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Mat 03 - Responsible Sourcing of Materials

Information correct as of 27thJanuary 2022. Please see for the latest compliance information.

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.  

BS 8903:2010 superseded - KBCN0938

BS 8903:2010 Principles and Framework for Procuring Sustainably - Guide, has been superseded by BS ISO 20400:2017 Sustainable Procurement - Guidance.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.

Design stage requirements where specific product details are unknown - KBCN1483

The Mat 03 tool must be completed in accordance with the Methodology, providing all available details and submitted as evidence. Where products or materials are subject to a performance specification and a specific manufacturer and certificate reference cannot be provided, the missing details should be completed as 'tbc'. This ensures that a strategy for compliance can be demonstrated, even where some specific details are unavailable.

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.  

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)

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

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)

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.

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.

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
Information correct as of 27thJanuary 2022. Please see for the latest compliance information.