CHP and Building Regulations: How to Achieve BREEAM Ratings

Posted by Chris Marsland on 15-Apr-2014 09:00:00

An overview of what BREEAM ratings are, why they are valuable and what needs to be considered in order to ensure that CHP schemes maximise their impact on BREEAM ratings.


BREEAM Ratings – a brief summary

BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method:

"BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 250,000 buildings with certified BREEAM assessment ratings and over a million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990."

The method assesses buildings' environmental impact across the following factors:

  • Energy: operational energy and carbon dioxide.
  • Management: management policy, commissioning, site management and procurement
  • Health and wellbeing: indoor and external issues
  • Transport: transport-related CO2 and location related factors.
  • Water: water consumption and efficiency.
  • Materials: embodied impacts of building materials, including lifecycle impacts like embodied carbon dioxide.
  • Waste: construction resource efficiency and operational waste management and minimisation.
  • Pollution: external air and water pollution.
  • Land use: type of site and building footprint.
  • Ecology: ecological value, conservation and enhancement of the site.

Proposed CHP schemes for new buildings, as well as retrofit installations for existing buildings, will clearly have a major impact on the first of these factors but may also influence ratings on some of the other factors.

The value of BREEAM ratings

Ensuring that your proposed CHP scheme has the maximum positive impact on your building's BREEAM rating is valuable for 2 main reasons:

  • Value/attractiveness of property assets – particularly where your property asset is likely to be sold or rented in the market, a positive BREEAM rating will make it more marketable.
  • Reputational – if your organisation ascribes value to its reputation for a sustainable approach, a positive BREEAM rating will demonstrate independent, tangible evidence of this approach.

These areas of added value are, of course, additional to the energy/carbon cost improvements that your scheme will be expected to deliver.

Obtaining a good BREEAM rating

"A BREEAM rating is fast becoming a must for both developers and occupiers looking to gain competitive advantage. Early consideration is vital to ensure a top BREEAM rating is effectively achieved in the most cost efficient manner."

Nick Hayes - Head of Sustainability EC Harris.

In relation to your proposed CHP scheme it is vital to think carefully about your whole project's impact on the future BREEAM rating, including the design and construction phases, and not to concentrate solely on the energy/carbon cost improvements that your scheme will be expected to deliver.

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Topics: Policy & Legislation, CHP / Cogeneration

Chris Marsland

Chris has worked in the CHP industry since 1998, before that he spent 12 years heading up the Product Development Team in an industrial process control company. He is a Chartered Engineer and a member of The IET. His role at ENER-G covers CHP New Product Design, Development and Production as well as supervising ENER-G’s R&D team.