New Construction / NOR / 2016 /
06 - Materials
Information correct as of 11thApril 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.
Astroturf (artificial grass) - KBCN0106
This is not be considered as hard landscaping and should be excluded from the assessment of this issue.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Certificate validity - KBCN0798
EPDs and Green Guide ratings which have expired or are pending verification at the time the relevant product was specified, cannot contribute to awarding credits.
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.
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.
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:
- Common elements (e.g. roof, foundations, external walls etc): apportion a percentage of the total impact of the element to each assessment based on their percentage share of the total GIFA (e.g. if an assessment accounts for 10% of the total GIFA, 10% of the element’s impact is apportioned to that assessment).
- Elements that are only in a given assessment (e.g. internal partitions, internal finishes etc): 100% of the impact is allocated to the assessment they are in.
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
Legally harvested and traded/Legal and sustainable timber – Reclaimed/recycled timber - KBCN1402
As an alternative to virgin timber and wood-derived products from a Legally harvested and traded timber/Legal and Sustainable source, ‘recycled timber’ is acceptable. For the purposes of these prerequisites, ‘recycled timber’ is defined by BREEAM as:
Recovered wood that prior to being supplied to the assessed project 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.
BREEAM requires documentary evidence that all reclaimed/recycled timber products meet the definition of ‘recycled timber’ given above.
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 01 Calculator Option 1 – verified LCA tools - KBCN0237
Before an LCA tool can be recognised by BREEAM, the tool developer must submit evidence to BRE to verify the tool’s points scored in the Mat 01 Calculator.
The LCA tool is then given its own tab in the calculator, which confirms the maximum score the tool can achieve, if used to its fullest extent. Items coloured green within the calculator are locked because they do not change when using the LCA tool. The items in blue should be edited by the design team to confirm the extent the tool has been used on the project. For RFO schemes, the assessment parts must also be selected.
Items listed as ‘N’ in column W ‘Included in assessment?
’ cannot be changed to a ‘Y’, as the LCA tool cannot be used for this element. For example internal doors cannot be assessed by the Green Guide. An element listed as ‘Y’ can be changed to a ‘N’ if the LCA tool has not been used for the element in the assessment.
Column S confirms if the assessed building includes the element and should be included. For example if there are no stairs in the assessment, then this element is removed from the calculation by saying ‘N’ to cell S15 (in the green guide calculator).
12/01/2017 Reference to LCA approved tools updated.
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.
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.
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 11thApril 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.