What is BREEAM?
BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. The method was originally developed and introduced by a British research body comparable to the Dutch TNO or the Belgian WTCB. With help from market participants, the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) has made the BREEAM guidelines suitable for the Dutch markets. In Belgium the general BREEAM European guidelines are being used.
BREEAM was set up as a cost-effective means for creating sustainable value for (logistics) real estate development. It helps investors, developers, architects, construction teams and users to use natural resources more efficiently. The standards that BREEAM sets entail increased costs: costs must be seen within the context of the total value. BREEAM measures the extent to which a project outperforms the legal minimum..
A sustainable development is in fact cost-saving, as it ensures lower operating costs and a healthier work climate. An increased investment in sustainability moreover pays back for itself thanks to a reduction of energy costs, water consumption, less maintenance and more productivity.
How does BREEAM work?
In the BREEAM assessment process, the acquisition, design, construction and operation of a development are compared against the objectives which are based on performance benchmarks. BREEAM measures sustainable value in a series of categories:
- Land use/ecology
Each of these BREEAM categories is geared to the most influential factors in order to:
- Reduce emissions of harmful substances;
- Enhance the sustainability and resilience of the design,
- Adapt to climate change,
- Boost ecological value,
- Protect biodiversity.
During the assessment process, each category is subdivided into different components that encourage the use of new standards, goals and objectives. Credits can be earned for achieving the goal in each category. The credits are turned into percentages. The final total of percentages determines the BREEAM rating.
The construction team is assisted by a BREEAM Expert in The Netherlands – in Belgium this is an Accredited Professional (AP). This person helps the team to use and/or collect the building materials in the right way so as to be able to account for the credits. In addition to the Expert/AP, a commissioning manager and various advisors (such as a safety advisor and an ecologist) cooperate in the process also. After inspection and approval by the BREEAM Expert or AP, all proof is passed on to the assessor.
The assessments are carried out by an independent assessor and the DGBC (in The Netherlands). They assess the measures and developments and determine the final certification on the basis of the number of credits earned. A scale that ranges from Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding or a system from 1 to 5 stars is used. The DGBC or the BRE enhances the BREEAM certificate.
There are five quality labels for BREEAM certification:
- BREEAM-NL New Construction and Renovation: determines the sustainability performance of new buildings;
- BREEAM-NL In-Use: assesses existing buildings for Building, Management and Use;
- BREEAM-NL Area development: assesses the sustainability performance of an area development;
- BREEAM-NL Demolition and Dismantling: assesses the sustainability of demolition projects;
- BREEAM-NL ‘Bespoke’: assesses the buildings which do not fall under the first 4 categories during a bespoke process.
BREEAM is not the only sustainability quality label used for buildings. The Energy label, the EPC standard, GreenCalc, GPR-Gebouw, Eco-Quantum, Valideo (BE) and LEED are also used. The Energy label and the EPC are required by law in the Netherlands and are now fully integrated in BREEAM-NL.
If the newly built or renovated property has Excellent or Outstanding certification and meets the different conditions for planning and scores, a Milieu-Investeringsaftrek [environmental investment subsidy (known as the MIA subsidy)] can be applied for in The Netherlands – or the Ecologiepremie in Belgium.
BREEAM at Montea
Sustainability is self-evident at Montea as well. The sustainability aspects are always examined and if possible applied for the purpose of properties, the development of a new building and for property management. The BREEAM standard is complied with for various developments in the Netherlands so an application can be filed for certification.
To find out more about BREEAM in your logistics real estate, please contact the BREEAM Expert for New Construction Martine de Groene.