BREEAM certification is becoming more important

In May, Glenigan confirmed that BREEAM certification is becoming more important in the commercial and industrial sectors, where knowledge and experience with BREEAM is helping to win contracts.

BREEAM is a sustainability assessment method that helps to ensure that buildings are designed, constructed, and operated in a way that minimizes their environmental impact. This is becoming increasingly important as businesses and governments seek to reduce their carbon emissions and combat climate change.

BREEAM certification is widely-used for providing clarity on sustainability credentials for potential occupiers and investors. BREEAM-certified buildings can save money on energy and water costs, as well as maintenance and repairs. Overall, the environmental ratings add value, which contributes towards a higher selling price or rental value.

Global property agent, Knight Frank has created a price model to calculate the contribution of green ratings to sales values. The Knight Frank study found an 8% to 18% price premium for green-rated offices compared to those without any sustainability certification. In central London, it showed a 13% premium on rents and 10.5% on sales prices on BREEAM outstanding- and excellent-rated buildings.

Developments can only achieve a BREEAM outstanding rating with a score of 85% or above. It’s worth noting that less than 1% of all registered non-domestic buildings reach this level.


5 tips for higher BREEAM certification scores

1. Think about BREEAM at the start of the design process

Pre-assessment minimises cost and disruption by preventing the need to introduce design aspects retrospectively to meet your required BREEAM rating.

2. Research

Planning applications usually require energy and sustainability statements. In some cases, the Local Planning Authority may require a particular BREEAM rating. The main considerations are energy, water, pollution materials and the benefits of innovation. You can maximise credits by evidencing climate resilience and resource efficiency.

3. Designing for energy efficiency using low carbon materials

Energy efficient measures, low-carbon, renewable technologies, and carbon offsetting need to be at the forefront of designs. An EPC rating of A helps achieve your desired BREEAM rating. Energy accounts for the largest section of credits, with a total of 31. Get in touch with us at Elland Steel, for details on how we can source ‘greener’ materials for your next project.

4. Understanding and commitment to BREEAM certification

A lack of understanding and/or commitment from just one design team member can potentially cause the project to run into difficulties. The same applies when appointing sub-contractors. Bottom line is – everyone needs to be familiar with and support the concept of BREEAM. A BREEAM assessor can hold workshops with the design and construction teams to explain the BREEAM process and what is required.

5. Always check instead of assuming

If unsure, ask your BREEAM assessor. They can help when preparing text for requirement/specification documents.

Central Square in Leeds has a BREEAM outstanding rating for sustainability

Elland Steel Structures fabricated and installed the structural steelwork, including the five 27m long tubular vertical bowstring trusses that carry the deadload from the atrium glazing, whilst supporting a balcony in the ‘Sky Garden’ that overlooks Leeds City Centre.

Central Square achieved a BREEAM outstanding rating for its energy efficiency, carbon reduction and the flexibility & efficiency of the floorplates. The building has been designed with energy efficiency in mind. It uses VRF AC systems, LED lighting and a LOW CARBON SYNGAS CHP (Combined Heat & Power) Unit. The combined heat and power unit will generate the total hot water demand and provide electricity to the building.

11 & 12 Wellington Place received a 5 star Nabers rating and a BREEAM outstanding rating

This structure is one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK. It has a net zero operational energy thanks to heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, triple glazing and advanced curtain walling. It also has advanced controls and analytics driving low energy use.
Alongside many accolades, 11 & 12 wellington place received awards for sustainability including ‘Yorkshire’s most sustainable development’.

This differentiated the office building from others in the area. The end result was increased desirability leading to quickly securing eagerly awaiting occupants before the project was finished.

‘’The five-star NABERS DfP rating recognises the building has been designed with the highest level of sustainable performance in mind, based on the in-use energy consumption which ensures ongoing monitoring, validation and improvement resulting in long-term energy savings and carbon reductions.’’ Craig Havenhand, Associate Director, Arup.

Can we help with your BREEAM certification or sustainability requirements?

We are BCSA registered to work on a variety of buildings, including those with large open span spaces to allow for flexible configuration of layouts to meet current and future needs of the building during the building’s lifespan.
We have the gold standard accreditation with ‘Steel Construction Sustainability Charter’ and we also have a gold level membership with the Supply Chain Sustainability School. This means we can play our part in ensuring your project is sustainable and achieves a high BREEAM rating.


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