New Construction / NOR / 2016 /
02 - Health & Wellbeing
Information correct as of 18thOctober 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.
Applying internal partition sound insulation criteria to internal doors - KBCN0665
Where sound insulation criteria apply to internal partitions the calculations do need to include any doors which are part of the wall in question.
While sound insulation performance of a typical door will be lower than for a typical wall, with careful design, specification and detailing, this can be overcome.
Applying the daylighting criteria - KBCN0579
When assessing the daylighting criteria, the required rooms must fully meet criteria 2a, 2b or 2c. It is not possible to combine criteria 2a, 2b and 2c to assess one room.
Approach to thermal model when using BMS - KBCN0169
Where there are smart systems such as BMS in place, modelling must consider normal operating conditions, with the heating and cooling system in operation regardless of the control strategy.
In order for the design team to size the heating/cooling plant, they will carry out modelling to calculate the heat/cold loss throughout the year. Results of these calculations must be submitted, with the heating/cooling plant specification which would demonstrate that the building has been designed to ensure internal winter/summer temperatures will not drop below an acceptable level, and that in effect the winter TOR is zero.
Areas in the public domain - KBCN0587
Where areas within the site boundary will be public domain after construction, and the design/specification has been determined by the local authority/statutory body/planning permission etc, they can be excluded from the assessment of the 'Safe Access' criteria. Evidence would be required to demonstrate that this was the case.
Where the client/design team do not have control of the design of these areas, the development should not be prevented from achieving the credit.
Cyclist safe access - KBCN0188
Safe access for cyclists must be via a compliant cycle lane, unless it is demonstrated that it would be impractical to cycle for a short distance between the site entrance and cycle storage. For example, where a gate, door or barrier forces the cyclist to dismount and walk for a short distance to access the cycle storage and it would be impractical for cyclists to re-mount1
Where it is not practical to provide compliant cycle lane from the entrance to the cycle storage, the safety of cyclists and pedestrians must be maintained.
1. The intent is that this be a short distance, over which cyclists would typically not choose to re-mount and is anticipated to be no greater than 10m. In order to be considered compliant for greater distances, evidence must be provided of effective additional physical measures to deter cyclists from re-mounting.
29/09/2021 - Additional note (1) added to provide further clarification of the intent
21/02/2020 Re-worded to clarify the intent
02 Jul 2021 - Applicability to UK NC2018 confirmed
Daylighting – Changing rooms - KBCN1132
The daylighting criteria are not applicable to changing rooms.
Daylighting – Floor areas for average daylight calculations - KBCN0471
Where the room size is comparable and the function is the same, such as ‘kitchen’, the percentage rule needs to be applied to the total floor area. As the average daylight factor is a measure of daylight across the whole room, only whole rooms can be compliant. This is why we refer to rounding up the ‘80% of the floor area’ requirement to the rounded-up number of compliant rooms.
This rule applies to rooms of a similar size and function and compliance note ‘percentage of assessed area’ includes a simple example, where all the rooms are the same size. However, this rule can still be applied to rooms of different sizes.
Spaces whose size is substantially larger should meet the average daylight factor requirement on their own. In these cases, the percentage requirement is still applicable to the floor area of the remaining rooms.
For example, where 80% of ‘teaching, lecture and seminar spaces’ need to comply with the average daylight factor, if we have a large lecture theatre of 200m2
and 3 seminar spaces of 30m2
each, the requirements for 80% would mean 232m2
of the floor area need to comply. This would require the lecture theatre and two seminar spaces to comply.
Where a building contains different area types, the 80% minimum floor area must be calculated by each separate building area type as defined in the table listing the average daylight factors required. For example, a multi-residential building that contains kitchen areas and living room areas, would need each one of these areas to comply with the 80% minimum floor area requirement separately.
In schemes where dwellings are assessed separately, this is likely to result in 100% of the relevant dwelling areas complying. This is because in a typical house with one kitchen and one living room, an 80% requirement for the kitchen and an 80% requirement for the living room, would mean the whole kitchen and the whole living room need to comply (since only whole rooms can be compliant).
