BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a widely recognised environmental assessment and certification scheme for buildings. BREEAM UK Refurbishment and Fit-out 2014 is a specific version of BREEAM designed for assessing and certifying the environmental performance of refurbishment and fit-out projects in the UK.
The BREEAM UK Refurbishment and Fit-out 2014 scheme assesses various aspects of the building’s environmental performance, including energy efficiency, water usage, waste management, materials, pollution, and ecology. The assessment is carried out using a set of criteria and guidelines that consider the project’s impact on the environment, as well as the health and well-being of the occupants.
The BREEAM certification is a voluntary process that requires the building project to meet specific sustainability targets and undergo an independent assessment by a licensed BREEAM assessor. The certification provides evidence of the building’s environmental performance and can be used to demonstrate the project’s commitment to sustainability to stakeholders such as tenants, investors, and regulatory bodies.
What do commercial interior designers need to consider when design a project to get BREEAM certification?
Commercial interior designers who want to design a project that can achieve BREEAM certification need to consider a range of sustainability factors throughout the design process. Here are some key areas that designers should focus on:
- Energy efficiency: Designers should aim to maximise the building’s energy efficiency by incorporating efficient lighting such either new LED lighting or retrofitting existing lighting with new LED Technology and upgrading heating, ventilation, and cooling systems, as well as insulation, shading, and glazing.
- Water usage: Designers should aim to reduce the building’s water usage by specifying low-flow fixtures, rainwater harvesting systems, and water-efficient appliances.
- Materials: Designers should aim to use sustainable and environmentally friendly materials, such as recycled content, locally sourced materials, and materials with low embodied carbon.
- Waste management: Designers should aim to reduce waste generation during construction and throughout the building’s lifespan by incorporating waste reduction strategies and specifying materials with low waste generation potential.
- Ecology: Designers should aim to protect and enhance the natural environment by incorporating green roofs, walls, and landscaping, as well as bird and bat boxes, and other biodiversity features.
- Pollution: Designers should aim to minimize the building’s impact on the local environment by specifying low-emission materials, minimizing light pollution, and reducing the risk of water pollution.
- Health and well-being: Designers should aim to create a healthy and comfortable indoor environment by specifying materials with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds), providing good indoor air quality, and optimizing natural light and thermal comfort.
In addition to these specific areas, designers should also consider the building’s location, accessibility, and social impact when aiming for BREEAM certification. The key is to integrate sustainable strategies into every aspect of the design process and work closely with a BREEAM assessor to ensure that the project meets the necessary criteria.