Where a site has been acquired but development is not scheduled to start immediately, it is possible to determine the baseline ecological value of the site at this point. Furthermore, to recognise where positive measures to enhance ecology have been taken to manage the site until development starts, these enhancement measures will not impact on the baseline value for the purposes of the BREEAM assessment, provided that the following have been met:
- Following acquisition of the site and prior to any site clearance which involves the removal of any relevant features, the ecological value of a site is recorded in accordance with the relevant BREEAM methodology by a suitably qualified ecologist (SQE) to establish the baseline.
- The SQE confirms and records details of the temporary ecological enhancement and management strategy being implemented on the site for the period prior to scheduled development.
- For a period of up to 10 years, the initial baseline determined for the site is valid for the purposes of BREEAM assessment.
- Any enhancements prior to scheduled development that are not being carried forward into the design, construction and operational phases can be disregarded for the purposes of establishing the baseline ecological value at development.
- The assessment report shall provide documentary evidence of the above for certification.
- Any enhancement and management practices implemented prior to scheduled development that will be maintained and continued through the design, construction and into the operational phase can contribute toward the awarding of credits via the BREEAM calculator tools.
Clarification: This guidance is currently under development. Please contact BRE Global with specific project details for confirmation of whether this approach may be used.
The aim of these issues is to demonstrate the impact that a project has had on the site ecology, but comparing the site pre and post development. BREEAM does not want to penalise sites that have put in temporary ecological enhancements that enhance the ecology while waiting for development to begin.