In-Use /

00 General

Information correct as of 2ndMarch 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.

Assessing multiple buildings in BREEAM In-Use - KBCN0840

BREEAM In-Use has been developed as an environmental assessment method to assess existing assets. Typically, an asset consists of a single building or part of a single building. In certain circumstances, multiple buildings can be classified as a single asset by a client. This is often the case where buildings are of similar physical structure and built form, have common building servicing strategies and common management arrangements.  To assess multiple buildings as a single asset using BREEAM In-Use, the criteria listed below must be confirmed by a licensed BREEAM In-Use Assessor. This will ensure a meaningful outcome of the performance of the asset.  The Assessor will be required to demonstrate how each of the criteria has been met and provide evidence to support the decision.  Where there is any doubt in the criteria being met, the Assessor must contact the Technical team in advance of the certification submission for approval and will need to submit evidence of the approval along with the assessment.  Criteria: 
  1. All buildings must have the same building function, similar performance, and be of the similar design and age. 
  2. Buildings must be connected to and share common services to meet the comfort and sanitary demands of the occupants. This includes: heating, ventilation, cooling and hot water. Or, if these services are provided locally, identical servicing strategies as well as specification of equipment must be applied across all buildings. 
  3. All buildings must share similar building envelope (the physical separator between the interior and exterior of a building) and structural specifications. Buildings do not need to be physically connected, however: the specification of the envelope must be largely the same to ensure that the performance of each building fabric is comparable in terms of the range of assessed characteristics including thermal efficiency. 
  4. Building management and maintenance policies, procedures and approach must be the same across all the buildings that make up the asset to ensure consistent implementation. 
  5. All buildings must be located on the same site. The boundary of the site must be drawn where responsibility of management or ownership of the site changes. 
  6. The Assessor must collate the required evidence from each building that is included in the asset and where performance against the BREEAM requirements varies, the final score will be determined by the space with the lowest level of performance. 
  7. If alterations are made to the management and the physical structure of the asset that in turn changes the applicability of the eligibility criteria above, re-certifications must be undertaken at a building level if the Multiple Buildings approach is no longer applicable. 
  Please note: if the buildings differ from each other in a number of areas, a multiple buildings approach has limited value to all parties involved. In such cases, the rating will not clearly identify the areas for improvement within each building. By assessing the buildings separately, the granularity of the assessment is increased which will in turn provide owners with more detailed information on how improvement plans can be rolled out.   

Assessing multiple buildings in BREEAM In-Use - KBCN0840

BREEAM In-Use has been developed as an environmental assessment method to assess existing assets. Typically, an asset consists of a building or part of a building. In certain circumstances, multiple buildings can be classified as a single asset by a client. This is often the case where buildings are of similar physical structure and built form, have common building servicing strategies and common management arrangements. To assess multiple buildings as a single asset using BREEAM In-Use, the criteria listed below must be confirmed by a licenced BREEAM In-Use Assessor. This will ensure a meaningful outcome of the performance of the asset.
  1. All buildings must have the same building function, similar performance, and be of the similar design and age.
  2. Buildings must either:
    • Be connected to and share common services to meet the comfort and sanitary demands of the occupants. This includes: heating, ventilation,cooling and hot water.
    • If these services are provided locally: identical servicing strategies as well as specification of equipment must be applied across all buildings.
  3. All buildings must share similar building envelope (the physical separator between the interior and exterior of a building) and structural specifications. Buildings do not need to be physically connected, however: the specification of the envelope must be largely the same to ensure that the performance of each building fabric is comparable in terms of the range of assessed characteristics including thermal efficiency.
  4. Building management and maintenance policies, procedures and approach must be the same across all the buildings that make up the asset to ensure consistent implementation.
  5. All buildings must be located on the same site. The boundary of the site must be drawn where responsibility of management or ownership of the site changes.
  6. The Assessor must collate the required evidence from each building that is included in the asset and where performance against the BREEAM requirements varies, the final score will be determined by the space with the lowest level of performance.
  7. If alterations are made to the management and the physical structure of the asset that in turn changes the applicability of the eligibility criteria above, re-certifications must be undertaken at a building level if the Multiple Buildings approach is no longer applicable.
Please note: if the buildings differ from each other in a number of areas, a multiple buildings approach has limited value to all parties involved. In such cases, the rating will not clearly identify the areas for improvement within each building. By assessing the buildings separately, the granularity of the assessment is increased which will in turn provide owners with more detailed information on how improvement plans can be rolled out.

