Opinions

BREEAM and Support Services

BREEAM is a leading sustainability assessment, developed by the
Building Research Establishment (BRE), used for planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle from new construction to in-use and refurbishment.

The provision of office accommodation and its servicing present major costs for business, which in many case are only second to staff costs. They also result in a large part of the environmental social impacts. The largest part of carbon emissions associated with a building’s life cycle occurs within its operational phase, when the structure and its occupants consume energy, water and materials, whilst producing waste and emissions.

As an integral part of its BREEAM assessment schemes, BRE has developed BREEAM In-Use, a standard and certification scheme for non-domestic buildings in their operational phase. BREEAM In-Use provides building owners, investors, facility managers and building occupiers with a consistent means of determining the impact and performance of their buildings and determining areas for improvement. It also allows potential investors and tenants to consider environmental and social elements when choosing properties, in addition to economic concerns, as sustainability criteria are now an accepted key element of building selection.

Most developments based upon BREEAM require the Cleaning and Support Service partners to fulfil objectives initially encapsulated within the original design concepts. Anecdotal evidence suggests that not all designs that are implemented easily enable compliance, and the most appropriate choice of fixtures, fittings and materials is vital.

The areas most likely to affect the building operations and its support service partners are:

Management - Measuring the degree in which management policies and systems consider environmental impacts and stakeholder awareness and understanding. This is particularly important when other standards are in use compelling management action regarding training and staff familiarity, for example around chemical free or chemical light cleaning procedures.

Water - Measuring the degree in which water consumption and demand is minimised within a property. This will also influence re-use protocols around irrigation water etc.

Health & Wellbeing - Measuring how activities undertaken and spaces within and around a property support a healthy and comfortable environment for occupiers. This will directly impact on cleaning processes and consider the potential for over cleaning.

Waste - Implementation policies, systems and gaining occupier engagement to reduce waste production, and improve levels of segregation and recycling. Measuring the volume of the different types of waste by department can drive the engagement, communication and education that brings about behavioural change and cost reduction.

The common theme is the detailed understanding of the original design intent and the processes, procedures and methods developed to meet compliance and how these are regularly communicated to frontline colleagues.

NJC is proud to be in the vanguard of the early adoption of sustainable building operational standards which can optimise environmental performance, reduce costs and increase the value and marketability of property assets.

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