In-Use /

BIU 2015

Information correct as of 17thOctober 2021. Please see for the latest compliance information.

Alternative methods for ensuring the re-use or recycling of materials - KBCN1150

In a scenario where management processes result in the recycling or re-use of a waste stream, this can be considered as one additional compliant waste stream within the question. For example, sites where a take-back scheme is utilised with installers/manufacturers for a particular waste stream, and the manufacturer re-uses or recycles this off-site. In order for this to be compliant the following must have been met:
  1. The Assessor must clearly outline the waste stream which is being recycled/re-used
  2. The Assessor must clearly outline the process which occurs, including: (a) How the waste leaves the site, and (b) What happens to the waste after it leaves the site
  3. If the waste is transferred to another party (such as a supplier in a take-back scheme), there needs to be evidence of a current valid agreement/contract in place outlining that this service will be provided for at least 12 months.
  4. All relevant legislation is complied with.
  5. This should be a regular occurrence of waste, and subsequently should be collected at least once a month.
  6. If the waste remains on-site temporarily before it is removed, the waste should therefore be stored in line with the assessment criteria outlined in WST 01.
Note: it is not possible to award credits for the same waste stream twice. For example, a take-back scheme for cardboard, as well as a recycling point for cardboard in the centralised waste storage location, can only be considered to be one waste stream.

Amenities – Access to cash - KBCN0359

An ATM inside a building would be acceptable provided that its opening hours are similar to those of the assessed building, regardless of whether there is a nominal charge for the service. Cash-back from the till in a retail outlet is not compliant. Access to cash should be available to the building users at all relevant times of the day. This should not require a prior purchase of goods and should provide access to other services, such as checking account balances.

Amenities – Assessed building is one of the listed amenities - KBCN0264

Where the assessed building is itself included in the list of amenities, that particular amenity criterion can be deemed to be met, e.g. a supermarket development itself meets the proximity to food outlet required for a Retail type building.

Assessing industrial spaces – exemptions - KBCN0734

The thermal comfort criteria are not applicable to the operational or storage areas typically found in industrial buildings. The criteria should still be applied to the other parts of the building as appropriate. Operational and storage areas often have function related thermal requirements determined by the needs of the operation or the items being stored. These functional requirements supersede the needs of the occupants.
Technical manual to be updated accordingly in the next re-issue of each manual

03.11.2020 Issue 2.0 of UK RFO technical manual updated with new CN detailing the above.

Assessments of owner-occupied or common areas only assets - KBCN0804

In situations where an asset is owner-occupied, or if there are no tenanted areas within the assessed area, it is still possible to achieve credits under MAN 11. Instead of awarding credits based on green leases with tenants, credits can be awarded based on the owner/manager having in place policies/processes outlining specific targets (considering at least energy, water and waste efficient practices) applicable to the assessed area. With regards to the evidence required in this scenario: the assessor must submit documents (which could include, but are not limited to, contracts or policies) that outline how the owner/manager has set and measured these targets.

Asset Footprint - KBCN0664

The following guidance can now be used to interpret the meaning of the asset footprint: Building only: Building located on a site:
  1. Responsibility of management or ownership of the site changes;                                                                                                                                                                                  OR
  2. If a site includes multiple assets and there is a clear demarcation of the area associated with each asset, then this must be considered to be the site boundary for the asset footprint.
Calculation methodology for LE01 Percentage planted area = [Total area planted (m²) / Asset footprint (m²)] x 100
GdT 08/12/16 - Added additional guidance on deducting area from asset footprint.

Calculating the percentage of tenants - KBCN0805

Where calculations are undertaken to determine the percentage of tenants covered by a compliant green lease agreement, only those tenants that are part of the assessed area must be taken into account. Where tenants are not part of the BREEAM In-Use assessment, they must be excluded. Please note: the calculation for the percentage of compliant tenants must be based on the number of tenants, not on the floor area.

Clarification of ‘Hazardous Chemical’ - KBCN1111

A 'hazardous chemical' can be considered to be any substance that is not found naturally in the environment, which has the potential to cause damage to the environment or the health of the building occupants (e.g. oil, fuel, solvents, pesticides, biocides, etc.).

