BREEAM In Use - a ten point guide for FM's

The BRE gives the following figures for financial gains by environmentally improving a building:

  • 7.5% increase on the property’s value
  • 8-9% > reduction in running costs
  • 3.5% increase in occupancy
  • 3% increase in rents

Buildings that are currently in use have an environmental benchmark to show sustainability credentials

BREEAM, or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is the leading environmental benchmark used to describe a building’s environmental performance. The principles relate to UK Building Regulations and are relevant to non-domestic commercial, industrial, retail and institutional buildings.

The environmental performance of a building is a key factor in its sustainability credentials and carbon footprint. Improving a building’s environmental performance has many benefits; if businesses can reduce soaring energy prices, the cost of utilities and waste, they can improve profitability as well.

1. The BREEAM scheme helps building and facilities managers reduce running costs, increase the value and marketability of their property assets, provide the opportunity to identify and make improvements to the building, comply with environmental legislation and provides a genuine badge of sustainability
2. The scheme assesses the inherent performance of the building’s construction and the services it uses; it measures the consumption of energy, water and other consumables and the environmental impacts of carbon and waste generation; and the effectiveness of the organisation’s management team.
3. The different stages of the process incur individual fees and relate to the number of buildings being assessed. There are on-going annual renewal or reassessment fees where a building’s rating is to be updated because of improvements made.
4. The first stage of the assessment process begins with online registration, which involves a simple analysis questionnaire being completed.
5. More than one building can be registered so that a portfolio of assets can be assessed.
6. The results give the opportunity for immediate comparison against others that have already completed the questionnaire.
7. The submission is reviewed by a qualified BRE assessor to give an ‘un-verified pre-assessment’ report before the building undergoes an on-site audit.
8. The initial results will quantify the impact of a building, existing systems and initiatives, as well as the potential impact of proposed upgrades and give a basis from which to move forward from.
9. Auditors can give support and advice to help with the pre-assessment process and once the on-site audit is complete and certification finalised, the auditor can offer consultancy services to help make further improvements.
10. The entire process provides a clear and credible route map to improving sustainability.