Clarifications and example added.
Daylighting – retail cafe / dining areas - KBCN0968
Customer seating/dining areas in a cafe or restaurant should be considered as 'sales areas'. Sales counters, staff areas or food preparation areas, for example, should be assessed as 'Other occupied areas' in accordance with the definition of 'Occupied space'..
The requirements for 'Sales areas' are applied to transient spaces.
Dedicated cycle paths in the absence of cycle facilities - KBCN00039
Safe cycle access needs to be provided even if there are no dedicated cycle facilities. The dedicated cycle paths will generally need to be provided to the main entrance(s) of the building along routes likely to be used by cyclists through the site. The design team are required to determine what is required to satisfy the intent of the criteria.
Cycle access and cyclists' facilities are assessed independently of each other. Building users may cycle even if the building does not have cycle storage facilities and so safe and secure access to and from the building must be provided.
External lighting – architectural façade lighting - KBCN0650
Architectural façade (or other decorative) lighting, which does not provide users with lighting to perform tasks outdoors, does not need to be included in the assessment of external lighting.
This Issue seeks to ensure that lighting levels are appropriate for tasks which building users will be undertaking outdoors.
External lighting – High frequency ballasts - KBCN0278
The requirement for all fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps to be fitted with high frequency ballasts does not apply to external lighting.
Formaldehyde / VOC levels exceed prescribed limits - KBCN0258
If the measured formaldehyde / VOC concentrations were above the prescribed limits, the appropriate remedial action must be taken, as described in the IAQ Plan. The criterion requires confirmation of 'the measures that have or will be undertaken' however it does not specifically address re-testing. We would expect, however that the IAQ Plan should outline what remedial measures are appropriate depending upon the severity and type of the non-compliance with prescribed limits. Such measures may include re-testing as a matter of 'best practice'.
Where levels are found to exceed these limits, the project team confirms the measures that have, or will be undertaken in accordance with the IAQ plan, to reduce the TVOC and formaldehyde levels to within the above limits.
Glare control – adjacent buildings - KBCN1211
It is acceptable to account for surrounding buildings, structures or other permanent environmental features when using simulation modelling to assess the risk of glare, provided this accounts for both direct sunlight and reflected glare from glazing or reflective surfaces.
Glare control – blackout blinds - KBCN0447
Blackout blinds can be used to meet the glare control requirements.
Where the criteria set an upper limit for transmittance value, but no lower limit, blackout blinds will meet this requirement.
Glare Control – no relevant areas - KBCN0429
If the scope of the assessment does not include any relevant building areas, as defined within the manual, the criteria for Glare Control can be considered as met by default.
Only spaces that fall within the definition of relevant areas and are within the assessment's scope need to be assessed.
22/06/17 Wording clarified
16/06/17 KBCN amended to exclude content of KBCN0146.
Glare control – no windows in relevant areas - KBCN0146
Where a ‘relevant area’ as defined in the manual does not include any windows, the glare control criteria can considered as met for this area.
Note that the view out and daylight criteria would not be achieved in rooms with no windows.
Where there are no windows in a room there would be no potential for disabling glare, so the aim of the credit would be achieved.
Glare control – residential institution and multi-residential bedrooms - KBCN0666
Assuming that occupants are generally elsewhere during daylight hours, lighting and resultant glare are not considered to be problematic for bedrooms in residential institution and multi-residential assessments.
The only exception to this is where designated additional office working 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.
Glare control – transmittance value - KBCN0709
Transmittance values should be based on those quoted for 'visible light' or 'optical transmittance'.
10 Mar 2021 Reference to 'optical transmittance' added for clarity
Glare control – use of tinted windows - KBCN0862
Solar control or 'tinted' glazing could potentially support the attainment of this requirement. However, the assessor must be satisfied and provide evidence to demonstrate that the particular glazing type, when used on the assessed building for a given location, is meeting this overarching aim of preventing disabling glare. It should be noted that whilst certain types of glazing, such as low emissivity glazing, may be slightly tinted, they may not necessarily be effective in reducing disabling glare.
