What is BREEAM?

BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building's environmental performance. BREEAM provides clients, developers, designers and others with

  • market recognition for low environmental impact buildings
  • assurance that best environmental practice is incorporated into a building
  • inspiration to find innovative solutions that minimise the environmental impact
  • a benchmark that is higher than regulation
  • a tool to help reduce running costs, improve working and living environments
  • a standard that demonstrates progress towards corporate and organisational environmental objectives
  • BREEAM addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues and enables developers and designers to prove the environmental credentials of their buildings to planners and clients. It:
    • uses a straightforward scoring system that is transparent, easy to understand and supported by evidence-based research
    • has a positive influence on the design, construction and management of buildings
    • sets and maintains a robust technical standard with rigorous quality assurance and certification

Nicola Macleod from Lindum Group, has given the following update on the progress of achieving this very prestigious award.

We are currently in the final stages of being awarded the Design Stage Certification for REC. This will award the build an Interim BREEAM Excellent Rating as certified by the BRE, from this point the BREEAM Assessor will then visit site in order to confirm that we as contractors have built everything as it was designed and confirm the sustainability of the project. This final assessment will yield a Post Construction Stage BREEAM Excellent - quite an achievement as BREEAM Excellent is still relatively rare across the country.

We have aimed to go over and above the standard practice in order to achieve BREEAM Excellent. Our means of doing so are varied but to name a selection of ways please see below:

The building makes use of various renewable technologies/techniques including; Air Source Heat Pumps for heating, a wind turbine for electricity generation and rain water harvesting alongside permeable paving to provide a sustainable drainage solution for the site. By making use of renewable technologies, improving the thermal qualities of the roof and wall and reducing air leakage throughout the build we have managed to reduce the CO2 emissions of REC by over 20%.

During the construction Lindum's monitored CO2 generated by visitors to site and plant used, recycled waste generated on site through Lindum Waste Recovery and sourced the main building components throught Environmentally Managed Sources to ensure the whole project reflected the sustainability of the final result.

The timescale of the BREEAM is, unfortunately that it will be awarded after the building is handed over but it is imminent - we are working hard to ensure that there will not be too long a wait for the certificates. In the mean time the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) will be ready to display when the building opens which will demonstrate how 'green' Retford Enterprise Centre is.

28 June 2010.