In April 2013 we* presented a paper at the CIBSE Technical Symposium at Liverpool John Moores University. This repeated the analysis undertaken in our earlier paper but this time took a sample of approximately 190 BREEAM 2011 projects from the Tracker Plus BREEAM management system.
A copy of the paper can be downloaded here
The paper provided an analysis of the credits that were being targeted in the formal BREEAM assessment of these projects and identified a number of factors that influenced the targeting of credits, such as cost, technical and time barriers. As part of the research we carried out a survey of practicing BREEAM assessors** to establish what the perceived barriers were to each credit and found the following;
- Cost – The list of issues most influenced by cost was topped by energy related credits, where design teams are required to significantly improve on Part L requirements and specification of LZC technologies. It also included items not typically addressed such as life cycle costing, VOC testing, thermographic surveys & POE. Due to the additional cost of addressing these issues it is perhaps unsurprising that many of them were not commonly targeted.
- Technical - Here, the list is again headed by energy related credits as well as credits that may be difficult to achieve due to building or site constraints such as daylighting, use of refrigerants and potential for natural ventilation.
- Time – This list is dominated by issues that involve a large amount of data gathering on behalf of the assessor and project team, commonly management and materials related. The fact that, in many cases, the costs associated with this are for staff time and therefore relatively low compared to capital costs (in fact, often free as the project team generally end up absorbing this work within their standard fee) explains why, despite that additional time involved, many of these credits are still relatively highly targeted.
It’s also worth pointing out that, as Man 05: Life Cycle Costing featured in the top 10 of all three lists, it’s probably not a great surprise to find that it’s the least targeted standard BREEAM credit. So, despite the changes made to these credits in the BREEAM 2011 scheme, it looks like some more work will be required before project teams readily embrace this issue.
The paper identified a couple of areas of potential further reseacrh such as analysis on targeted credits by building type and investigation issues that might benefit from a whole-life approach in an attempt to help bridge the gap between design and actual performance.
As well as looking into these areas we will also be drilling down into some of the key BREEAM issues to take a look at the targeting of the individual credits within them in more detail.
*Ben Cartmell, Clare Lowe & Darren Palmer of Southfacing Services Ltd; Mel Starrs of PRP; Ian Orme of BSRIA Ltd; Dan Jestico of Hilson Moran; David Wakelin of Mace Group and Phil Jones of Building Energy Solutions.
** Arup, Atkins, Greengage LLP, Hilson Moran, Mace Group, Max Fordham LLP, Rickaby Thompson Associates, Stroma & Southfacing Services.
Sadly, Mel Starrs passed away in July 2012. Mel was an author of Part 1 of this paper and a key contributor to shaping the content of this second paper and her co-authors wished to credit her input into this work.