New Construction / UK / 2011 /

06 - Materials

Information correct as of 26thOctober 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.

Achieving Exemplary level criteria using Route 2 - KBCN0928

The project’s appointed BREEAM assessor needs to submit a copy of the IMPACT file/model to BRE Global. Files/models should be submitted as a technical query entitled as ‘UK NC Mat 01 IMPACT model submission’, together with the completed IMPACT form (found on BREEAM Projects, under the UK New Construction 2014 ‘Supporting documents’) and with evidence demonstrating compliance with criterion 7 (demonstrate how the use of an IMPACT compliant software, or equivalent, has benefited the building in terms of measuring and reducing its environmental impact). Note that for IMPACT queries, we aim to provide the initial file/model review report within 4 weeks. Please allow for additional time for this in the process, as the BREEAM Assessor is likely to receive feedback regarding the file/model content, which will need to be addressed before submitting the BREEAM assessment report for Quality Assurance. When this review process is complete and the file/model is verified and approved by BRE Global, you will receive an approval confirmation for compliance with Route 2, which will allow the relevant exemplary credits to be awarded.

All life cycle stages EPDs - KBCN0822

A third party, independently verified EN 15804 EPD that includes life cycle stages A, B and C may be considered a tier 1 EPD in the MAT 01 issue.

Assessing basement external walls - KBCN0241

Only the external walls above ground level are required to be assessed under 'external walls'. The external walls below ground (i.e. within a basement area) perform a specialist function, these are not comparable with other external walls in a building. These are included in the 'basement retaining walls'.
20/08/2021 Scope clarified in accordance with the New Rules of Measurement (NRM) by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Assessing furniture - KBCN00019

Fixed furniture within the building should be assessed. Examples of this include: built-in desks, kitchen units, toilet cubicles, any use which constitutes a significant fitting. Movable furniture which is not fixed to the building should be excluded from the assessment.  

Assessing the roof of a car park that forms the ground floor of the assessed building - KBCN00080

The ground floor of the building above the car park should be assessed as an 'upper floor slab'. For the purposes of Mat 01 the ground floor slab, which is not assessed, is considered to be the floor which is in contact with the ground. HQM - Applies to HQM's Environmental Impact from Construction Products assessment issue.  

Astroturf (artificial grass) - KBCN0106

This is not be considered as hard landscaping and should be excluded from the assessment of this issue.  

Boundary Protection - KBCN0753

Only boundary protection specifically forming the site boundary should be included in the calculations. This may not necessarily be located on the boundary of ownership, but is the physical barrier which ostensibly encloses the development. Any other freestanding walls or fencing within the site can be excluded.

BRE Environmental Profile certificates - KBCN0777

BRE Environmental Profile certificates are compliant EPDs and can be used as evidence for the purposes of Mat 01.

BS 8903:2010 superseded - KBCN0938

BS 8903:2010 Principles and Framework for Procuring Sustainably - Guide, has been superseded by BS ISO 20400:2017 Sustainable Procurement - Guidance.
This change will be updated in future re-issues of the manual.

Building elements’ Materials - KBCN0190

For each element, only the materials that make up a significant majority of the building element (up to 80%) need to be responsibly sourced. Any material which comprise the remaining 20% can be included at the discretion of the assessor if it contributes to achieving more points. It should be noted that including additional elements from a lower tier level may reduce the number of points scored. Criterion 2.b To achieve points for any given building elements, at least 80% of the materials that make-up that element must be responsibly sourced i.e. classified in tier 1-7.