For facades receiving direct sunlight, tinted windows alone are unlikely to be sufficient in the majority of situations.
Glare control for roof lights - KBCN0319
Where roof lights are present, they must be considered when demonstrating that the glare control strategy provides adequate control/measures for minimising glare in that space.
All sources of glare need to be considered when designing out the potential for disabling glare.
Glare control in residential areas - KBCN00040
Glare control criteria apply to building areas such as study bedrooms or facility management offices, where work or study will be carried out and where glare would hinder such activities. It does not apply to other residential areas.
Inclusive and accessible design (non-residential only) - KBCN0863
Shared and accessible facilities are applicable where relevant.
For office, retail and industrial buildings, if there are no spaces suitable to be shared with members of the public or community, this can be justified and the ‘inclusive and accessible design’ credit met by demonstrating compliance with the other criteria.
Commercial buildings are unlikely to provide spaces that are suitable to be shared with members of the public/community.
Indoor air quality plan - KBCN0294
The Indoor Air Quality Plan does not have prescriptive criteria as it is recognised that each building will have differing conditions/user requirements. There is flexibility for the design team to use their professional judgement to determine what is appropriate to meet the criterion, subject to the plan addressing the relevant items as listed within the Technical Manual.
International suitably qualified professionals - KBCN1266
In some issues the International NC and RFO schemes prescribe specific requirements for suitably qualified professionals. We appreciate that some countries might have different recognition schemes in place, and these might differ from the BREEAM requirements. Where this is the case, assessors should submit a technical query with appropriate information, and we will review and approve each situation on a country basis.
Natural Ventilation Heat Recovery Units - KBCN1126
Natural Ventilation Heat Recovery Units (NVHR) systems can be used to support a natural ventilation strategy where it can be demonstrated that openable windows provide sufficient fresh air to the building for the significant majority of the time that the space is occupied.
The assessor will need to use their professional judgement to determine a 'significant majority of time' and be able to justify this within the assessment report.
Occupant control – BMS and degree of control - KBCN0175
A Building Management System controlled set point with local override controls limited to a set range would satisfy the occupant control requirement so long as the temperature range available to building users is confirmed as appropriate for the building type and user profile.
Occupant control – spaces requiring user controls - KBCN0170
The following guidance is intended to clarify the types of area for which user controls are required or would be considered beneficial. Please refer to the specific requirements of the applicable BREEAM Scheme to interpret this guidance appropriately.
User controls which allow independent adjustment of heating/cooling systems within the building are
required/considered beneficial in the following areas:
- Owned spaces: small rooms for one or two people, e.g. cellular offices
- Shared spaces: multi-occupied areas, e.g. open-plan offices, workshops.
- Temporarily owned spaces: where occupants expect to operate the heating/ cooling controls while they are there, e.g. meeting rooms, hotel bedrooms.
User controls which allow independent adjustment of heating/cooling systems within the building are not
required in the following areas:
- Occasionally visited spaces: e.g. storerooms, bookstacks in libraries, aisles of warehouses, toilets.
- Unowned spaces: where areas are expected to be heated but the controls are not operated by the occupants, e.g. circulation areas.
- Managed spaces: where someone is in charge of the heating/ cooling, but the controls are not operated by individual occupants, e.g. atria, concourses, entrance halls, function halls, restaurants, libraries, and shops.
Please note that zoning is required in all areas of the building where specified in the assessment criteria for this issue.
User controls are required/considered beneficial in spaces which are owned, shared or temporarily owned by individual building occupants. User controls are not required in occasionally visited spaces or spaces where individual occupants are not expected to have control over the thermal conditions.
Off-site manufactured installations – internal finishes - KBCN0137
Internal finishes in off-site manufactured installations such as lifts need to be assessed for the VOC criteria.
