Off-site construction firm produces BREEAM sustainability guide

13-Aug-2012

Yorkon publishes sustainability certification guidance for construction firms

Guidance has been developed to help construction companies gain BREEAM certification recognising the sustainability of healthcare buildings.

Off-site construction specialist, Yorkon, has published a new technical paper for construction clients and contractors, entitled A Practical Guide to BREEAM – An Essential Tool for Sustainable Development, Design and Construction .

BREEAM is the world’s foremost method of assessing and rating buildings for environmental efficiency. More than 200,000 projects have already been certified and a million registered since the system was first launched. The scheme evaluates the specification, design, construction and uses of a building. Measures include energy and water use, the internal environment for health and wellbeing, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes. The certification process is revised every few years to ensure it remains fully up-to-date and represents current best practice.

The new technical paper from Yorkon sets out the most recent changes to the methodology and provides construction clients with a guide to the process and how it should be thoroughly integrated into the design and construction phases of a project, as well as the important roles for the client, contractor, and architect.

The report, which can be downloaded from the website, looks at:

  • An introduction to BREEAM 2011
  • The purpose of BREEAM
  • How a project is assessed and when
  • The benefits
  • The latest changes to the methodology and assessment
  • How off-site construction can add value to the BREEAM process

Simon Ambler, director of Yorkon, said: “The biggest opportunity to address the UK\'s environmental impact lies in the better management and improvement of our buildings.

“The environmental performance of an organisation\'s built assets is a key factor in its sustainability credentials and carbon footprint. Operating a building also represents a major cost, and with soaring energy prices and such a challenging economic climate, reducing energy, water, waste and other such costs can be a relatively easy way of improving cost efficiency.”

Speaking about the latest methodology, he added: “The BREEAM updates are contributing to a change in mindset across the property sector – the responsibility for the BREEAM process must be shared by the whole team – architect, contractor, and client; and it has to be considered from the very earliest planning stages of a project. If these two points are taken on board, BREEAM becomes a genuinely invaluable tool and will help us protect the resources of the planet for future generations.”

The report itself states: “Too often sustainability is the area cast aside if the cost of a building is an issue, particularly in a challenging economic climate. However, legislators are making this issue increasingly difficult to ignore and buildings now have to achieve a certain level of performance; and the performance requirement is even more critical if the building is publicly funded.”

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