Last edited 24 Feb 2019

Early BREEAM stakeholder engagement


[edit] Introduction

Ask BREEAM Assessors or Accredited Professionals (AP) what makes the biggest single difference on a BREEAM project, and they will often answer "get in early". This article summarises comments from industry stakeholders familiar with BREEAM projects about what helps in engaging early with stakeholders.

[edit] Video

The number one tip in BREEAM

[edit] The challenges

BREEAM is often considered too late:

  • It’s all about early engagement.
  • On most of our current projects, appointment has been late stage 2 or nearly stage 3.
  • Unfortunately we are usually appointed after Stage 2 as well.
  • Often we are brought on board later in the design process and opportunities to achieve credits linked to early stakeholder engagement have already been missed.
  • Always depends on how well the client is prepared to engage with BREEAM and sometimes BREEAM gets bolted on at the end of a multi-disciplinary project.
  • Awareness amongst clients/developers is key. If we're not appointed/already in discussions early on we can’t advise.

Who is the project lead?

[edit] Suggested solutions

Pre assessment and early meetings:

  • Complete a tailored pre assessment and arrange a start-up meeting.
  • Hold a BREEAM pre-assessment workshop.
  • Always hold a pre-assessment workshop as early as you can so each item is in the mind of the designers.
  • Always try and get in a pre-assessment workshop as early as possible -
  • Early as possible kick off meeting and run through a pre-assessment highlighting key items, mandatory credits, those with RIBA requirements, pitfalls to watch out for, quick and early wins, evidence examples, time frames, deadlines etc.
  • Discussing about the topic with the Client team from day one. Setting high aspirations and sharing the project's visions with them. This enables them to get on board with some of the key/high-level concepts that the design team is envisioning to implement in the project.
  • Explaining the benefits of early consultations and developing a robust brief can help.
  • We all assume engagement means two way conversation. I often find that early 'engagement' is very one way and because of that try to manage the processes instead of waiting for things to happen.
  • I think it is the BREEAM Professional’s responsibility to drive the BREEAM process and engage the team. We allow for quite few meeting in our fees.

Timeline focus:

  • Talking about early stage credits that are so important to get the score higher means they like support earlier on.

RIBA plan of work:

RIBA plan of work - nuances:

Have a BREEAM AP on the project:

Value – making a case:

Local planning guidelines:

  • If BREEAM is a planning condition we normally get brought in at the start of the project as a pre assessment is required for planning.
  • Planning Authorities stipulating BREEAM in their conditions need to make applicants more aware of the need for early engagement, but I'm not sure how much the BRE really do to make planning departments understand their scheme, or perhaps the planners just don't listen.
  • Agree that if planning conditions in relation to BREEAM were consistent and advised centrally, then there would be a lot less confusion amongst authorities.
  • By the time something goes into planning you're not early stage enough anyway, and it's not planning's responsibility to drive a project.

Embed in client procurement guidance:

  • Embed in Client's own procurement guidance and procedures.
  • Be able to convince the client that for his next project he would save money by engaging the assessor sooner (higher efficiency of the BREEAM measures to be taken to get the rating).
  • It is down to educating project teams which I suspect will only happen by experience. i.e. they fail to get credits on an assessment and it goes as a lessons learnt item onto the next project.

--Multiple Author Article 15:18, 15 May 2018 (BST)

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