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From the Tracker Plus Blog

BREEAM 2014 draft manual released!

11 February, 2014, by Clare Lowe

BRE released a draft version of the BREEAM New Construction 2014 technical manual on 10th February 2014.

The manual can be downloaded from the BREEAM website by clicking here

Having reviewed the new guidance we can confirm the main changes are as follows:

  • Changes to the environmental section weightings
  • Introduction of formal Shell & Core option which filters out credits relating to fit-out works
  • Inclusion of Simple Buildings’ guidance within main assessment manual
  • Revised, more flexible evidence requirements
  • Significant restructuring of Management section
  • Addition of new credits relating to: capital cost reporting, adaptation to climate change scenarios (fabric & services), inclusion of passive design measures, functional adaptability (change of use) and materials efficiency
  • In addition, there are proposed changes to the ranking of the various certification schemes referred to in Mat 03: Responsible Sourcing of Materials. This issue will remain out to consultation until May 2014 but is currently intended to be completed prior to the formal launch of BREEAM 2014 for new project registrations.

For a more in depth analysis of the changes to the scheme we have produced detailed papers on:

In summary, it would appear that BRE have generally taken on board the feedback provided by assessors at recent consultation workshops and have done their best to address a number of issues that were causing significant frustration to BREEAM assessors and their client teams.

The 2014 scheme is open for comments until 10th March, to provide your feedback to BRE email them at breeam@bre.co.uk

The final scheme is due to go live in late Spring 2014

 

BREEAM 2014 – Draft release

27 January, 2014, by Clare Lowe

With the imminent release of BREEAM New Construction 2014 we thought it would be worth summarising the key changes we are expecting to see to the scheme.

BRE hosted a number of customer liaison workshops with licenced BREEAM assessors over the last year and also co-hosted a workshop with UKGBC members last summer to gather feedback on how the 2011 scheme was working and where improvements could be made.

Having attended a number of these events there was much discussion about key technical and operational issues such as:

  • improvements required to Shell & Core assessment methodology
  • inclusion BREEAM Simple Buildings within the main scheme documentation
  • more flexibility in the types of documentation that can be used to demonstrate compliance
  • restructuring of the Management section, see our previous blog piece on Man 01
  • simplification of Mat 03 Responsible Sourcing requirements

Based on BRE’s response to these issues we expect to see changes to these aspects of the scheme in the new technical manual which is due for release in draft form in late January / early February.

Following the release of the draft manual, there will be a review period which will allow final feedback to be provided prior to the formal release of the scheme in late spring.

Further information on BRE’s current published timescales for this can be found here.

Wst 01 – A wasted opportunity?

25 November, 2013, by Clare Lowe

When we published our CIBSE paper in April this year we looked at the average % of credits targeted for each issue in BREEAM 2011.

With more complex issues like Wst 01 we realised that this was only giving us part of the picture as we needed to drill down into the individual credits to see what was really happening.

For Wst 01, based on experience with our own projects, our view was that the credit for diversion of resources from landfill was being achieved as standard practice on most projects almost regardless of size, type or location. However, we noticed a far wider variation for the credits relating to waste generation with many projects, even where site waste was closely monitored and controlled, struggling to achieve more than a credit or two.

When we took a more detailed look at the data it backed up our experience and suggests that some adjustment is needed to the benchmarks for the credits within Wst 01.

Wst01

This is further supported by a recent piece in Building by Andrew Kinsey of Mace which confirms that the benchmarks set in BREEAM for this issue exceed those being achieved even by best practice projects. The article concludes that whilst setting stretching targets is to be encouraged if they are too challenging they can be demotivating.

With the 2014 update coming up it would seem sensible to put more focus on driving incremental improvements in site waste reduction by modifying the current benchmarks whilst strengthening the targets for sorting / recycling waste.

A link to Andrew’s article is provided here

For those of you that can’t get through the Building paywall, the data Andrew quotes in his article was collected from BRE’s SMARTWaste system and presented at BRE’s SMART Resource Conference on 30th September. BRE’s presentation on this can be downloaded here (see p16 for the pertinent data): 2._SMARTWaste_data.ppt_[Compatibility_Mode]

Clare

Launch of Tracker Plus LEED!

18 November, 2013, by Clare Lowe

We’re delighted to be launching our brand new Tracker Plus website today to tie in with the launch of Tracker Plus LEED!

To give you a little background on Tracker Plus LEED, we’ve been a LEED Automation partner for some time now and our development team has been working very closely with the USGBC’s IT team to develop the system.

