Achieving Sustainable Building Certification: A Beginner’s Guide

Achieving Sustainable Building Certification

Green buildings referred to as sustainable building, emphasise energy and resource conservation and reduce environmental and social impacts while enhancing economic efficiency. Building certification tools like BREEAM Assessments, play a very fundamental role in disseminating practices of sustainability through construction, management operations, and other real estate best practice initiatives. These ratings give way to government building codes, corporate strategies, and policy frameworks. Benefits to owners involve an increase in the demand in the market, improved values of a building, increased life spans of buildings, and a feeling that a significant contribution has been made towards the goals of the environment about sustainability.

The certification for sustainable building is a way of proving that the building is concerned about both the local and global environment since it has minimised its ecological as well as ensuring a healthy living or working space. This guide is to help beginners in Achieving Sustainable Building Certification. This way it doesn’t just take care of green environments but also reaps advantages economically and socially through certified green buildings. 

Identify the Right BREEAM Assessment Scheme

Separate BREEAM schemes exist for various asset types such as new constructions, existing buildings, and homes. Firstly, identify the scheme that best describes your building type and purpose to ensure appropriate assessment criteria are applied. For example, a new commercial building would use the “New Construction” scheme, and a residential building may be appraised under the “Homes” scheme. Options must, therefore, be carefully checked on the BREEAM website to make an informed choice.

Appoint a BREEAM Assessor

The next step of prime importance is the appointment of a BREEAM assessor. He will help you through the assessment process to make sure that your building complies with the standards. It’s valuable to have expert advice on how best to optimize your building’s design and operation for it to achieve the best possible rating. You can get a qualified BREEAM Assessor from the BREEAM Website or any Accredited Certification Body. Selecting the right assessor with experience may make all the difference in the performance and final rating that your building attains.

Register Your Building for Assessment

Once you have chosen your assessor, you will need to register your building for assessment. This includes certain formalities involving forms and payment of a specified prescribed fee. Registration formally starts the assessment process, and thus your assessor is now free to commence work. Ensure all information required of you is complete and accurate to avoid any delay. This step sets things in motion for a smooth assessment process, so be thorough.

Start Assessment for Sustainable Building

Now that your building is registered, the formal assessment process starts. Your BREEAM assessor will work with you throughout to assess your building’s design, construction, and operational features against BREEAM’s rigorous performance criteria. This calls for detailed questionnaires, which capture fundamental information on basic details and sustainability features of your building. You will also be asked to provide detailed documents that include design plans, material specifications, energy models, and water usage data. The assessor shall also check applied jobs on-site not only to verify their existence but also to authenticate submitted documents. 

BREEAM Certification

After the detailed assessment, your BREEAM assessor will grade your building based on its attained BREEAM rating. The ratings, in increasing order, Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent, and Outstanding, reflect how well your project has scored across the broad range of categories related to the performance of sustainability in buildings. A rating that is of a higher value not only carries the obligation to seriously address issues on environmental sustainability but also enhances the reputation and marketability of your building.

Steps to Enhance Your Rating

Systems such as LED lighting, efficient HVAC, and renewable energy sources like solar panels can be installed to help optimise energy efficiency. Energy auditing can locate areas for improvement. Add low-flow fixtures, efficient irrigation systems, and even rainwater harvesting systems for water conservation. Monitoring the usage and discovering the leaks can significantly improve water efficiency. Use environmentally friendly materials, including recycled or regionally harvested and manufactured materials, and ensure that construction practices reduce waste generation and support recyclability. 

Improved Continually

BREEAM certification is not given once; it is the commitment to continuing sustainability. Follow up regularly and update your building’s practices to achieve maintenance and improvement of your rating. Introduce any new technologies and methods to be put in place in a continuous cycle of improvement so that your building can continue to be at par with the newest methods in sustainability positively contributing to the environment and the health and well-being of its occupants. This proactive approach will not only help in maintaining your BREEAM certification but also make your building competitive and a leader in sustainable practices. Also read: What Are the Key Responsibilities of a Travel Agent?

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