Get a Quote

Summary of what's new in the BREEAM 2018 UK New Construction

What's new in the BREEAM 2018 UK New Construction?

The BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 was officially released at this year's Ecobuild exhibition at London's Excel Centre on 7th March 2018.

Having been through an almost complete rewrite, the 2018 manual is now clearer to read and shorter but there are a few big adjustments to be aware of. Here we have highlighted the headlines of these adjustments. You can also find the full details of these changes in our Knowledge Bank.

Post Occupancy Stage

This new voluntary stage is added in addition to the existing Design Stage and Post-Construction Stage, with 7 credits available in Energy and Water categories. It’s hoped this additional stage can gather valuable data about the performance gap to help influence building performance in the future.


  • MAN03 – Adoption of Considerate Constructor’s Scheme replaced with checklist of 19 requirements with a credit available if you commit to nine of the requirements and a further credit if you meet 15. Performance targets in this section must now be formally agreed between the client and contractor.
  • MAN04 – Two separate guides (a technical guide for the Facilities Manager and a basic guide for a typical building user) are now required to achieve the Building User Guide credit in the Handover section

Health & Wellbeing

  • HEA02 - Credits in this section can no longer be claimed until an indoor air quality plan has been created. Previous focus in this section on Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emission levels of paint has been expanded to consider the impact on air quality from other building materials including wood, plaster and insulation. A further credit is available if real-life air quality is measured and passes following construction.
  • HEA06 - This section has been split into two, with the new HEA06 offering one credit if a security assessment of the proposed development is completed and implemented.
  • HEA07 – 2 credits are available in the new HEA07 section for providing occupants with safe access, dedicated cycle paths and storage, safe footpaths between buildings, vehicle drop off points and an outside amenity area.


  • ENE01 – Most of the new Post Occupancy Stage credits are available in this section. Credits available for how well the building was designed to limit energy use have been reduced to 9 at Design Stage. If the developer undertakes additional energy modelling during the Design and Post-Construction Stages, sets targets and reports on their progress, there are 4 credits available. 3 additional exemplary credits are available if the building achieves carbon negativity.


The TRA section has completely changed with emphasis on how developers and contractors can improve access to local amenities and transport links as part of the building works. The category has changed from five sections to just two, offering 12 credits

  • TRA01 – 2 credits are available for raising awareness of existing local transport links and identifying how it can be improved to make it more sustainable. Developers and contractors should create a Travel Plan with the building occupier (if known), and demonstrate how their building work will ultimately improve transport links in the area.
  • TRA02 – 10 credits are available in this new section, which encourages sustainable transport measures appropriate for the site. There is a list of 11 transport measures to consider introducing to the site, with credits awarded depending on how many measures are adopted. 


  • MAT01 – Developers can choose to follow BRE’s Life Cycle Assessment tool, or go with Impact – a more enhanced calculation approach. With 7 credits available in MAT01, we’d recommend taking the Impact approach.
  • MAT05 -  An extra section has been added to include protection against malicious damage of the building materials
  • MAT06 – You now need to set targets, develop and record the efficiency of building materials to achieve this credit


A new credit is available if a pre-demolition audit is completed, which should show the feasibility of refurbishing existing buildings rather than knocking them down. The credit for using recycled aggregates on site has been expanded which could encourage more developers and contractors into monitoring how much of their materials are recycled, and how far they’ve travelled to get to site.

  • WST05 – Section expanded to include building services and renewable installations
  • WST06 – New section added with two credits available if you look to avoid unnecessary materials use, cost and disruption from future changes to the development

Land Use and Ecology

The mandatory credit to measure the impact on existing site ecology has been removed but with up to 13 credits available in this category, we would still recommend giving it a focus. A new Ecological Risk Evaluation Checklist (yet to be published) will set out more details about the role of your site ecologist and how important their work will be in obtaining LE credits. A new stepping-stone approach is introduced to LE02, LE03 and LE04 sections in this category that requires the completion of one section before moving on to the next.

  • LE02 – 2 credits available for creating a site survey to evaluate the ecological baseline and identify opportunities for improvement. It appears this work no longer needs to be carried out by a qualified ecologist but more credits are available if you employ a trained professional to carry out the analysis.
  • LE03 – 3 credits are available if you can avoid negative impacts on the site ecology and as before, more credits are available for using an ecologist
  • LE04 – 4 credits are available if you can enhance the ecological value of the site with 2 credits available if you secure ongoing monitoring, management and maintenance of the site’s ecological features


  • POL02 - This section has been made broader to cover particle pollution from biomass and solid fuel systems in addition to NOx emissions. Two credits are available by using low emission appliances to provide heat and hot water in the buildings. The new targets could pose a real challenge in our bigger cities
  • POL03 – Credits available for Surface Water are now harder to achieve and you will now need to show how the development will improve the run off rate by at least 30%


For full details of the changes listed and all you need to know about BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 see our full details blog.

This 2018 version of BREEAM New Construction doesn’t set out to change anything too radically and despite the large rewrite isn't too dissimilar to BREEAM 2014.

Rather than making certain areas more complicated, it seems the purpose of this update has been to add clarity, bring certain sections up to date, give more focus on the bigger picture of a building’s life cycle and generally give the scheme a bit of a Spring clean.

Our in-house BREEAM and Advisory Professional assessors are on hand to help guide you through your next project, whether you opted to pre-register under the 2014 scheme, or whether you’ve dived into the new scheme head first.

Jon Ponting

Author: Jon Ponting

This article was published by Jon Ponting on 09.03.2018.