Assessor comments submitted within BREEAM In-Use assessments - KBCN0962

Assessor comments are an extremely important part of the certification process, and are used to give the Quality Assurance (QA) team at BRE Global an understanding on why the Assessor has awarded credits. Assessor comments must be provided for any question which has credits awarded.  The comments must provide the following information:  An example from HEA 01 (PD130 – 1.1:2016):  2 credits have been awarded as 20% of the building envelope is glazed.  Verification of this figure can be seen within the calculation provided within [insert evidence name].  Please also find photographic evidence of each side of the envelope [insert evidence name], as well as the drawings for each envelope which the calculations were based on [insert evidence name]. 
2021 01 05 Minor change to Company references

Compliance: Applicability of criteria to scheme’s previous versions - KBCN0430

Criteria set for a scheme version are not applicable retrospectively to previous versions.

Compliance: Conflicts of interest for the BREEAM assessor - KBCN0107

The assessor can be someone within the design team or work for the same company as the design team member(s) but the assessor must identify and manage any potential conflicts of interest. The assessor should also make BRE Global aware of the situation so that, should it prove appropriate, the certification report can be escalated to a more detailed level of quality assurance checking. If the assessor is a member of the company who are producing evidence to demonstrate compliance, there must be clear separation of the roles and the BREEAM/HQM assessor must not be personally responsible for producing such evidence. BREEAM/HQM is a 3rd party certification scheme. Therefore, it is important to avoid any conflicts of interest between those producing evidence and those awarding credits to ensure the robustness of the certification process. 

Evidence – Photographs not permitted for security reasons - KBCN0389

Where photographs are not permitted during a site visit for security reasons, in addition to any alternative evidence requirements listed in the Schedule of Evidence for each issue, the assessor will also need to provide a detailed site inspection report and/or as-built drawings (where permitted by the client). If following this approach, full justification and documentary evidence from the client will be required for QA purposes.

Evidence: Photographs not permitted for security reasons - KBCN0389

Where photographs are not permitted during a post-construction site visit for security reasons, in addition to any alternative evidence requirements listed in the Schedule of Evidence for each issue, the assessor will also need to provide a detailed site inspection report and/or as-built drawings (where permitted by the client). If following this approach, full justification and documentary evidence from the client will be required for QA purposes.

Evidence: Types of evidence required to demonstrate compliance with BREEAM - KBCN0402

The schedule of evidence table details the typical types of information that the assessor needs to collate to assess compliance against the requirements of a BREEAM issue. The evidence type listed against each requirement is not exclusive and other types and forms of evidence (listed or not listed in the table) can be used to demonstrate compliance against a BREEAM requirement. Key to demonstrating compliance with the BREEAM requirements is that the assessor has used, and references, an auditable trail of evidence, regardless of the form that evidence takes in relation to each BREEAM requirement.  For example: if, for a particular BREEAM requirement,  the schedule asks for a letter from the client confirming compliance but compliance can or has been demonstrated via a building specification then the assessor can reference that piece of evidence as demonstrating compliance and does not need a letter. Please note that the BREEAM team is unable to advise assessors whether a particular piece of evidence demonstrates compliance as this is the assessors responsibility. The BREEAM team will not fail the QA of a certification report on the basis that evidence referenced in the report, confirming compliance with the assessment criteria, is not an identical type to that outlined in the schedule of evidence. For further information please refer to the 'BREEAM evidential requirements' section or 'Appendices' section.

Invoicing for BIU Certification fees - KBCN1416

Assessors or Assessor Organizations can request an invoice to purchase certification credits rather than purchase directly through the BREEAM In-Use online tool from the Finance team. (BREEAMInUse@bregroup.com).  The Certification fees published in the BREEAM USA In-Use Fee Sheet (FS130) are chargeable to the Assessor.  As our contract is with the licensed Assessor Organization, we will not invoice any third parties for any Certification fees.  All invoices for Certification Fees will be issued to the Assessor Organization.  Once payment is received, the BREEAM USA team will add the credits to the Assessor’s account.  It will be assumed the purchased credits are to be added to the requestor’s Assessor account unless otherwise stated.  Any questions about certification fees should be directed to the BREEAM In-Use Team (BREEAMInUse@bregroup.com)
2021 01 05 Links and text updated

Multi-tenanted assessments – Demonstrating compliance - KBCN0984

The requirement to assess each tenanted space separately for each question and to determine the final score based on the tenanted space with the lowest score, only applies to what the guidance below refers to as ‘Question type 1’: Question type 1: In such instances to award credits, each tenanted area must demonstrate full compliance. An example of this question type is HEA 06, for which, to select an answer option, the relevant requirement needs to be met by all tenanted areas. Eg, if there is an asset with five tenants where four tenants provide mains connected water provisions, but only one provides access to non-mains connected water provisions, only one credit can be awarded. Question type 2: In such instances, the question rewards credits based on the percentage of compliance. An example of this question type is WAT 04, where the percentage of low-water use fittings, regardless of their location in the building, is assessed in one calculation.