The specification of internal finishes (regardless of whether they are installed on site or in the factory) will impact on VOC emissions. By specifying low VOC finishes, design teams will be encouraging manufacturers to consider the environmental impacts of their products.
Paints for specialist applications - KBCN0872
Where a paint or coating does not fall within one of the categories in Annex II of the EU Directive 2004/42/CE or the categories in the relevant tables of the technical manuals (for schemes where the Directive is not applicable), then the paint or coating does not need to be assessed.
16/06/2017 KBCN extracted from existing KBCN0212.
13/03/2020 KBCN amended to clarify exceptions and applicability
Performance requirements to be met by finished product - KBCN0212
Decorative paints and varnishes that occupants are exposed to should be assessed. This is likely to include paints applied to walls, ceilings, floors, doors, etc.
It should be noted where finishes are applied to the product within the factory, these would be assessed as part of the whole product rather than as decorative paints and varnishes. The product as a whole must meet the requirements, for example if a wood panel has a finish applied to it in the factory, the whole product, i.e. all elements that make up that product, including the finish, would need comply with the requirements set for wood panel products in the issue.
The finished product as a whole must meet the performance requirements/emission limits stipulated in the relevant BREEAM technical manual.
16/06/2017 Title and general principle amended to extend the applicability of the KBCN to all finishes. Paints specified for specialist applications covered in KBCN0872.
Potential for natural ventilation – shell only assessments - KBCN0408
Where compliance depends on a speculative layout which is unknown, it is the responsibility of the design team to demonstrate that it is feasible for a future tenant to achieve compliance in the relevant areas via the use of a notional layout.
This ensures that the shell allows the potential for compliance, and if this can be demonstrated the credit may be awarded.
Remedial works – timing of acoustic re-testing - KBCN1164
The intent of CN "Remedial works" is that, where these are required, re-testing is carried out prior to handover and occupation.
However, it is permissible to carry out the re-testing post-occupation. This is provided any specific guidance for particular building types related test conditions have been met (for instance, it may be that some building specific guidance requires furniture or carpets to not be present during the testing).
Compliance cannot be achieved based on a letter from the SQA confirming that the contractor has followed their advice to achieve the required performance.
07.11.18 KBCN amended to allow for re-testing to be carried-out post-handover.
Reporting PPD and PMV Figures - KBCN0867
The individual carrying out the modelling should be able to provide values for both the PMV and PPD for the building.
The PMV and PPD values need to be reported, in the scoring & reporting tool, for data recording purposes.
The values to report are the observed range of values for PMV and PPD across all occupied areas across all the hours when these are expected to be occupied (enter the minimum and maximum for each i.e. PMV = 0.2 - 0.5, PPD = 10 - 15%).
However, if compliance with the thermal comfort criteria is demonstrated without using a full dynamic thermal analysis software package and via a less complex system, which does not generate the required PMV/PPD metrics, these do not have to be provided.
Restricted movement within a secure perimeter - KBCN000009
Where the movement of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles is tightly controlled within a secure perimeter due to security considerations, these areas may be excluded from the safe access criteria. Where the whole assessment is within such a zone, the credit may be awarded by default.
Risk assessment – appropriate person - KBCN0539
If an officially recognised body or a local/city authority are in charge of conducting an assessment of the natural risks for a development, and this meets the BREEAM criteria, this can be accepted as meeting compliance. In this case the body/authority can be considered an 'appropriate person'.
Safe access – vehicle delivery routes - KBCN1046
Vehicle delivery routes which cross cycle or pedestrian routes may be acceptable provided there are adequate physical control measures in place to ensure safe access and thus minimise the possibility of delivery vehicles coming into conflict with cyclists and pedestrians.
Examples of such measures could be vehicle barriers or retractable vehicle bollards, which only allow access to delivery vehicles when required and whose operation and controls account for cycle and pedestrian movements.
