Responsible Sourcing – Scope when a BREEAM assessment covers only part of the new building

To give reliable results, the assessment of responsible sourcing must capture the interactions that occur across an entire design (the system). A design decision in one part of the design will, in many cases, cause knock-on effects to other parts of the design. If only part of a building being designed is included in the assessment the designer may choose a design option that optimises responsible sourcing performance for the limited part analysed, but will be unaware of potential detrimental effects to the overall responsible sourcing performance of the building.

In addition, if a responsible sourcing assessment only includes the construction products that form the BREEAM assessment area, inconsistencies arise with regards to construction products that serve all areas of the building in common. For example, an assessment on a central floor that excludes the roof, compared with an assessment on the (otherwise identical) top floor that does include the roof. This approach would be unfair.

Therefore, notwithstanding the exception below for internal finishes, the responsible sourcing scope must include the whole building design (as defined in Mat 03, ‘Scope of assessment’) even if the area covered by BREEAM assessment is only part of the design.

The exception to this is any construction products classified as ‘3. Internal finishes’. Internal finishes are specific to each part of the building with little or no functional relationship with other parts. Therefore, the scope of the assessment of internal finishes shall be limited to the assessed area only.