3 General Technical /

7 Compliance Principles

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

‘BREEAM compliant’ products or materials - KBCN0925

In order to demonstrate compliance with the relevant BREEAM criteria, the performance of specific products or materials must generally be considered in the context of each assessed building. BREEAM is a building level certification scheme and as such, there are no “BREEAM certified” products.  BREEAM recognizes processes that evaluate/test the environmental performance or responsible sourcing of specific products.  BREEAM provides credits where the process, and in some cases the performance, meet a specific standard. It does not recognize specific products as “BREEAM compliant”. There are, however, credits available under the Materials category, where projects include products covered by a verified Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) that was produced in line with ISO 14025, ISO 21930 or EN 15804.  For example, BRE’s Verified Environmental Product Declaration Scheme meets EN 15804, so an EPD from this program would be deemed to meet the relevant requirements. EPDs created under other schemes that utilize ISO 14025 or ISO 21930 would also be deemed to meet the requirements. This approach could also support requirements for specific products to not exceed VOC emission levels, under Hea 02 Indoor air quality, in either the New Construction or Refurbishment & Fit-Out programs. Manufacturers and product specifiers are encouraged to review the Materials and Health and Well-being categories in the BREEAM standards to understand the requirements and work with a BREEAM Professional to better understand how their product supports clients pursuing BREEAM certification.   BREEAM is a whole building-based assessment scheme and BRE does not endorse or approve products or materials as ‘BREEAM compliant’
04 Feb 2022 - Updated to provide additional guidance

Green Lease Agreement – reference to the technical manual - KBCN0881

The technical manual includes criteria, intended for the guidance and interpretation of licensed BREEAM assessors. It does not generally provide detailed practical solutions to meet the criteria. In the BREEAM UK New Construction 2011 and International New Construction 2013 schemes, Shell only/Shell & core assessments included provision for demonstrating compliance for fit-out items using a Green Lease Agreement (GLA). The future tenant and their design team should not have to rely on a licensed BREEAM assessor to assist them in interpreting the GLA to achieve a compliant fit-out. Specifications for achieving compliance must therefore be explicitly included within the GLA, with reference to the relevant BREEAM criteria, to allow the fit-out team to understand exactly what is required. A compliant Green Lease Agreement must be a robust alternative to the actual implementation or installation of fit-out measures. A Green Lease Agreement which relies solely on reference to the BREEAM Technical manual is not considered a robust solution. 

My client insists the credit is met because it was ‘accepted’ on a previous assessment - KBCN0837

BRE will support assessors in our role as an accredited certification body, particularly where they feel a non-compliant solution is being pushed on them on the basis that it has been 'accepted' on previous assessments by assessors or BRE. In such instances, and for any scenarios where the assessor requires support, you can contact us (BREEAM Technical Support) for an impartial view to assist with your verification. In such situations, it would be helpful in the first instance, to explain the audit and certification process to the client and clarify why the proposed solution may not be compliant. Whilst it may be a consideration in the process of verification for a specific assessment, implying compliance or accepting evidence of it solely on the basis of an assessment on a previous project, potentially by a different assessor, is not good assessment or certification practice. We strongly advise assessors not to submit assessments based on evidence that you know or believe to be non-compliant in the hope that it will either not be selected for QA or we that we will simply accept compliance in such instances. Doing so could put an assessor in breach of your licensing terms and lead to suspension or termination. A large part of the value of BREEAM is in its certification, if certification is based on invalid or unverified assessment of performance it undermines the scheme, assessors and BRE.

Who determines compliance the Assessor or BRE? - KBCN0839

In the BREEAM assessment model, the assessor determines compliance and BRE Global quality-assures the assessment. Rather than saying definitively that an assessor's decision is incorrect, the QA process may raise a finding (Non-Conformance) where it is not clear that compliance is demonstrated. BREEAM technical support cannot generally confirm compliance, as that would be deemed as advice, which could conflict with our need to remain impartial as the certifying body. However, we can, and do, support the assessor in the decision-making/assessment process, affording confidence through assisting with interpretation of the criteria in any given scenario. Ultimately, however, it is the role of the licensed BREEAM assessor to determine compliance and to demonstrate this with appropriate evidence in their assessment report.
Information correct as of 15thJuly 2024. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.