In the past, BRE really take on board industry views and there is time to influence the final issue, which is due for April 2014.
So what are the main changes?
As always there are some updates to the order or location of credits, or minor tweaks to the existing credits, but there are some important changes too. Notably there are some new credits and significant differences to some of the 2011 ones.
The Management section has been re-structured to follow the stages of design and construction, with some updated requirements. Health and Wellbeing contains a big change under Acoustic Performance, where there is no longer a pre-requisite for the acoustician to be appointed during the early stages. We are hoping this will mean more teams will be able to improve the acoustic performance of their designs, even if they didn’t manage to involve the experts at the start.
A major change in Energy is under Ene 01 Reduction of CO2 Emissions. Under the 2011 scheme, some projects have been struggling to achieve the mandatory percentage reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. These have now been removed and the minimum standard is now based on the number of credits only – and these have been updated too. Projects are now rewarded for passive design, something we think is great to finally be recognised in BREEAM.
Transport contains minimal updates, and the main change to the Water section is under the final issue, now focusing on all forms of unregulated water, not just irrigation. Design teams will be pleased to hear that responsible sourcing of materials no longer requires volume calculations! A new credit called ‘materials efficiency’ is welcomed, great to encourage optimisation of materials throughout the project.
The Waste section now has two new credits, ‘adaptation to climate’ and ‘functional adaptability’. The former relates to durability in extreme weather conditions and the latter focuses on the ability to adapt the building use in future. Some minor tweaks under Land Use and Ecology but the principles remain the same. Under Pollution, the main change is under NOx Emissions where all projects except industrial are required to assess the NOx emissions from space heating and water heating. This is likely to be challenging for any schemes with electric water heating.
General changes include: Simple buildings contained within the main manual, removal of fit out credits from shell and core assessments (meaning no Green Leases or Green Building Guides, likely to be welcomed by developers!) and an update to the environmental weightings of categories: 4% has been taken off the Energy section and added to Transport, Water, Materials and Waste. We could write pages on all the changes, but for now these are some of the main points, and we think BRE are heading in the right direction with the new credits, great to see passive design included and climate change adaptation.
Author: Natasha Fox, Sustainability Consultant at Method
27 May 2014 – Publication of BREEAM UK NC 2014 final manual and go-live for registrations against the new scheme.
30 June 2014 – Close of BREEAM UK NC 2011 scheme registrations.