Control of glare from sunlight – hotel rooms - KBCN1087

The primary function attributed to hotel rooms is that of a bedroom and as such, lighting and resultant glare are not considered to be problematic for these spaces. The only exception to this is where designated additional office space is provided. In these circumstances it is the role of the assessor to determine if individual spaces should be determined as ‘relevant building areas’ in accordance with guidance provided. Glare control criteria apply to building areas where lighting and resultant glare could be problematic for users.
This KBCN aligns with KBCN0666 from UKNC 2014

Cycle spaces – Folding bicycles and scooters - KBCN00024

The provision of cycle storage that is only suitable for folding bicycles or scooters is not compliant. Providing reduced storage space for folding bicycles or scooters in place of compliant cycle storage may limit future travel options.
14 03 2018 Wording clarified and reference to scooters included.

Cyclists’ facilities – Matching additional cycle spaces - KBCN00093

Where more than the minimum number of compliant cycle spaces required for BREEAM compliance is provided, it is not necessary to also provide more than the minimum number of showers/lockers/changing facilities.  

Cyclists’ facilities – Within toilet facilities - KBCN00050

To comply with the criteria for cyclist facilities, showers should not obstruct the use of other facilities. Where a shower is located in a room with a WC, this cannot be considered compliant, unless it can be unequivocally demonstrated that the WC is provided over-and-above the requirements of relevant standards or regulations for general and disabled WCs.

To ensure that there is no conflict between the use of general or disabled WCs and the use of cyclist facilities.
25.10.18 KBCN reworded to improve clarity.

Determining boiler efficiency - KBCN1223

The boiler efficiency should be based on the Higher Heating Value (HHV) or the Gross Calorific Value (GCV). Where the information related to the efficiency of the boiler is only available in Lower Heating Value (LHV) or Net Calorific Value (NCV), it will need to converted using the following formula: HHV = LHV x 0.9 GCV = NCV x 0.9

Evidence: Approved Standards and Weightings List - KBCN0959

The current BREEAM International Non-Domestic New Construction Approved Standards and Weightings List (ASWL) can be used as evidence to demonstrate that a country has ‘no risk’ to all hazards apart from flooding (which is considered within POL 02 of BREEAM In-Use International 2015). Any country which has a weighting of 0% for Hazards within the current ASWL can provide this to BRE Global as evidence. As flooding is not included within the Hazard section of the ASWL, it must be evidenced separately. Therefore, in order to achieve maximum credits within MAT 05, the assessment must also provide evidence that the asset is in a ‘low or zero flood risk area’ under the requirements of POL 02 of BREEAM In-Use International 2015. Note: BREEAM In-Use International Assessors who are not BREEAM International Non-Domestic New Construction Assessors, will be unable to access the ASWL. In this instance please send a technical query to BRE Global outlining the country which the asset is located, and BRE Global can confirm the current weighting for that country.
16.08.2016 Amended to clarify situations where there is no access to the ASWL

Facilities provision for public bicycle sharing systems - KBCN0276

Where a public bicycle sharing system is being used to account for up to 50% of cycle spaces provided, the total number of cycle spaces, including those provided by the bicycle sharing system, should be the basis on which the compliant cyclist facilities are provided. This is because people using public cycle spaces will still need the use of cyclist facilities such as showers and lockers.
13.08.2018 KBCN applied to the BREEAM In-Use scheme.

Fire hydrants and sprinklers - KBCN0680

To meet BREEAM compliance, emergency systems such as fire hydrants and sprinklers need also to be covered by a leak detection system. The leak detection system must cover all mains water supply between and within the building and the ‘site boundary'.

Flood risk – Site situated across numerous flood zones - KBCN0532

Where a site is situated across more than one flood zone, the flood zone with the highest probability of flooding, i.e. the worst case scenario, must be considered for the purpose of the BREEAM assessment. An exception to this would be where the areas in the higher probability zone include only soft landscaping and it can be demonstrated that access to the building will be maintained in a flooding event. This is to ensure that the site has adequately managed the worst case scenario level of flood risk associated with the site's location. 
07/03/2018 Updated to include circumstances where an exception may apply.

Full or Partial sub-metering - KBCN1203

Fully sub-metered
For an asset to be considered as fully sub-metered both heating and cooling consumption must be sub-metered for each tenant.
Partially sub-metered
For an asset to be partially sub-metered, the asset must have at least one tenant that has both heating and cooling consumption sub-metered. An area cannot be considered either fully or partially sub-metered where only one of heating or cooling is sub-metered.

Glare control – alternative measures - KBCN0139

Alternative forms of glare control to those listed in the guidance can potentially be accepted, if it can be justified to the BREEAM assessor that the proposed system will effectively eliminate disabling glare and the assessor accepts this.

Heating and cooling provided through one system - KBCN1204

Where heating and cooling is provided through the same system and it is not possible to separate the consumption related to each, then one sub-meter covering the system can be considered to be fully sub-metered.