Occupancy calculation – Buildings with shift patterns - KBCN0431

In buildings with shift patterns, as shifts may overlap, the building users calculation should be based on the maximum occupancy of the building at any given time.

Process Notes - KBCN0611

Process notes can be accessed by licensed assessors here. When a new process note has been released, you may be required to tick the box to confirm you have read the note to be able to access other documents in BREEAM Projects. To do this scroll to the bottom of the Process Note index page and tick the box and click next.  

Process: Registration date and applicable scheme manual issue - KBCN0708

Typically the scheme technical manual issue which is current when a project is registered should be used for the assessment. For example, if a BREEAM UK New Construction 2014 development was registered on 01/07/2016, the current issue of the scheme technical manual at that point would be issue 4.1, which was published on 11/03/2016 (the next issue 5.0 of the technical manual was published on 05/09/2016). However, it is permissible for the assessor to decide to use a later issue of the technical manual. The scheme technical manual version and issue used for the assessment should be clearly referenced within the assessment report. Note that in any case, the same technical manual version and issue should be used for the entire assessment. It is not acceptable to assess different credits based on different issues of the technical manual and it is not acceptable to change issues between submissions of the assessment.
26 09 17 Clarification added that the 'Issue' of the technical manual may not be changed between assessment submissions

Renewal – Change in Asset Ownership and/or Management - KBCN1060

Before annual certificate renewal for Part 1 and 2 certificates, BRE Global requests confirmation from the client that no significant changes have been made to the asset or building management of the asset. Significant changes are those made to the asset or its management that result in a change in the overall rating of more than 5%. Change in ownership In a situation whereby the building owner changes whilst there is a valid BREEAM In-Use certificate, providing the new building owner sends BRE Global formal confirmation of ownership, and confirmation that they have not made any significant changes to the asset or building management of the asset since acquiring the asset, the certificate can be updated to reflect the new owner. Part 1 and 2 renewals can continue as per the standard process until the assessment is due for re-certification. Change in building/property manager In a situation whereby the building/property management changes whilst there is a valid BREEAM In-Use certificate, the process alters depending on the parts certified: For Part 1 certification, renewals can continue as per the standard process until the assessment is due-for re-certification. For Part 2 certification, the change in building/property management constitutes as a significant change.  A Part 2 assessment is based on the procedures and policies in place in relation to the operation of the asset and consequently if this organisation changes, the evidence in place from the initial assessment will no longer represent the current situation. For this reason, if the building/property management changes whilst there is a valid BREEAM In-Use Part 2 certificate, a full re-assessment including site visit is required. Please note: BREEAM In-Use certificates display all Parts certified on one certificate, for this reason, if one or more parts requires full re-assessment all Parts need to be re-submitted.

Technical: Location of scheme technical documents - KBCN00022

All scheme technical manuals are available to view and download on the BREEAM website http://www.breeam.com/technical-standards. Always refer to the BREEAM website to make sure that you have access to the most up-to-date version of the relevant scheme technical manual.

WELL building standard – alignment with BREEAM - KBCN0737

Assessing health and wellbeing in buildings - Alignment between BREEAM and the WELL building standard BRE and the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) are collaborating to promote health and wellbeing in the design, construction and operation of buildings and fit-outs, internationally. The two organisations announced their collaboration on 28 November 2016 with the aim to make it more efficient for clients and project teams to pursue both of their respective standards: BREEAM and the WELL Building StandardTM (WELL). To simplify the process for project teams pursuing both assessment methods, BRE and IWBI have worked together to compare performance requirements, harmonise evidence and identify opportunities to streamline the process of achieving dual certification. This work demonstrates the significant synergies between the two methods and the efficiencies that exist between their respective assessment and certification processes. It forms a part of an ongoing collaboration between BRE and IWBI to work together to harmonise their approach to health and wellbeing in the built environment across their standards, research programmes and services generally. View Briefing paper here 
Information correct as of 2ndMarch 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.