Assessing multiple buildings in BREEAM In-Use

BREEAM In-Use has been developed as an environmental assessment method to assess existing assets. Typically, an asset consists of a building or part of a building. In certain circumstances, multiple buildings can be classified as a single asset by a client. This is often the case where buildings are of similar physical structure and built form, have common building servicing strategies and common management arrangements.

To assess multiple buildings as a single asset using BREEAM In-Use, the criteria listed below must be confirmed by a licenced BREEAM In-Use Assessor. This will ensure a meaningful outcome of the performance of the asset.

  1. All buildings must have the same building function, similar performance, and be of the similar design and age.
  2. Buildings must either:
    • Be connected to and share common services to meet the comfort and sanitary demands of the occupants. This includes: heating, ventilation,cooling and hot water.
    • If these services are provided locally: identical servicing strategies as well as specification of equipment must be applied across all buildings.
  3. All buildings must share similar building envelope (the physical separator between the interior and exterior of a building) and structural specifications. Buildings do not need to be physically connected, however: the specification of the envelope must be largely the same to ensure that the performance of each building fabric is comparable in terms of the range of assessed characteristics including thermal efficiency.
  4. Building management and maintenance policies, procedures and approach must be the same across all the buildings that make up the asset to ensure consistent implementation.
  5. All buildings must be located on the same site. The boundary of the site must be drawn where responsibility of management or ownership of the site changes.
  6. The Assessor must collate the required evidence from each building that is included in the asset and where performance against the BREEAM requirements varies, the final score will be determined by the space with the lowest level of performance.
  7. If alterations are made to the management and the physical structure of the asset that in turn changes the applicability of the eligibility criteria above, re-certifications must be undertaken at a building level if the Multiple Buildings approach is no longer applicable.

Please note: if the buildings differ from each other in a number of areas, a multiple buildings approach has limited value to all parties involved. In such cases, the rating will not clearly identify the areas for improvement within each building. By assessing the buildings separately, the granularity of the assessment is increased which will in turn provide owners with more detailed information on how improvement plans can be rolled out.