Internal lighting levels where computer screens are used - KBCN0283

For areas where computer screens are regularly used projects can specify 300 lux, as referenced in CIBSE Lighting Guide 7, rather than the levels prescribed in the standard EN 12464:2011.  

Leak detection – extent of responsibility - KBCN0688

For the credit to be awarded, all the pipework in a development that the owner/occupier has responsibility for must meet the leak detection criteria.  In situations where third party organisations place restrictions on the pipework that can be metered, the scope of works (and hence placement of a meter for the use of leak detection) will start immediately after this point.  For instance where the utility company's meter is placed midway between the boundary and the building, the scope of leak detection for BREEAM purposes will be between utility meter and the building, not to the boundary (as stated in the guidance). The scope of the BREEAM criteria is only on pipework that the owner/occupier has control over.

Leak detection – recycled water use - KBCN0433

The leak detection requirements still apply to all relevant water systems where water recycling systems are specified for WCs and urinals. Recycled water should be considered as a valuable resource as it replaces potable water use and, in many instances, recycling systems will still incorporate a mains-water back up.    

Leak detection – using a BMS - KBCN0439

A BMS can be used for leak detection purposes if it can be demonstrated that its integrated or add-on features meet all the requirements for a leak detection system.

No light liquid separators - KBCN0957

It is only possible to select the answer option 'No light liquid separators on site' within POL10, where there is evidence which demonstrates that the asset can select 'Asset does not require light liquid separators or grease separators' under POL01.
Amended: 17/11/2017
Reason for change: Correction in spelling, and removal of reference to a specific scheme.

Non-specific levels of performance within local legislation - KBCN1152

In areas where the local legislation does not specifically outline the exact requirements related to inclusivity of access, it is often difficult for asset owners to demonstrate how they exceed the legal requirements. Therefore these assets can demonstrate compliance by providing evidence that the asset meets all of the following: The asset has features within which ensure that persons which are less able-bodied, are able to utilise the same facilities as all other building users. These include: Alongside this, the Assessor must provide confirmation of the exact legislation which is applicable to the asset, and provide a short statement outlining the requirements within it.

On-demand public bus services - KBCN1404

These can be recognised as follows: This is limited to genuine on-demand bus services, which are operated as public transport with multiple pick-up and drop-off points and does not extend to private hire, taxi or other similar operations. 

Operational energy and water use during Covid-19 lockdown - KBCN1425

As we continue to adapt to and assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BREEAM team is seeking to ensure that the data underpinning BREEAM in Use certification accurately reflect typical operational performance. We appreciate that the full or partial lockdown conditions related to the pandemic may have had a significant impact on the performance of the asset particularly the operational energy and water consumption. We trust our assessors to use their professional judgement to determine the extent that operational energy and water consumption has been impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions. They must ensure that submitted consumption data is representative of consumption under normal conditions. Clients should work with their assessors if they are unsure how they should proceed. Assets are likely to have been affected by many different local lockdown scenarios so one approach to reporting consumption data is unlikely to apply to all situations. For example, normal consumption data is likely to be sufficient for assets that have only had a minor changes to their operations (e.g. two weeks), if the rest of the 12 month period has been unaffected. For assets that been more significantly affected (e.g. several months of reduced occupancy), it is likely that energy and water consumption data will need to be taken from a period of time before local lockdown restrictions came into force. In this scenario, the following approach can be used:

The consumption reported must cover the 12 months prior to the restrictions coming into force.  The reported consumption would need to be validated against the year prior to the reporting period to provide assurance to the Assessor that it was in line with typical operations.  Additional evidence and verification will be required for submission. The following sections should help clarify how this should work:

Normal BREEAM requirements

Consumption Reporting:

Evidence requirements:

New requirements for this KBCN

Consumption Reporting:

Evidence requirements:

Example for a building submitting for certification in October 2020 subject to lockdown from March 2020:

Normal reporting period October 2019 – September 2020

Adjusted reporting period in line with this KBCN March 2019 – February 2020 Validation period: March 2018 – February 2019

This KBCN will remain in place but will be under review as we continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and amend requirements as circumstances change.  We will keep assessor informed of BREEAM In-Use users and assessors via further service announcements and other communication channels.

