BREEAM introduces Pre-Approval process to support portfolio clients to achieve sustainability goals

BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings, has introduced a Pre-Approval process for its schemes. The new process enables a general specification that is applicable to multiple projects to be evaluated by BRE Global up-front and at a single point in time. The approach supports clients with portfolios to achieve their sustainability goals in a way that is ever more time and cost efficient.

Dr Shamir Ghumra, BREEAM Director, says: “BREEAM acknowledges that the business model of some clients involves developing a standard design and specification that is then used on multiple developments. Through the introduction of the Pre-Approval process we are demonstrating we are both listening to and acting upon the market’s requirements, whilst maintaining the integrity of the world’s leading sustainability assessment and certification method for buildings.”

Over the past year, several clients have been involved in a pilot scheme to evaluate the Pre-Approval process. Their detailed input about their building types, and how they have embedded BREEAM requirements into the design, has provided the basis for agreeing the specific credit issues which could be evidenced by non-site-specific documents to form the pre-approval.

Lidl Sverige KB were one of those who contributed to the pilot scheme. Mattias Tas, Construction Project manager, for the retailer, says: “We are very pleased with the pre-approval process. It has facilitated and streamlined our work in projects and given us the opportunity to manage several similar projects in parallel in a smooth way.”

Elsa Hagdahl, of COWI AB, the BREEAM assessor who worked with Lidl, says: “[Pre-Approval] allowed the project team to focus on and spend more time on carrying out pre-studies and analysis to find the most suitable and efficient system solutions for the concept store…’ and ‘significantly reduced the time spent on assessor BREEAM report writing at design stage’.”

Dr Ghumra adds: “Clients involved in the pilot scheme have seen real value in being able to ‘bank’ credits and in the knowledge that a percentage of the overall BREEAM score has already been achieved before embarking on the assessment process for a specific building. This provides due recognition of the general specification the company has adopted across its portfolio, and enables it to focus its attention to improve performance in other areas.”