Building LCA tools recognised by BREEAM - KBCN1118

The following table shows the building LCA tools that are recognised by BREEAM for each BREEAM scheme. Only submissions from the tools listed here will be accepted as part of a BREEAM assessment. These recognised tools may be either an IMPACT Compliant tool or another type of building LCA tool that has been evaluated by BREEAM and considered suitable for carrying out building LCA according to BREEAM’s scheme specific requirements. To apply for a new tool to be evaluated, please contact: breeam@bre.co.uk Where more than one version of the same tool is listed for a given scheme version, the most recent version of the tool (that is available at the point building LCA work commences on the project) should be used. It is acceptable to use subsequent, more recent releases/versions of a recognised tool (that have the same name as shown in the table). Click on the thumbnail for the full table.        
Table updated to include new recognised LCA tools 12/03/2021
KBCN updated for clarity regarding subsequent tool versions on 10/03/2021

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)- Calculating the percentages of materials - KBCN00070

When calculating the contribution of EPDs to an element's point score in the Mat 01 tool, the percentage of material in an element should be based on its mass.      

EPDs’ validity - KBCN0798

EPDs which have expired or are pending verification at the time the relevant product was specified, cannot contribute to awarding credits. However, it is not necessary that they are valid at the time of the design or post-construction stage submissions. BREEAM is primarily trying to encourage designers to take EPDs into consideration when specifying products.  
04/11/2019 Confirmed applicability to UK NC2018
27/03/2020 Added applicability to Green Guide ratings and ISO 14001 certificates
27/05/2020 Reference to ISO 14001 removed - Whilst the same principle applies, the wording relating to product specification does not - See KBCN1401.
12/08/2021 Clarification regarding the validity of EPDs during QA submission and removal of reference to Green Guide ratings

Exemptions from hard landscaping and boundary protection - KBCN00062

Where a third party, such as the local authority, enforces strict constraints on the materials that can be used by the project for hard landscaping or boundary protection, and these materials do not achieve a Green Guide rating of A/A+, it is possible to exempt these materials from the assessment of this issue, on the condition that robust evidence confirming this is given. In this instance the developer does not have control over the materials specified, therefore it is not appropriate to include them in the assessment.    

Fitting elements in Shell and Core assessments - KBCN0835

All elements present in a building need to be assessed.  Therefore, where fitting elements are included in a development being assessed as shell and core, they need to be included in the BREEAM assessment.

FSC and PEFC Mixed Sources certified timber - KBCN00091

Products used in a building element that carry these labels are deemed to comply with BREEAM, i.e. 100% of the product (material) is responsibly sourced and 100% contributes toward meeting the BREEAM requirement that at least 80% of an element is responsible sourced. Products carrying the FSC Mixed Sources label have to demonstrate to FSC that the proportion of FSC certified and recycled material used in their production is at least 70%.

FSC Controlled Wood - KBCN00054

FSC Controlled Wood is a system developed to ensure that the non-certified portion in products labelled as Mixed Sources do not come from unwanted sources. It is not an FSC certification on its own and products classed as FSC Controlled Wood do not meet the BREEAM definition of responsibly sourced.  

Gabion as boundary protection - KBCN000008

A gabion can be excluded from the assessment if it acts as a retaining wall or any other form of a supporting structure. If it acts purely as a boundary and a generic Green Guide rating cannot be found for a specification, the BREEAM assessor will need to submit a Bespoke Green Guide Query proforma detailing the specification details.  

GN08 – Scope of IMPACT compliant tools and data submission requirements - KBCN0621

Scope of IMPACT Compliant (or equivalent) Tools and Data Submission Requirements - BREEAM UK New Construction 2011 and 2014 Introduction This Guidance Note relates to complying with the exemplary level criteria for route 2, as defined under the Mat01 issue of the BREEAM New Construction 2011 and 2014 versions. It provides information about IMPACT and the level of detail (the Quality Requirements) and file transmission requirements for the Building Information Model (BIM) from IMPACT compliant (or equivalent) tools. It also outlines criteria for demonstrating the equivalence of a proposed alternative to IMPACT compliant tools for BRE Global approval. View full Guidance Note (licenced assessors only) View all Guidance Notes (licenced assessors only)