POL 01 – Assessment criterion 2 - KBCN1071

In order to respond to feedback, additional clarity has been provided in regards to the interpretation of assessment criterion 2.
Aim To reduce the risk of polluting natural watercourses through contaminated surface run-off and/or grease from kitchen facilities entering drainage systems Assessment criterion 2 Where it can be demonstrated that drainage or wash down facilities do not lead water from inside an underground or covered area to natural watercourses, such areas comply with the requirements by default.
BREEAM aims to be outcomes based, rather than prescribing a particular way to demonstrate compliance with the Aim. Therefore, criterion 2 is designed to allow flexibility for alternative systems (to light liquid separators) to demonstrate compliance. These alternative methods must either contain or prevent the pollution from leaving the site. By ensuring that the pollution does not enter the drainage system (i.e. leave the site), the building owner can be confident that the pollution is not entering the natural watercourse further down the drains (where there is the potential for issues outside the scope of the assessment).

Pre-payment systems - KBCN0293

Pre-payment systems do not meet the criterion for a cash machine and therefore cannot be used as an alternative. Cash machines provide additional services for building users, such as cash to use in other shops, the checking of bank balances, which a pre-payment system would not provide.

Safe pedestrian routes: definition, measurement and verification - KBCN0238

Safe pedestrian routes include pavements and safe crossing points or, where provided, dedicated controlled crossing points. A safe crossing point could also be a tactile crossing that drops to the level of the road, which could be used by wheelchair users. An element of assessor judgement is required and if in doubt, their justification of safe crossing points should be provided. For measuring the distance, for example, you could measure a safe pedestrian route along a pavement, across a road at a safe point and along the pavement on the other side.  The distance should not be measured diagonally across a road along the most direct route. In terms of evidence, Google Maps may be used, provided that the scale is appropriate and clearly indicated. In order to demonstrate that the route is ‘safe’, ‘Streetview’ may be acceptable for Design Stage evidence, however this should be verified by the assessor’s site inspection and photographs of any key areas for the Post Construction Review. The assessor's site inspection is an important aspect of the assessment of this issue as it must confirm that the Google Maps and Streetview information is current, and may help to identify safe crossing points or hazards which may not be apparent from a desktop study. The purpose of requiring ‘safe pedestrian routes’ is to ensure that there are suitable pavements and that distances are not measured using the shortest route, ignoring safety issues. If a pedestrian crossing or crossing island is available to assist crossing busy road, the route and distance should account for this.

Sub-metering requirements for a Single Tenant - KBCN1201

Where the asset has a single tenant, or where it is owner occupied, this space must have both heating and cooling sub-metered to achieve maximum credits.

Suitability of waste storage facilities - KBCN0186

In situations where direct vehicular access to the recyclable waste store is limited by logistics or if size is a problem, for example inner city locations, some flexibility to the application of the criteria is allowed. The assessor can use their judgement on whether the storage space is appropriately sized and if the distance and changes in level via lifts or steps are acceptable. Convenience, H&S issues and the volume and type of waste likely to be generated must be considered.  Where the assessor deems the arrangement to be satisfactory this would be acceptable. Typically ‘accessible’ is defined as being within 20m of a building entrance. In some circumstances site restrictions or tenancy arrangements could mean it is not possible for the facilities to be within 20m of a building entrance. If, in the opinion of the BREEAM assessor it is not feasible for the facilities to be within 20m of a building entrance, their judgement can be used to determine if the facility is deemed to be ‘accessible’ to the building occupants and for vehicle collection.

Validity of consumption data - KBCN1304

In order to maintain the reliability of data entered into the BREEAM In-Use Online Platform, any consumption-related data submitted must have a reporting period start date which is no more than one year prior to the start of the assessment (creation of a measurement). For example, if the assessment was started on the 3rd of April 2018, the reporting period start date cannot be prior to 3rd of April 2017. A more recent period can always be entered, as long as the assessor can verify that the data is correct for the period entered.