18 Mar 2021 wording clarified
07.06.2018 Intent and wording clarified.
Safe access criteria requirements for small infill developments and extensions - KBCN0810
For smaller infill developments (typically those with a total gross floor area of less than 1,000m2
) where there is no opportunity to make changes to the surrounding site or access to the building itself (other than those directly related to connecting building access points to existing pathways etc.), it is recognised that full compliance with the BREEAM criteria for safe access may not be achievable. This applies to developments where either:
- the assessed building lies within an existing site or campus under single ownership or
- the assessed building is an extension to existing buildings within an existing site or campus
In such instances the existing site layout should undergo a risk assessment against the BREEAM 'Safe Access' criteria to identify areas where there is potential for enhancement across the site. The findings should be reported to the client and design team and any non-compliant aspects should be resolved as far as practically possible within the scope of the project, however there is no express requirement to achieve full compliance in every respect. Where the assessor is satisfied that the above requirements have been met, the credit for 'Safe access' can be awarded.
31/03/17 Reference to achieving 'Security' credit removed
Studio Bedroom Daylighting Calculations - KBCN0733
Where studio rooms in multi-residential projects include multiple area types (e.g. A kitchen and lounge area), compliance can be achieved where either:
1. The entire studio room meets the more onerous requirements
2. The room is nominally divided into the relevant spaces and the requirements are applied to each as appropriate.
Thermal comfort – Changing rooms - KBCN1133
Whilst thermal comfort in changing rooms may be considered as significant, such spaces are, generally, outside the scope of this Issue, as they would not fall within the definition of an 'occupied space'.
17/06/2019 - This supersedes the advice previously provided in this KBCN, which was published in error on 13/06/2018
Thermal modelling for large scale projects - KBCN1171
In cases where the scale of the project makes it unfeasible to provide thermal modelling for every space, it is acceptable to demonstrate compliance with a representative sample of floors or rooms, ensuring any worst case scenarios are included.
Users with special hearing and communication needs - KBCN0969
Criterion 1c aims to ensure that the acoustician has considered designing the building to better meet the acoustic requirements for users with special hearing and communication needs.
The extent and scope this should cover will depend on the building type. The following information, taken from The UK Department for Education ‘Acoustic design of schools: performance standards building bulletin 93' (February 2015) provides clarity as to the type of users typically to be considered:
Users with special hearing or communication needs includes, but are not limited to, people with permanent hearing impairment or with severe or complex needs, including:
- speech, language and communication difficulties
- visual impairments
- fluctuating hearing impairments caused by conductive hearing loss
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- an auditory processing disorder or difficulty
- being on the autistic spectrum
Such users should be considered by the suitably qualified acoustician, along with the other points a-d when giving early design advice regarding room layout, sound insulation and reverberation times etc.
01/03/2019: Amended to clarify that this is a 'typical' list of users, but does not impose a new requirement.
Ventilation – E-cigarettes - KBCN1014
The use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers is considered equivalent to smoking. A smoking ban must also include a ban on e-cigarettes and vaporizers.
Ventilation – Withdrawal of EN 13779:2007 - KBCN1054
Standard EN 13779:2007 has been withdrawn (01/02/2018) and in its place the following should be used:
- To replace EN 13779:2007 Annex A2 for location of the building's air intakes and exhausts - CEN/TR 16798-4:2017 Sections 8.8.1 to 8.8.4
- To replace EN 13779:2007 Annex A3 for filtration in HVAC systems - EN 16798-3:2017 Section B.4.2
- To replace EN 13779:2007 for providing fresh air into the building - ISO 17772-1:2017 Annex I or EN 16798-1:2019 Annex B.3 (using either Category I or Category II default design values)
Both standards provide three methods for selecting design ventilation rates:
- Method 1: Method based on perceived air quality
- Method 2: Method using limit values of substance concentration
- Method 3: Method based on predefined ventilation flow rates
(only applicable to the BREEAM International New Construction scheme): Both standards provide different options for selecting design ventilation rates:
It is the design team’s responsibility to determine and apply the most appropriate method or option(s) for the project undergoing assessment.