GN17 Bespoke Green Guide Specifications - KBCN0633

Introduction This Guidance Note provides advice for BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes assessors where a Green Guide rating cannot easily be found or matched on the online Green Guide. View full Guidance Note (licensed assessors only) View all Guidance Notes (licensed assessors only)

GN18 BREEAM Recognised Responsible Sourcing Certification Schemes and BREEAM Scheme Applicability - KBCN0723

BREEAM awards credits for responsibly sourcing construction products (typically under the Mat 03 issue) to encourage responsible product specification and procurement in construction. To achieve these credits, applicable specified products (as listed in the relevant technical manual) must be covered by Environmental Management System (EMS) or a responsible sourcing certification scheme (RSCS) recognised by BREEAM. View V3.5 of full guidance note (current version) View V2.0 of full guidance note (licensed assessors only - optional for projects registered prior to release of V3.0 in September 2016) View all Guidance Notes (licensed assessors only)

Green Guide – Updated validity requirements - KBCN1466

It has been recognised that, due to the withdrawal of the Green Guide methodology in the current version of BREEAM UK New Construction, some manufacturers are not updating their product certifications against this environmental profiling scheme. Therefore, where robust evidence can be provided that the composition and properties of such products or materials have not changed since they were certified, the expired Green Guide Rating may be used, where available. This supersedes the guidance previously provided in relation to Green Guide validity in KBCN0798

Green Guide Rating of raised access flooring - KBCN00016

There are currently no Green Guide ratings available for raised access floors, therefore the components making up the raised floor element itself should be excluded from the assessment of this issue.
24 01 18 Wording clarified to refer to raised floor components only

Green-roofs - KBCN0263

When assessing green roofs,  only the structural elements of the roof construction need to be considered i.e. the waterproof layer and above can be excluded. Where Green Guide is being used to assess the issue, it is likely that the online Green Guide Calculator will need to be used to provide a rating for the roof construction. HQM - For the purpose of HQM, green roofs fall under 3.3 Specialist roof systems therefore should be included in the IMPACT model.

IMPACT Compliant (or equivalent) Tools - KBCN0929

The following are IMPACT compliant tools The following are equivalent to IMPACT compliant tools:

IMPACT compliant software - KBCN0809

For a list of all IMPACT compliant software please see How to get IMPACT on the IMPACT website.

LCA modelling for multiple BREEAM assessments - KBCN0960

Multiple buildings' assessments Site-wide approaches are not acceptable and each BREEAM assessment needs to have its own Life Cycle Assessment model (using an IMPACT compliant software tool or equivalent). This applies in all cases, including when the buildings are on the same plot and are built to the same specifications. Developing assessment-specific LCA models ensures that material quantities are accurate, refer to the actual building (and building type) and account for external works included within the scope of the specific assessment. Single building with multiple assessments within it Where multiple assessments are conducted for different parts of a building, it is acceptable to have a single LCA model covering all assessments. In this case, an explanation of the allocation process used should be provided and the following guidance applies:

Legally harvested and traded timber – Examples - KBCN0956

The following examples are considered compliant for BREEAM purposes. Legally harvested:
  1. Evidence of compliance with the CPET (see here, timber bought inside the UK only)
  2. FSC, PEFC or SFI certification
  3. Evidence of compliance with the EUTR (timber bought inside the EU only)
  4. Risk assessment/due diligence documentation demonstrating a low risk of non-compliance with the ‘legally harvested’ requirements given in the manual.
Legally traded:
  1. Evidence of compliance with the CPET (see here, timber bought inside the UK only)
  2. FSC, PEFC or SFI certification
  3. Risk assessment/due diligence documentation demonstrating a low risk of non-compliance with the ‘legally traded’ requirements given in the manual.

