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9 Quality Assurance

Information correct as of 11thApril 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.

00 Test Note – please ignore - KBCN1100

This is a test note only. If there are no other compliance notes below this one it simply means that none exist yet for this issue.

Commissioning certificates – evidence - KBCN1311

Certificates demonstrating compliance with any relevant standards are acceptable for the commissioning criteria, where they cover all the systems referred to in the criteria (hot water, heating, ventilation etc.) and any relevant commissioning best practice guidance has been complied with. The ‘commissioning best practice guidance’ outlines how to carry out commissioning for various different systems that may be present. Some of the guidance is more appropriate for complex systems and often won’t be relevant. The person or persons carrying out the commissioning activities is expected to be familiar enough with the standards referenced, to determine the ones that are relevant to the systems they are commissioning.

Construction inspections and record evidence for homes - KBCN1284

For design stage, something like a clear policy and commitment should be acceptable as long as it shows that it will cover the scope of checks in the inspections and completion issue and any other relevant criteria. For post-construction stage, it is appreciated that although evidence should be thorough, too much detail may not always be helpful or feasible. Evidence does not need to show every detailed check made but it does need to show that these checks have been made for every assessed home. The purpose of the minimum requirements for 'construction inspections' and 'construction record' is to ensure consumers can trust HQM-certified homes have been built and finished to a high standard, which is essential to the value of HQM. With this in mind, a sample should be acceptable to show the detailed checks carried out for the construction record criteria as long as evidence also shows that the same checks are being made for every single home being assessed (this could be in a more summarised format). In particular, occupants need to have access to the full construction records for their own particular home if they want it and evidence needs to show that all homes have been checked to the extent required for the construction inspections minimum requirement (see relevant criteria in the manual). In general, we try to make evidence requirements flexible and not overly prescriptive wherever possible, particularly for issues with new content like this one. This is to avoid the unnecessary generation of evidence for the sole purpose of HQM and to recognise existing evidence sources that are available, which can be provided in various formats. As the assessor, you need to be satisfied that the evidence supplied sufficiently demonstrates that the aims of these criteria are being met. The format of evidence is flexible as long as it clearly demonstrates the outcome for each criterion is being met in practice. 

Off-site construction - KBCN1315

The principle for prefabricated homes is the same in terms of the construction inspections criteria to ensure quality assurance is carried out throughout construction. As long as evidence is provided to demonstrate the criteria are being met, this should be acceptable.

Pre-testing apartment blocks - KBCN1298

For the purposes of the pre-testing criteria, it is possible for there to be flexibility with developments such as apartment blocks if a preliminary air leakage test is carried out for the whole apartment block (instead of every single unit within the block separately). If this approach is taken, inspection and preliminary air tightness testing also needs to be done on a sample of homes within the block, after all services have been installed, as determined by the appropriately qualified person who has determined the pre-testing regime. The sample size should include the apartments that are most likely to experience leakage issues, such as those with a large external surface area and more complex or abundant fabric joints and seals, in order to better identify and resolve potential issues through remedial works.

Project preparation criteria for assessments starting after RIBA stage 3 - KBCN1285

The purpose of the minimum requirements within the 'Quality assurance' category is to ensure consumers can trust every HQM-certified home has been built and finished to a high standard, which is essential to the value of HQM. Emphasising quality from an early stage is an important part of achieving this, which is why the project preparation issue criteria requires processes and plans to be in place before RIBA stage 3. Ideally, the HQM assessor would be appointed earlier than this to help get the most from using HQM when there is the best opportunity to influence the project and credits are easier to achieve. However, there can be flexibility if the same quality outcomes outlined in the project delivery plan will be achieved. The project delivery plan criteria aim to encourage processes that will deliver quality homes, early enough to influence things like scheduling, procurement, resources and roles that may be required, if they aren't already in place. This helps achieve the delivery of quality outcomes on-site required as part of the other minimum requirements in Project Preparation, Commissioning and Testing and Inspections and Completion. If there is flexibility, it needs to be ensured that these requirements will still be met. To consider this further, more information about the project needs to be sent to the HQM team at HQM@bre.co.uk including:
Information correct as of 11thApril 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.