Delivering sustainable buildings: Savings and payback FB 63
Delivering sustainable buildings: Savings and payback (FB 63) was written by Yetunde Abdul and Richard Quartermaine and published by BRE in August 2014. BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.
Research by Sweett Group and BRE has challenged the perception that sustainable buildings are more costly to build. Detailed capital and operational cost information was been obtained by applying cost data from real construction projects to three case studies (an office, a secondary school and a community healthcare centre).
The project investigated the capital costs of design and construction strategies that enhance building sustainability and help to achieve BREEAM ratings. They include low-cost or no-cost actions that can be used to enhance building sustainability, and those initiatives that must be built into the project at the concept stage to minimise their costs.
The research team also examined the life-cycle costs of operating buildings, focusing on energy and water consumption. They found that specifying sustainability measures during the building’s design and procurement stage can result in cost savings over the operational life of the building for little or no additional upfront cost.
The effect on capital costs of achieving varying levels of sustainability was calculated, including the costs associated with gaining Pass, Good, Very Good and Excellent BREEAM ratings outlined. Achieving lower BREEAM ratings can incur little or no additional costs. Targeting the higher BREEAM ratings incurs some additional cost but this is typically less than 2%. The study of operational costs shows that this can be paid back within 2–5 years through utility savings.
- Where properly implemented, sustainability strategies add little to capital costs.
- Operational savings will pay back these costs.
- There is a downward trend in sustainability costs.
- A sustainable approach can enhance the quality and values of a development.
The contents of the 52 page report are:
- Executive summary.
- Our approach.
- Case study 1: Office.
- Case study 2: Secondary school.
- Case study 3: Community healthcare centre.
- Appendix A: Capital and life cycle modelling and assumptions.
- Appendix B: Assessment timeline.
- References and further reading.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- BRE articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE Buzz articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BREEAM Responsible sourcing of materials.
- Building Research Establishment.
- Capital costs.
- Climate change science.
- Green building.
- Mean lean green.
- Operating costs.
- Sustainable development.
- Sustainable materials.
- Sustainable procurement.
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.