Verification of consumption data - KBCN1019

Where consumption data has been entered into the BREEAM In-Use Part 2 Energy Calculator, the Assessor must provide evidence to support this and demonstrate its correlation to the assessed area. The consumption figures shall be supported by either corresponding utility bills or verified metered consumption data (or a combination of the two). This means that, for example, simply submitting a spreadsheet containing consumption figures is not compliant, clear demonstration that this has been verified is required. It is also common that available utility bills may not coincide with the assessed area for an asset, this means that further evidence is required to demonstrate the actual consumption for the assessed area. Since there are many different methods in which energy data can be monitored (e.g. manual meter readings, Energy Management Systems etc.), the format used when submitting metered consumption data often varies between assessments. This often leads to confusion for Assessors on whether particular evidence meets the requirements. For these reasons, further clarity has been provided outlining how compliance can be met when neither appropriate utility bills nor verified metered consumption data (undertaken by the Assessor) are available for the assessed area. In these instances, it is possible to strengthen this existing evidence with a verification statement. Please see the following guidance below: BREEAM In-Use Part 2 Energy (Traditional method)
  1. Clear description of how the consumption data was obtained for each question, e.g. manual reading, automatic reading from a BMS, energy bills, etc.;
  2. Clear description of any calculations carried out to the data before it is entered into the BREEAM In-Use online platform, e.g. energy use determined by subtracting sub-metered data from main meter readings;
  3. Clear reporting of the period the consumption data relates to, i.e. start date and end-date for each consumption figure;
  4. Clear confirmation that the data covers the assessed area only, and is based on metered data, rather than estimations or apportionment.
  5. Such confirmation will be provided and signed from either someone internal to the organisation or the Assessor themselves (see Note below).
BREEAM In-Use Part 2 Energy (Energy Allocation method) This method is required where the asset does not have consumption data which covers the assessment area only. The asset will need to use the BREEAM In-Use International 2015 Energy Allocation Calculator when completing the Part 2 Energy Category. This can be accessed through the BREEAM In-Use Assessor extranet, or by emailing Within this tool there is full guidance explaining the requirements for this method.
  1. Clear description of how the consumption data was obtained for each row (meter) inserted into the BREEAM In-Use Energy Allocation Calculator Tool, e.g. manual reading, automatic reading from a BMS, energy bills, etc.;
  2. Clear description of any calculation carried out before the data was entered into the BREEAM In-Use Energy Allocation Calculator Tool, e.g. energy use determined by subtracting sub-metered data from main meter readings;
  3. Clear confirmation that the figures within the ‘Total annual consumption (kWh)’ entry within the ‘Consumption Data’ tab (of the Energy Allocation tool) relates to the area outlined in the respective ‘Total area metered (m²)’ cell. This entry must be based on metered data, rather than estimations or apportionment.
  4. Confirmation that the ‘Total annual consumption (kWh)’ entry within the ‘Consumption Data’ tab (of the Energy Allocation Calculator Tool) relates to the associated dates in that row, i.e. start date and end-date;
  5. Such confirmation will be provided and signed from either someone internal to the organisation or the Assessor themselves (see Note below).
Note: Where confirmation is undertaken by someone other than the Assessor, the Assessor must be content that the information is correct, and that the individual has a good understanding of metering systems and of the metering strategy of the particular asset being assessed. This should be clearly outlined within the Assessor comments.
09/10/2019 Change to incorporate introduction of Part 2 Energy Allocation Calculator guidance.

View out – applicable areas - KBCN0268

The aim of the View out credit is to allow occupants to refocus their eyes from close work. The view out criteria are not applicable to occupied areas such as meeting rooms, where typically close work is not undertaken and there are no permanent workstations. Where rooms contain areas of different functions, only those areas that are applicable should be included in the assessment. In this case a notional line can be drawn on the plans and calculations made based on these applicable areas only.

View out – eye level - KBCN0581

BREEAM defines an adequate view out as being at seated eye level (1.2 – 1.3m) within the relevant building areas. However, where occupants will not have the option to be seated, for example in some industrial operational areas where the work being undertaken requires occupants to remain standing, the height of the view out can be changed accordingly to suit the eye level of occupants. All other view out requirements have to be met and clear justification provided for changing the height/level of the view out. In some relevant building areas, occupants may not be sitting down to undertake tasks. Allowing the view out height requirements to be changed accordingly ensures building occupants gain maximum benefit from the view out.   

Watercourse pollution from indoor parking - KBCN0545

If the design team can demonstrate that there will be absolutely no run-off from the indoor parking then the intent of the credit will be met. However, such proof would also have to demonstrate that no hydrocarbon spillage from vehicles found its way into the watercourse/sewer. It is likely that there would be water ingress from outside or that internal parking areas would have drains fitted and be cleaned regularly. In such conditions, the criteria are still applicable. The intent of this criteria is to ensure no hydrocarbons run off to any watercourse.

Zoning and occupant control – whiteboards and display screens - KBCN1433

Whiteboards and display screens in dedicated teaching or presentation spaces require separate zoning and control for lighting, as specified in the criteria. Lighting around whiteboards and display screens which are typically found in general office areas, meeting rooms, or in other generic spaces do not require separate zoning and control to meet the criteria. In such cases, the assessor should provide justification. Whiteboards and display screens in dedicated teaching / presentation spaces are likely to be used frequently, and require appropriate zoning and control. An increasing number of offices and meeting rooms now include display screens - however separate zoning and control may not be appropriate.
Information correct as of 17thOctober 2021. Please see for the latest compliance information.