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Information correct as of 15thJuly 2024. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.

‘Safe pedestrian routes’ – Definition and note - KBCN1481

The note below, found within the 'Safe pedestrian routes' definition, has been corrected. Please refer to the bold text within the note and corrections below: 'Pedestrian routes that are outside of the development site and therefore not within the control of the developer do not need to meet the above requirements. However it must be demonstrated that there is a pedestrian route, which is not shared with vehicular traffic, from the site boundary to the transport node (for example via pavements, footpaths, pedestrian crossings). The route shall be signposted.' 'the transport node' should be replaced with 'any relevant amenities recognised within this Issue'. 'The route shall be signposted.' should be replaced with 'The route should be appropriately signposted within the development boundary'

03 Private space – Storage sheds and bin stores - KBCN1518

Storage sheds and bin stores must be excluded when calculating 'private external space'/'private space'. Such spaces do not meet the aim of the issue, which is 'To provide occupants with access to outdoor recreational space, promoting community spirit, activity and wellbeing.'  

Balcony is an irregular shape - KBCN1391

Where the balcony is not of a standard rectangular shape, this is acceptable as long as it is of a sufficient size to accommodate a small table and sufficient number of chairs for each occupant. This needs to evidenced in the HQM assessment. Additionally, where private space credits are awarded, the HQM assessor must be satisfied that the proposed balcony is in keeping with the aim and benefits of the issue for the occupants of the home.  

Classifying lines of trees not part of a continuous hedge - KBCN1333

Lines of trees (where not part of a continuous hedge) should be considered as an area-based habitat, rather than a linear habitat. Please see the ‘Individual Trees and Lines of Trees’ section in Guidance Note 36 for details on calculating this. Appendix A of GN36 version 0.0 implies the opposite, however this is an error and will be corrected in future updates.

DEFRA Small Sites Metric (SSM) - KBCN1614

The Small Sites Metric (SSM), the simplified version of the DEFRA Biodiversity Metric 4.0, cannot be used as a means of assessing Biodiversity Net Gain in BREEAM. We will consider accounting for the SSM in future versions of all BREEAM Schemes. The calculation methodology in GN36 is based on the full version of the DEFRA Biodiversity Metric. 

Ecological enhancement implementation time-frames - KBCN1196

At the Post Construction Assessment stage of large or phased developments, for example, some ecological enhancements may not have been completed. This may include features which are to be added at a later date in the appropriate planting season. In such cases, it is acceptable to provide evidence from the client or principal contractor confirming that the enhancements will be completed within an appropriate period, advised by the SQE.

Ecology dependency diagrams - KBCN1456

These dependency diagrams show how ecology prerequisites and credits interact across issues in the ecology category. UK New Construction UK NC ecology dependencies rev 0.0 Applies to: Home Quality Mark HQM V6 ecology dependencies rev 0.0 Applies to:
30-Aug-2023 - HQM ecology dependency diagram added. Title and scheme applicability updated.

Erratum – ‘Communal space’ definition – 2.5 Recreational Space - KBCN1365

There is a discrepancy in the manual between crit 4 and the ’Communal space’ definition (for HQM ONE manual SD239 Issue 0.0). In the definition it states that the minimum Communal space required for all developments is 50m2. This is a typo, the definition should say: Space that is accessible to the occupants of several homes and clearly associated with the development. Each individual space contributing to the total area of communal space should be over 20m2.  

Green roofs – habitat distinctiveness - KBCN1332

In GN36 Appendix C - Habitat Type Classification and Reference Index the distinctiveness types which have been set for Extensive and Intensive green roofs in part relate to ‘likely’ planting taking into consideration possible options for these roofs. Taking into consideration evolving and changing practices around green roofs (and generally relating to habitat classification) notes A&B in GN36 Appendix C provide the ecologist with the flexibility to use their professional judgement to use alternative information / classification as long as this is justified. As such, whilst the distinctiveness levels set in Appendix C should be used in normal circumstances, where the ecologist can provide evidence/justification for doing so, they can specify the distinctiveness of the green roof based specifically on the planting that has implemented on that project.

Habitat classification – Assigning a different classification to that specified in GN36 - KBCN1515

Where the SQE provides written confirmation and robust justification that a particular feature should be assigned to a different habitat classification, the assessor can consider this as valid for their assessment.

