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Developments which are required to achieve BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes ratings should consider their requirements as early as possible. It is essential that pre-assessments are included within the feasibility stage of the development. The design must incorporate all of the required criteria ensuring minimal impact on the development and reducing the risk of the rating not being achieved and minimising any unnecessary costs.

The Code and BREEAM have two stages of assessment; Design Stage and Post Construction Stage. The Design Stage Assessment should be completed ideally before work starts on site to ensure the design is BREEAM/Code compliant. This will reduce the impact on the development as the requirements for BREEAM/Code will be included within the design and the construction strategy.

BREEAM and Code both have mandatory credits which must be met to achieve certification as well as the points score.

If work has started on site before all BREEAM/Code criteria have been considered this could result in altering and retrofitting work meaning delays and additional cost.

The BREEAM/Code Design Stage Assessments impact the entire design, including elements such as the building layout, material selection and the M&E strategy and design.

By not considering the assessments early, a number of straightforward credits will be lost and more expensive/complex credits may need to be sought to achieve the same score.

In general the following issues must be addressed early in the design process and certified before work starts on site:

  • Appointment of a BREEAM AP (RIBA Stage B)
  • Ecology Pre-Development Report (completed prior to site clearance)
  • Acoustics Pre-Development Report (completed before work starts on site)
  • Drainage Strategy (Code Sur 1 is a Mandatory credit)
  • Stakeholder Participation (RIBA Stage B)
  • Life Cycle Costing (RIBA Stage C)
  • Feasibility Study (RIBA Stage C)
  • Considerate Constructors Scheme (registration prior to starting on site)