acoustic performance
- BREEAM Safety and security (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions
- BREEAM Energy monitoring
- BREEAM External lighting
- BREEAM Low carbon design
- BREEAM Passive design
- BREEAM Free cooling
- BREEAM LZC technologies
- BREEAM Energy efficient cold storage (partly ac)
- BREEAM Energy efficient transportation systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient laboratory systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient equipment (partly ac)
- BREEAM Drying space
- BREEAM Transport assessment and travel plan
- BREEAM Public transport accessibility
- BREEAM Sustainable transport measures
- BREEAM Proximity to amenities
- BREEAM Cyclist facilities
- BREEAM Alternative modes of transport (ac)
- BREEAM Maximum car parking capacity
- BREEAM Travel plan
- BREEAM Home office (ac)
- BREEAM Water consumption
- BREEAM Water efficient equipment
- BREEAM Water monitoring
- BREEAM Water leak detection (ac)
- BREEAM Hard landscaping and boundary protection
- BREEAM Responsible sourcing of materials
- BREEAM Insulation
- BREEAM Designing for durability and resilience
- BREEAM Life cycle impacts
- BREEAM Material efficiency (ac)
- BREEAM Construction waste management
- BREEAM Recycled aggregates
- BREEAM Speculative floor & ceiling finishes
- BREEAM Adaptation to climate change
- BREEAM Operational waste
- BREEAM Functional adaptability (ac)
 Land Use and Ecology
- BREEAM Site Selection
- BREEAM Ecological value of site
- BREEAM Protection of ecological features
- BREEAM Minimising impact on existing site ecology
- BREEAM Enhancing site ecology
- BREEAM Long term impact on biodiversity (ac)
- BREEAM Impact of refrigerants
- BREEAM NOx emissions
- BREEAM Flood risk management (ac)
- BREEAM Surface water run-off (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of night time light pollution (partly ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of noise pollution
Once an ISD has been initially created the '(ac)' marker can be removed
This particular index is based around the structure of the New Construction and RFO schemes.