Legally harvested and traded/Legal and sustainable timber – Reclaimed/recycled timber - KBCN0654

Timber should, wherever possible, be sourced in accordance with the UK Government’s Timber Procurement Policy. However, if for reclaimed timber the original procurement details are unobtainable, robust evidence to demonstrate it has been reclaimed can be acceptable. The government UK Government Timber Procurement Policy Timber Procurement Advice Note (6th edition) states: As an alternative to demanding timber and wood-derived products from a Legal and Sustainable source, Contracting Authorities can demand ‘recycled timber’. Documentary evidence and independent verification will also apply to recycled timber and recycled wood-derived products but will focus on the use to which the timber was previously put rather than the forest source. And defines ‘recycled timber’ as: “…recovered wood that prior to being supplied to the Contracting Authority had an end use as a standalone object or as part of a structure and which has completed its lifecycle and would otherwise be disposed of as waste. The term ‘recycled’ is used to cover the following categories: pre-consumer recycled wood and wood fibre or industrial by products but excluding sawmill co-products (sawmill co-products are deemed to fall within the category of virgin timber), post-consumer recycled wood and wood fibre, and drift wood. It also covers reclaimed timber which was abandoned or confiscated at least ten years previously.” As per the above policy, BREEAM requires “Documentary evidence and independent verification” that all reclaimed/recycled timber products meet the definition of ‘recycled timber’ given above.
01/06/2020: Amended to clarify and extended applicability to Mat 03

Life cycle environmental impact of curtain walling - KBCN0178

Curtain walling performs two functions – the provision of windows and the provision of external walls. Specifications performing the same function are grouped together in the Green Guide to Specification.  This means that curtain walling needs to be modelled as two separate building elements (external walls and windows). The overall performance of the curtain wall will combine the ratings for the two parts according to their areas. It will depend on the curtain walling system selected, the choice of internal lining and the relevant proportion of glazed and opaque elements.
  1. For the opaque area of the external wall (Area A in the figure below):
    1. Select the relevant generic specification from the Green Guide (element category – External walls / Curtain walling, then either aluminium or timber framed and the internal skin specification) and note the rating and element number. If your specification is different from all of the generics, please submit a request for a bespoke rating.
    2. Enter the rating into the BREEAM Materials calculator with the area for the opaque section of the curtain wall (Area A).
  2. For the glazed (window-like) area of the curtain wall (Area B):
    1. Select the relevant specification from the Commercial window element category of the Green Guide. There are two specifications: Aluminium curtain walling system (Element no: 831500016) and Laminated timber curtain walling system (Element no: 831500015)
    2. Enter the rating into the BREEAM Materials calculator with the area for the glazed (window-like) section of the curtain wall (Area B).
The BREEAM Materials calculator will calculate the overall performance for the curtain walling system. It will also calculate the performance of the building elements and the overall number of credits to be awarded.      

Louvered panels/facades on Green Guide - KBCN1252

The BRE Green Guide defines the 'functional unit' for applicable materials, which may be assessed under the Mat 01 Issue: Louvres on a facade provide a role outside of the 'functional unit' and hence can be excluded from the calculations for the external wall. Only elements forming part of the 'functional unit' need to be included in the external wall.

Mat 01 / Mat 03 calculator not big enough - KBCN0647

If a project has more specifications than there is rows available in the tool you can group specifications that have the same green guide rating/responsible sourcing level with each of the specifications with the same rating listed in the same row. The proportion that they contribute to the overall area is also combined. For example where a project has 30 different upper floor specifications, if 10 upper floor specifications are A+, 10 are A, 5 are B and 5 are C then you would only need to use 4 lines.