Late appointment of the Suitably Qualified Ecologist - KBCN0603

If the Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE) is appointed after the commencement of activities on-site and if the other requirements of this issue are met, then credits can still be awarded, provided that:
13th Jul 21 Correction - applied to UK NC2018 LE05

Low or no ecological value to manage and maintain - KBCN1383

The purpose of the criteria is to recognise projects that are positively contributing to local ecological value by managing and protecting it as part of the site being assessed. If there is no ecological value to maintain or manage on the site, the purpose of the criteria is not being met and credits cannot be awarded by default. For sites with low ecological value to begin with, the criteria encourage projects to consider ways to create ecological features that support local biodiversity as part of the development (e.g. habitat creation as part of the ecology issues focused on ecological enhancement).

Measuring ecological change – Using Defra Metric 3.0, 3.1, 4.0 and the Statutory Biodiversity Metric - KBCN1476

Defra Metric 3.0, 3.1 and 4.0 have been mapped to the BREEAM Change in Ecological Value Calculator and can be used in assessments for BREEAM UK New Construction 2018, BREEAM Infrastructure Version 6 (formerly CEEQUAL Version 6), and Home Quality Mark ONE. Please see the table below for the applicable benchmarks where Defra Metric 3.0, 3.1 or 4.0 is used. The benchmarks from the Defra Metric are taken from the lowest score from the three metrics (Habitat, Hedgerow, River). If a metric is not present, e.g. there is no river on the site, the score of 0 for that metric must be ignored when taking the lowest score.
Metric result Credits awarded
BREEAM (GN36) / Defra Metric 2.0 Defra Metric (3.0, 3.1, 4.0) and the Statutory Biodiversity Metric BREEAM UK NC 2018 HQM ONE BREEAM Infrastructure V6
Less than 75% Less than -25% 0 0 0
Between 75% and 94% Between -24% and -6% 1 2 10
Between 95% and 104% Between -5% and 4% 2 4 20
Between 105% and 109% Between 5% and 9% 3 6 30
110% and above 10% and above 3 + 1 exemplary level credit 8 40
The above approach can be used to determine the percentage score that describes ecological change in Guidance Note 36 (Table 9: Reward Scale), if the following is also met: Alternatively, the BREEAM Change in Ecological Value calculator tool will continue to be accepted until stated otherwise.
03 Mar 2022 - Updated to clarify how Defra Metric 3.0 can be applied to current schemes
27 May 2022 - Updated to Defra Metric 3.1
21 Sep 2022 - Clarification on the figure to use from Defra Metric 3.0 or 3.1
14 Oct 2022 - Updated following rebrand of CEEQUAL to BREEAM Infrastructure
16 Feb 2023 - Added rules and clarification from KBCN1407.
01 Jun 2023 - Addition of DEFRA Metric 4.0

Measuring ecological change with Defra Metric 2.0 ~ superseded ~ - KBCN1407

For DEFRA Metric 3.0 and 3.1, please see KBCN1476 - Measuring ecological change – Using Defra Metric 3.0 and 3.1 The Defra Metric tool 2.0 can be used to determine the percentage score that describes ecological change in Guidance Note 36 (Table 9: Reward Scale), if the following is also met: Alternatively, the BREEAM Change in Ecological Value calculator tool will continue to be accepted until stated otherwise. This is subject to change as part of transitioning to Defra Metric 2.1, once this has been finalised and released. The latest timescales and information on this are available from Natural England: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/natural-england Edited 21/09/22:  The BREEAM Ecological Change tool determines credits using the lowest 'Post development percentage of Pre development' score for the Area based and Linear habitats. If the Defra Metric tool 2.0 has been used, the 'Total net % change' results should be used to calculate this, which is the lowest score of the three metrics. For example, if the Defra Metric 2.0 tool suggests that there is a net change of -65%, then the 'Post development percentage of Pre development' would be 35% for the purposes of BREEAM. Likewise, if the net change is +8%, then the percentage would be 108%.
21 09 2022 Paragraph added to clarify

Recognised local ecological expertise - KBCN1193

Organisations/individuals that have the expertise to provide specialist input or guidance to inform the adoption of locally relevant (within the zone of influence) ecological measures that enhance the ecological value of the site.  This may include bodies such as: a. Local Government and other statutory relevant organisations. b. Local community groups, organisations, or charities, such as the Wildlife Trusts. c. Local, regional, or national fauna focused groups such as Bug life, RSPB, Bat Conservation Trust etc.
This definition will be added to the relevant technical manuals in their next re-issue.

