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How long will an excellent or outstanding building last?

Worldwide, BREEAM delivered by BRE is the standard to achieve to showcase your built asset sustainability credentials in planning, design and construction. BREEAM drives decision making on the design, services, materials used and even the suppliers’ credentials. It assists architects and contractors in identifying opportunities to improve biodiversity across the site and it even looks at the way construction is carried out.

What happens once the decisions are made and the points collected and the certification achieved?

However, what happens once the decisions are made and the points collected and the certification achieved? We have a range of post occupancy evaluations, whether the Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) is operating as designed, we have soft landings and gentle hand overs, we can celebrate the design and construction and event material choice. But, in reality, what happens?  After handover, who monitors performance and maintains the asset?!

Solution – BREEAM In-Use?

People move in, the building needs to be adapted to changing business needs, equipment needs replacing, walls moved, carpets replaced. What ensures this is delivered according to the ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’ – should we actually be requiring a ‘BREEAM in-use’ where buildings need to submit data to ensure we optimise operational performance and help close the performance gap.

BREEAM In-Use is an assessment method which assists fund and asset manager’s property investors, owners, managers and occupiers to drive sustainable improvements through operational efficiency, including how to continually meet the occupant’s needs.  But is this enough? We have well designed buildings still performing badly!

80% Carbon Reduction by 2050

UK is looking at an 80% carbon reduction by 2050 – how can we achieve that with creep in energy consumption across our built environment? Building’s, according to Innovate UK, in-performance energy consumption is an average of 250%, which can also be as much as 3-4 times the as-designed energy level.

Research by Innovate UK

According to the same research by Innovate UK – the systems have become so complex, building managers are unable to optimise them accordingly. Perhaps we need to simplify things, re-engage people with buildings, and provide information through push-technology. Smart technology focused towards the individuals, the people, rather than creating increasingly complex systems which have to continually be re-programmed by the systems engineers who are not on site. How, quickly does a system need to react?  Hourly as the building is used, considering ventilation, thermal comfort and lighting levels, or even 30 minutes with a decent BMS.


Blog written by PCSG.

Further information on this article and its content please see links below.

“Mind the gap!”

PCSG are presenting their vision of the future of construction, sustainability and BREEAM at Vision London.  Come and visit the BRE and BIM Prospects delivered by BRE stand 6th & 7th June.

Book a networking slot with BRE: speak to Andrew Cowan [email protected]

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