Building LCA – Projects that include no hard landscaping

The scope of applicable hard landscaping is the following (based on NRM 1, 2nd Edition by RICS):-

8.2.1 Roads, paths and pavings:
• Roads, paths and pavements (vehicular and pedestrian)
• Car parks
• Protection of grassed areas
• Non-specialist surfacings and pavings used for sports and general amenities.

8.2.2 Special surfacings and pavings:
• Surfacings and pavings specially and specifically for outdoor sporting activities and general amenities.

Almost all projects will involve some design work to one or more of these classifications, which can be informed by building LCA. For example, even on a tight urban site some works will be required to the surrounding pavement areas, building entrances or provision for deliveries.

If the BREEAM assessment covers only part of the building, such as an upper floor, but hard landscaping works are part of the wider building design then it is still applicable to the assessment, see KBCN1172.

Where the hard landscaping design includes only reuse of existing construction products on site (e.g. re-installation or making-good) it is often still applicable to the assessment, see KBCN1174.

If the extent of, or options for hard landscaping are relatively limited then it would be advantageous to maximise the number of substructure options and minimise the hard landscaping options appraised for this credit.

If the above guidance is followed carefully, and the assessor determines there is no applicable hard landscaping, then the Assessor should send a technical query to BREEAM explaining the basis of this conclusion. BREEAM will clarify how to proceed with this credit.