Relating green roofs to multiple assessments in the same building - KBCN1195

A green roof on top of such buildings can be used to award credits for each assessment for which the Land use and ecology Issues apply. The benefit can be applied to to all assessments undertaken for the building provided all are completed within the appropriate time-frame of a valid ecological survey.

Risk to Ecologist’s safety - KBCN0704

In some situations a significant safety risk may prevent a suitably qualified ecologist from attending the site to undertake a site survey. In these cases a desktop study can be used to demonstrate compliance, where the ecologist confirms that it is an acceptably robust substitute. In these cases, the assessor must provide evidence to confirm the type of significant safety risk present.  

Site clearance prior to purchase of the site - KBCN1197

For sites cleared prior to purchase of the site and less than five years before assessment, a Suitably Qualified Ecologist should estimate the site’s ecological value immediately prior to clearance using available desktop information (including aerial photography) and the landscape type/area surrounding the site. Where it is not possible for the ecologists to determine ecological value of the site prior to site clearance, i.e. where there is no evidence to determine compliance, the credits must be withheld. For sites cleared more than five years ago, the ecological value of the site must be based on the current situation, on the basis that, within five years, ecological features would have started to re-establish and this is, therefore, representative of the site’s ecological value prior to development.

Site wide approach to ecological enhancements - KBCN1194

A site-wide approach to ecological enhancements can be used on sites where multiple buildings share areas of soft landscaping. The enhancement benefits are applied to the individual building assessments within the site. The benefit can be applied on a site-wide basis provided all developments are completed within the appropriate timeframe of a valid ecological survey.

Suitably Qualified Ecologist – Other recognised organisations - KBCN0192

With regards to the definition of a Suitably Qualified Ecologist, in addition to the organisations already listed within the manual, full members of the following organisations are also deemed SQE's; Provided the individual meets all other requirements as outlined in the definition of a Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE).

Suitably Qualified Ecologist – Professional membership - KBCN0743

With reference to the definition provided in the technical guidance, ecologists can be considered as meeting Requirement 3 based on full membership of the organisations listed.

Those who are not full members may be considered as meeting Requirement 3, however the assessor must ensure and demonstrate, that the ecologist is covered by a professional code of conduct and is subject to peer review.

In all cases, Requirements 1 and 2 must also be met.

24 May 2024 - Updated to clarify that where ecologists who are not full members of a professional body meet the above guidance for Requirement 3, other than also meeting Requirements 1 and 2, no additional evidence or confirmation is required.

Targeting ecology issues using a mixture of routes - KBCN1306

Where Route 1 is pursued initially and it is subsequently decided that Route 2 should be followed, the Suitably Qualified Ecologist appointed should review all evidence available for the issues already assessed to confirm the actions taken were appropriate. Note: Route 1 and Route 2 are referred to as the 'Foundation' and 'Comprehensive' routes in HQM ONE, respectively.  

Timing of Ecological survey/report - KBCN0292

If the ecologist's site survey and/or report is completed at a later stage than required, the assessor would need to be satisfied that it was produced early enough for the recommendations to influence the Concept Design/design brief stage and leads to a positive outcome in terms of protection and enhancement of site ecology.
21/02/2017 Wording clarified.

Verification of an ecology report / information - KBCN1192

If the appointed ecologist does not meet the definition of a ‘suitably qualified ecologist’ (SQE) the report / information submitted to support the assessment must be verified by an individual who does. 1. The individual verifying the report must provide written confirmation that they comply with the definition of a ‘suitably qualified ecologist’. 2. The verifier must provide signed confirmation that they have checked and approved the report. This must clearly reference the report and can be in the form of a signed letter or their printed name and signature on a completed pro-forma. In doing so, they are deemed to confirm that the report: a. represents sound industry practice b. is correctly, truthful, and objective c. is appropriate given the local site conditions and scope of works proposed d. avoids invalid, biased, or exaggerated statements Such confirmation from the verifier must be provided in addition to all other information required by the relevant technical manual and referenced as part of the evidence submitted to demonstrate compliance. It can take a number of years for an ecologist to meet the SQE definition. Verification of information by an existing SQE supports the practical application of the assessment criteria and is in line with industry practice.
13/08/2019 Updated to clarify, in practical terms, what evidence of verification will be considered acceptable.
 

‘Communal space’ definition - KBCN1452

It is acceptable for communal space to be accessible to the public and it is not required that access is restricted to just the occupants of the homes within the development.
Information correct as of 15thJuly 2024. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.