- Total air change rate for the dwelling
- Extract air flows for specific rooms
- Supply air flows for specific rooms
- Design opening areas for natural ventilation
Existing projects can continue to use EN 13779:2007 where applicable. Any new assessment registrations should use the replacements above.
2019.09.01 - KBCN updated to reference new standard
2020.01.10 - KBCN updated to clarify methods for complying with new standards
2010.05.03 - Typo corrected to clarify that 'EN 16798-1:2019 Annex B.3 'either Category I OR Category II default design values' are to be used
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.
View out – no relevant areas - KBCN0876
If the scope of the assessment does not include any relevant building areas, as defined within the manual, the criteria for 'view out' can be considered as met by default.
Only spaces that fall within the definition of relevant areas and are within the assessment's scope need to be assessed.
View out – percentage area - KBCN0166
For the view out credit, compliance must be demonstrated for the percentage of the floor area in each relevant building area, rather than the percentage of the total relevant building area in the building.
14/2/17 Wording amended to clarify that the percentage must be achieved for each 'relevant building area'.
View out – rooms used for security or other critical functions - KBCN1040
The View out criteria are not applicable to rooms containing security or critical systems or sensitive material, such as CCTV monitoring rooms.
Where it can be demonstrated that the presence of compliant windows would compromise a critical function of the space, the criteria can be considered not applicable.
VOCs post-completion testing and KPI - KBCN0380
When testing for VOCs post-completion and pre-occupancy, a representative sample of the building needs to be carried out. Each sample TVOC and formaldehyde measurement needs to achieve the threshold levels individually, either in the initial testing or after remedial measures have been implemented. This ensures that all tested areas of the building are below the limits, and that areas of non-compliance are not ‘averaged out’.
'When providing KPI test results for air quality post-construction / pre-occupancy within scoring and reporting tool, where the limits are exceeded and remediation and re-testing are carried out, the figure should be an average for the whole building post-remediation, as this is the key figure that reflects the building at its certified state'.
Where testing is not a requirement of the IAQ Plan and this is not carried out, the original testing figures should be entered and the assessment report should provide details of the remediation measures undertaken to reduce these to within the prescribed limits.
06/12/17 Amended to account for situations where re-testing is not required by the IAQ Plan.
Zoning and control – dimming - KBCN1018
Localised dimming controls installed in line with the criteria, along with a master on/off switch, can be considered as meeting the aim of the requirement for 'controls' in open plan offices.
The aim is for occupants to have local control over their lighting and maintain comfortable lighting levels.
Zoning and control – PIR in circulation spaces - KBCN0332
PIR controls can be deemed compliant in circulation spaces such as corridors. In this instance 'separate occupant controls' are not required.
The requirement for user control is so that the building users can have direct control over their immediate work environment to ensure it is suitable for their personal needs. In circulation spaces, occupancy is transient and PIR control in these spaces is acceptable.
Zoning and occupant control – access to lighting controls - KBCN00032
In building areas where building users, for example the general public, are not expected to have access to lighting controls, these areas can be excluded from the assessment.
The aim of these criteria is to increase user control of lighting. Where user control is not applicable, such as on a shop floor, the criteria should not be applied.
Information correct as of 18thOctober 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.
Zoning and occupant control – PIR detection systems - KBCN0335
The aim of the Health & Wellbeing category is to recognise ways to benefit occupants through giving them control of their lighting environment. Without manual overrides, presence or absence detection lighting controls (such as PIR detection systems) are not compliant with the criteria.
BREEAM recognises the energy efficiency benefits of detection systems in buildings through the Energy category. In some cases, the design team may have to prioritise one particular lighting strategy to the detriment of achieving a credit elsewhere.
28 04 2021 Wording amended to include absence detection systems.
18 09 2017 Wording amended to clarify the meaning.