Mat 03 calculator – combined elements - KBCN1245

Where a building element acts as two or more of the building elements combined (e.g. reinforced concrete slab that acts as substructure and ground floor), the assessor has a choice between two methods for inputting the elements into the Mat 03 calculator tool: Method 1: The entire element specification can be entered into one of either element. This produces the worst case scenario. Method 2: The element specification can be split into notional specifications as if the elements act independently.   Example: a reinforced concrete slab that acts as foundation and ground floor Method 1: The element specification is input as one of either the foundation/substructure OR ground floor Method 2: The notional specification as if the slab acts solely as ground floor is entered under ground floor (components of the specification that are 'added' to the slab so that it also acts as foundation are removed) AND the notional specification as if the slab acts solely as foundation is entered under substructure/foundation (components of the specification that are 'added' to the slab so that it also acts as ground floor are removed)

Material not listed in the Green Guide calculator - KBCN0377

Please refer to Guidance Note GN17 'Bespoke Green Guide Specification Guidance' available from the BREEAM Extranet under 'Green Guide to Specification - Assessor information'

Multi-storey car parks - KBCN0729

The hard landscaping requirements of this BREEAM issue do not apply to a multi-storey car park. The aim of the issue is to encourage the specification of new materials with low environmental impact to external hard surfaces only.  

Multiple buildings on the same site - KBCN0559

The areas of hard landscaping and boundary protection that need to be assessed on a site that contains several developments/buildings depends on the scope of works and scope of the assessment(s) being undertaken. Essentially, the areas that need to be assessed are all the areas of hard landscaping (as defined within the relevant definitions of the credit issue) and boundary protection within the construction zone (again defined within the relevant definitions) that are within the scope of works of the building under assessment. Therefore, if all buildings on one site are being assessed in one BREEAM assessment, then the hard landscaping and boundary protection related to all of these building's scope of works will need to be assessed. If there are several buildings with individual assessments and their own defined scope of works, then the hard landscaping and boundary protection applicable to the scope of works of each individual building will be assessed for each associated assessment. The assessment is concerned with the hard landscaping and boundary protection associated to the project under assessment, i.e. the areas under the control of the project under assessment. 

On site fabrication - KBCN1292

Where concrete (or another construction product) is produced on site, there is no requirement to provide responsible sourcing certification for the end product. As in this case fabrication on site is effectively part of the onsite building process, the certification of the individual products (e.g. aggregates, cement), as delivered to site, shall be used in the assessment instead.

Outdoor foundations - KBCN0787

Outdoor foundations for lighting poles, bike racks, charging stations, etc., need to be included under hard landscaping, provided they are above the cut-off volume.

Partial assessments - KBCN1001

Where the assessment covers only some of the floors in the building, the roof must still be assessed as it is protecting the assessed building below. If the roof is directly above domestic accommodation (e.g. flats), the equivalent domestic Green Guide rating for the roof must be used, as opposed to the ratings for non-domestic roofs. Roof areas not protecting parts of the assessed building or space can be omitted from the assessment.

Playground or other specialist surfaces - KBCN0694

Where the hard landscaping surface is specified to meet safety related performance (e.g. non-slip or soft surfaces for playgrounds) or particular performance related requirements (e.g. specialist sports performance surfaces such as astro-turf, netball courts and running tracks), then these surfaces can be omitted from the assessment. The standard specification of surfaces for multi-use areas (e.g. cement, tarmac, asphalt) must still be assessed.

Protecting vulnerable parts of the building from damage – underground car parks - KBCN1331

Exposed elements, such as columns in an underground car park, should have been designed against structural damage from minor vehicle collision and, therefore, do not require any additional protection to meet compliance for this BREEAM Issue. Assessors should, however, consider whether additional protection is required at the vehicular entrance to underground car parks. The requirements are intended to address the issue of damage to vulnerable parts of the facade, which would require repair/replacement in the event of minor vehicular collisions.

Raised access floors - KBCN00018

For the purposes of Mat 03, raised access floors should be considered as part of the floor structure. HQM - Applies to HQM's Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products assessment issue.

Recycled materials in hard landscaping - KBCN0975

When recycled material is to be used for hard landscaping, the Green Guide rating will depend on whether the material comes from the same site or from another location. Typically, on-site recycled material is treated with very little impact, or ignored, as there is little or no energy/material input in putting it in place. When recycled material is brought in from elsewhere, transport, as well as any processing the material has gone through to make it fit for purpose, will be taken into account. If the assessor is in doubt, they need to submit a landscaping proforma along with any supporting documentation on the materials and their use and BRE will provide a rating and/or guidance.

