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Overview of steps towards achieving BREEAM certification

November 23, 2016 6235 Views

Do companies applying for a BREEAM rating incur lots of extra costs? Not necessarily. A large number of measures fall into the category of ‘low-hanging fruit’, meaning that companies don’t have to spend much time or money to reap significant benefits. Read on for an overview of low-hanging fruit for a three-star BREEAM rating.

  • Use of warehouse. To reduce waste, BREEAM requires the design and layout of the building to be aligned with the needs of the future user. That should go without saying.
  • Sustainable materials. The environmental impact of the choice of materials is reflected in a shadow price. The industry standard is EUR 0.80 per square meter. However, because a warehouse has a much higher percentage of ‘empty’ square meters and less extra material than a factory, the shadow price is considerably lower.
  • Robust design. The building must be robust in order to prevent renovation work becoming necessary after just a couple of years. Normally, a warehouse is already sufficiently robust thanks to things like the essential collision protection features and use of concrete wall reinforcements.
  • Insulation material. The insulation material must come from a sound source, which means that the suppliers also have to comply with certain sustainability-related conditions. Most Dutch suppliers of insulation material already comply with these requirements.
  • This aspect calls for HF or LED lighting, but the favorable total cost of ownership makes those the best investment options nowadays anyhow.
  • Water and energy consumption. It is necessary to monitor the consumption of both water and energy. There are plenty of smart systems around nowadays to enable you do that effortlessly.
  • A three-star BREEAM rating is subject to extra security criteria. Companies that already have to comply with the TAPA freight security requirements in view of the sector they are active in do not need to take any extra measures.
  • Light and noise pollution. Companies must minimize light pollution caused by outside lighting and facade lighting as well as noise pollution. It is often possible to comply with these requirements relatively inexpensively. Moreover, if there is no residential accommodation within an 800-meter radius noise pollution is not an issue at all.
  • Waste flows. Waste flows must be kept separate on building sites, but that is normally done in practice anyway for cost reasons. Waste flows must also be separated inside the facility.
  • Separation of traffic flows. For safety reasons, it is necessary to keep trucks separate from the other traffic. That is normally essential at warehouses in view of the large number of trucks and the extra room for maneuver they require.
  • Transport plan. All companies that develop a transport plan and parking policy automatically meet this requirement.
  • Public transport. The building must contain an information point showing details of local public transport links.
  • Green space. It is important to limit the amount of water needed to irrigate green spaces. One way is to design the outdoor landscaping to feature only plants that can survive on rainfall alone.
  • Ecological management plan. Companies must develop an ecological management plan for the site on which the warehouse is being built. It is also necessary to take account of plants and animals during construction work and to install bird nesting boxes and insect hotels.
  • Knowledge transfer. Companies must share knowledge about sustainable construction with the outside world. For this aspect, a website plus a small display inside the building will suffice.

For more information about this overview, please contact Mari van Kuijk.