Tracker Plus LEED interfaces directly with LEED Online making it a one stop shop for the management of your LEED assessments. You can carry out pre-assessment charrettes, set up the credit scorecard, edit LEED credit forms and submit for review direct from Tracker Plus LEED without the need to interface with LEED Online.

In addition, it has many of the useful features of its BREEAM counterpart such as automated report generation, email reminders etc.

For more details on the system please go to www.tracker-plus.co.uk

If any of you have LEED projects and are interested in using the system then please drop us an email at trackerplus@southfacing.co.uk

We’d be happy to answer your questions or arrange a demo.

We’ll also be at Greenbuild 2013 in Philadephia later this week for Tracker Plus LEED’s official launch so if any of you are planning to visit we’d love to meet you!

Clare

Man 01 – The big one!

7 November, 2013, by Clare Lowe

From the feedback at recent BREEAM customer liaison workshops we know we’re not alone in groaning inwardly at the prospect of starting an assessment meeting off with the heavy hitting (and somewhat tenuously related) eight credits of Man 01: Sustainable Procurement.

Whilst we appreciate the intent BRE had to consolidate related credits into single issue headings we can’t help feeling they have gone a little too far with this one and have our fingers firmly crossed that this is something that will be addressed in the 2014 update.

So, as it’s top of the list and covers so many different topics, we felt it was the prime candidate for our first focussed blog post.

We now have a sample of just over 500 BREEAM 2011 projects and here’s the breakdown of how each of the Man 01 credits are targeted;

A few general observations at this stage:

  • Project brief/decision making: It’s interesting to see this so highly targeted especially given the requirement for the contractor’s early involvement (RIBA Stage B). Whilst BRE have added a new Compliance Note (CN19) to clarify what level of involvement they expect from the contractor, as this was a new credit in BREEAM 2011, it would interesting to get assessors’ feedback on what BRE have expected to see at QA / certification and how easy it has been to demonstrate compliance.
  • BREEAM AP: So overall, across all 3 credits, the average % targeted is 52.8% which is up just over 10% on that reported against the respective credits in BREEAM 2008 (these were targeted at 41.6%). This is a sign that the AP credits are being targeted more commonly. What is interesting is the fall in targeted % between the first and second AP credits. This seems to imply that the AP may well be appointed early enough in the process to agree the target rating and that this is being met at Interim certification but that, in some cases, clients are stopping short of appointing an AP to monitor and report throughout the design stages. The fact that the third credit is the most commonly targeted is not a great surprise. Given the decision to de-couple the award of this credit from the earlier AP credits we are increasingly finding that contractors see this as a relatively low cost credit to achieve, especially when trying to find extra credits relatively late in the design process.
  • Thermographic survey: This was a new standard credit for BREEAM 2011 as it was only included in industrial unit assessments for previous BREEAM versions. There is certainly no shortage of contractors offering thermographic surveys and so perhaps it’s not a surprise that the credit is relatively well targeted. It would certainly be interesting to know what type of projects are targeting this credit as we would anticipate that it would appeal more to developer-occupiers rather than speculative developers. Also, as the data presented above is taken from design stage assessments, it might be useful to take a more detailed look at the post construction stage data to see if the % targeted remains comparable. Whilst the cost of a thermographic survey may not be prohibitive the cost of remedial works may, should the construction quality be found wanting, and might preclude the credit being achieved post construction.
  • Design / construction commissioning: It’s not a surprise to see this credit targeted so highly and, given this, perhaps the question should be asked whether it is now so embedded in standard practice that it’s time for it to be removed?
  • Seasonal commissioning & data collection / aftercare: The seasonal commissioning credit is now very highly targeted and from feedback at meetings on our assessments we are increasingly being told by clients that this is a cost effective credit to target. We’re also often seeing building services engineers offering an enhanced aftercare package to clients that typically covers both seasonal commissioning and first year monitoring.
  • Innovation credit: Perhaps surprising to see this almost as highly targeted as the AP credits? It’s certainly positive that so many clients are committing to monitor consumption 3 years post occupation and gives some comfort that data may soon become available which will enable buildings’ actual performance to be measured against the predicted performance at design stage.  Unfortunately, as this credit only relates to a commitment to carry this work out and provide the information to BRE, whether that data ever becomes publicly available remains to be seen.

Anyway, these are just our initial observations based on the data available and anecdotal evidence from our own assessments.

It would be interesting to get your views and opinions!

Clare

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