Retaining wall acting as site boundary protection - KBCN0304

Where a retaining wall also acts as the site boundary protection it must be excluded from assessment in this issue as boundary protection is not its primary function.  

RSCS summary score level for BES 6001 products - KBCN0955

For products certified under BES 6001, the rating score (between 5 and 7) can be found in the Green Book Live. This is the rating that needs to be entered in the Mat 03 calculator. The RSCS score that is entered into the Mat 03 calculator comes from the relevant table in Guidance Note 18. However, for BES 6001, the score is per certificate because 6001 works at different levels of rigour.  Once you have found the product, by searching on the page below, click 'More..' on the right-hand side to reveal further details, including the BREEAM score level. GreenBookLive Responsible Sourcing

Scope of hard landscaping - KBCN0634

For the purpose of assessment, hard landscaping includes (but is not limited to) parking areas (including manoeuvring areas, lanes, roads within the parking area), pedestrian walkways, paths, patios. The definition excludes basement parking, access or approach roads and designated vehicle manoeuvring areas, balconies, roof terraces,specialist sports areas (running tracks, netball areas etc.) and retaining walls.

Shell & core assessments – elements outside the scope of the base-build - KBCN0167

For shell & core developments, all building elements which fall within the developer's scope of work should be assessed as set out in the technical manual. For any aspects which can be justifiably considered as falling within the future tenant's scope of work, compliance can be demonstrated using Shell & Core Option 1 or Option 3. Where relevant building elements are not within the scope of the base-build, but are required to ensure the robustness of the completed building following fit-out, the developer is not expected to install these. These options cannot, however, be used to impose onerous requirements on the future tenant, which could reasonably have been included in the base-build.
05 07 2017 - Wording amended to clarify and principle expanded to explain the limitations on the applicability of this CN
 

Shell and Core Floor Finishes – Mat01 Calculator - KBCN0593

Floor finishes are always applicable, however if they are not specified due to the speculative nature of the building and therefore CN11 is applicable you should select 'Shell Only Applicable' in the drop-down list in the Floor Finishes section of the Mat 01 tool.

Shell and core – option 2 for floor finishes - KBCN0877

If Option 2 ‘Green Building Guide’ is selected to demonstrate compliance, the Mat 01 calculator will halve the points achieved for this element type rather than the credits, as stated in the relevant Compliance Note. Only the contribution of the element type assessed under this option should be halved.

The importance of EPDs - KBCN0895

The publishing of a third party verified EPD by a manufacturer indicates a transparent, robust and credible step in the pursuit and achievement of real sustainability in practice. While an EPD in itself is not proof that a product is sustainable, it is a public declaration of the environmental impacts associated with specified life cycle stages of that product.  A manufacturer or group of manufacturers, who carry out life cycle assessment (LCA) studies on their product(s) and publish the results in verified EPDs, help to create a knowledge base and an awareness of the environmental impacts quantified using standardised metrics. This allows benchmarking and the identification of improvement opportunities for the product’s environmental credentials. By implication, there are also opportunities for economic and social benefits to the manufacturer, such as the reduction in resource wastage through improvements in product design and manufacturing efficiency. The reward for EPDs in BREEAM schemes promotes the above, while encouraging designers, procurers and other stakeholders to make decisions on the basis of robust and credible environmental data. This is one of the markers of BRE’s strategic approach to the selection and procurement of construction materials and products. We recognise that there may be steep costs at the moment to small manufacturers wishing to publish verified EPDs for their products. This is a result of the maturity of the market and it is anticipated that as the awareness of the benefits of EPD increases, the increased uptake of EPDs will drive costs down.
Information correct as of 26thOctober 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.