The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a widely recognized and respected method for evaluating the sustainability of buildings across the globe. It encompasses various crucial aspects of a building’s design, construction, and operation, including energy efficiency, waste management, water conservation, and material selection. Breeam assessment UK sets a high standard for sustainable building practices by ensuring that building security is also integrated into the broader framework of sustainable building practices.
What makes BREEAM so appealing is that it is designed to be a straightforward and accessible method, enabling architects, building surveyors, consultants, and main contractors to incorporate it easily into their projects. By specifying BREEAM in projects, the industry can benefit from the high standards it sets, which in turn contributes to the creation of more sustainable buildings.
Security Aspects in BREEAM Assessment
BREEAM’s assessment process goes beyond environmental performance, incorporating several security-related factors. These include resilience to natural disasters, resistance to unauthorized access, and the ability to withstand terrorist attacks. This holistic approach ensures that buildings are not only environmentally sustainable but also safe and secure for occupants.
Importance of Resilient Features
Incorporating resilient features is key to enhancing a building’s safety and security. BREEAM sets high standards for features that can withstand potential threats, including robust structural designs, redundant systems, and well-planned emergency response plans. These features assure occupants of their well-being and prepare the building for unforeseen events.
The Role of Technology
Advancements in technology, such as access control systems, surveillance cameras, and intrusion detection systems, have become integral to modern building security. BREEAM recognizes the pivotal role of these technologies and encourages their integration in an energy-efficient and environmentally responsible manner.
BREEAM’s Approach to Security
BREEAM’s comprehensive assessment of a building’s vulnerability to security threats empowers owners and managers to identify and mitigate potential weaknesses. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of security breaches and adverse events, safeguarding the lives and property of occupants.
BREEAM provides a comprehensive tool that encourages a more sustainable approach to building, evaluating procurement, design, construction, and operation of developments against performance benchmarks. This assessment ensures sustainability is embedded in the project from the start and offers a robust framework for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) support.
BREEAM stands for the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. And thankfully, we don’t have to say that every time. It was introduced in the UK in 1990 and sets best practice standards for the environmental performance of buildings through design, specification, construction, and operation.
Location and Surroundings
The location and surroundings of a building significantly influence its overall security. BREEAM considers sustainable land use practices, including assessing local crime rates, evaluating community safety, and analyzing the natural environment surrounding the building.
Adherence to Building Codes and Regulations
Achieving a high BREEAM rating involves adhering to local building codes and regulations. This requirement ensures that buildings meet and exceed mandatory standards, leading to a sustainable built environment that is safe and secure for occupants while reducing environmental impact.
Enhancing Occupant Safety
BREEAM focuses on features that enhance occupant safety, such as fire safety measures, emergency evacuation plans, and secure shelter spaces. These elements contribute to providing a secure and sustainable environment for occupants.
Long-Term Sustainability and Security
BREEAM evaluates a building’s performance over its entire lifecycle, ensuring that security measures remain effective and adaptable to evolving threats and challenges. This long-term approach reinforces the building’s resilience over time.
Training and Development in Sustainable Specification
BRE is producing a program of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses to support sustainable specification. These courses aim to educate specifiers on ESG topics, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to make more sustainable choices in construction.
Recent Updates in BREEAM
BREEAM’s Minimum Target Rating:
Recent updates include amendments to BREEAM’s minimum target rating and updates to the UK’s building regulations, focusing on the technical manual – BREEAM UK New Construction Volume 6.
BCO’s Guide to Specification:
The British Council of Offices updated its sustainability targets, including an upgrade to the recommended minimum BREEAM target rating for newly built offices from ‘Very Good’ to ‘Excellent.’
BREEAM UK New Construction Version 6:
The latest version released in August 2022 aligns with updated building regulations in England and affects the assessment of energy use, carbon emissions, and indoor air quality.
Net Zero Review:
The UK government’s review highlighted how BREEAM can aid in achieving net zero ambitions, emphasizing the importance of government policy supporting energy-saving measures and addressing the gap in the planning system relating to net zero.
Suitably Qualified Security Specialists (SQSS):
BREEAM requires the involvement of SQSS, who are experienced and qualified in security-related aspects. They play a crucial role in the Security Needs Assessment (SNA), ensuring that the security aspects of the building are thoroughly assessed and recommendations are made based on risk analysis.
The significance of BREEAM in building security cannot be overstated. Its multifaceted approach encompasses various aspects, including resilience, technology, location analysis, and compliance with regulations. By taking into account all of these factors, BREEAM ensures not only environmental sustainability but also the safety and security of building occupants. This makes it an indispensable component in modern building design and management. With BREEAM certification, building owners and managers can assure their occupants of a safe and secure environment.