Home Quality Mark / HQM beta /

B My Home

Information correct as of 22ndJune 2024. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.

2030s weather files - KBCN000006

The Exeter University Prometheus project contains future weather files which cover the 2030s. These can be found here: https://emps.exeter.ac.uk/engineering/research/cee/research/prometheus/downloads/
13 09 2017 Hyperlink to Prometheus project updated. Applicability to BREEAM International schemes removed - (see  KBCN0732)

Accreditation – sampling and testing laboratories - KBCN1337

Analysis / testing laboratory NC 2016 or newer: Where an organisation used for the analysis of indoor air or emissions from building products is not accredited to ISO/IEC 17025, the organisation must be accredited, either by a national accreditation body, or by a member of any one of the following accreditation groups: European Cooperation for Accreditation International Accreditation Forum International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation The accreditation must specifically cover the analysis of indoor air or emissions from building products. Other schemes: Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 is not required in the criteria. However, this KBCN has been applied to encourage a consistent approach towards accreditation. Accreditation by a national or internationally recognised organisation helps to ensure rigorous, consistent and reliable testing results. Sampling organisation If another organisation carries out sampling on behalf of the analysis / testing laboratory, this organisation does not need to be accredited to the above. However, they must provide a brief report justifying: This report is provided to the BREEAM assessor and submitted as supporting evidence for this issue.
31-Oct-2022 Wording clarified. Scheme applicability updated.
10-Oct-2022 Title amended for clarity. Scheme applicability updated.
24-May-2022 Updated to differentiate between sampling and analysis requirements. 
07-May-2021 Added clarification regarding alternative qualifications. 
10-May-2021 Updated scheme applicability.

Accuracy of life cycle cost projections - KBCN1295

The aim of LCC credits is to encourage homebuilders into identifying enhanced and value-added design and specification to improve the overall quality of the building stock. The design appraisals can help improve upon the design and specification selection should initial projections be too high. HQM LCC credits are not intended to be used for comparison between developments, given the differences in assumptions made in each appraisal. With the introduction of this credit into the HQM, it is expected that projections on durability of elements/ components and forecast for maintenance and operation will improve industry knowledge. This will also encourage transparency in the industry and this credit aims to encourage knowledge-transfer of best practice.

Adding rows to the Energy Reporting tool - KBCN1441

After entering the first product, fill out the row beneath it with the details of another product and a row will automatically be added.

Air conditioning and cooling - KBCN0373

Energy used for air conditioning and cooling systems should not be included when assessing NOx emissions.

Approved software XML outputs - KBCN0848

Some technical issues within HQM require files from external software to be uploaded to BREEAM Projects in order to generate credits. These files are only valid where they have been produced using software that has been approved by BRE Global. Please visit Greenbook Live or contact the technical team for information on approved software. Where a required software is not listed as approved , the software provider would need to gain approved status from BRE Global before it can be used to assess an HQM registered project.    

Assessing overheating risk in homes – TM59 - KBCN0892

CIBSE TM59 can be used to demonstrate compliance with the requirements in HQM's Temperature issue, where CIBSE Guide A and CIBSE TM52 are referred to in the Temperature issue. This is to recognise the most up to date methodology relating to the assessment of homes, which builds on and refers to relevant parts of standards referred to in the Temperature issue.

Assessing the roof of a car park that forms the ground floor of the assessed building - KBCN00080

The ground floor of the building above the car park should be assessed as an 'upper floor slab'. For the purposes of Mat 01 the ground floor slab, which is not assessed, is considered to be the floor which is in contact with the ground. HQM - Applies to HQM's Environmental Impact from Construction Products assessment issue.  

Broken chain of custody for legally harvested timber - KBCN1321

The Government website referred to in the ‘Legally harvested and traded timber’ definition in the Responsible sourcing issue, provides the necessary guidance for demonstrating compliance with the prerequisite for this issue, which follows the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) report on the UK Government Timber Procurement Policy. The ‘Timber Procurement Advice Note (TPAN)’ provides a checklist (Annex E) for evidence of certified timber (category A evidence). You can find this here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/timber-procurement-advice-note-tpan-comply-with-tpp Annex F of this document gives further guidance if the supplier isn’t directly certified and there is a broken chain of custody. It notes that ‘As soon as ownership of products is taken by a non-CoC-certificate holder, the products cease to be 'certified'. However, if the evidence is credible, you can make a claim of legal or sustainably sourced products.

Calculating average plan depth for HQM Temperature Tool - KBCN0891

The average plan depth is calculated by measuring, for each room, the distance from the window nearest to the centre of the room. Then  calculate the total distance for all rooms and divide this by the number of rooms. The following should also be taken into account: There is an element of discretion in terms of calculating this and common sense should be applied to ensure that room depth is being calculated correctly, keeping in mind that this aspect is about determining the rooms ability to circulate air as part of managing high temperatures. Generally speaking, the average plan depth only becomes an issue for homes with relatively deep rooms and it does not tend to be a problem in the majority of cases, for the purposes of the HQM temperature tool. The HQM temperature outputs help to determine homes that are less likely to be at risk of overheating in summer months. It is not a design tool and efforts should be applied to reduce risk wherever possible (e.g. appropriate use of ventilation and thermal modelling).

CHP NOx emission conversion - KBCN0592

If the CHP manufacturer cannot provide the NOx emissions in mg/kWh it is not possible to award any credits. The CHP manufacturer must provide the NOx emissions in mg/kWh, the conversion factors provided in the Technical Manual can only be used for boilers.

Clarification of ‘CN1 Flexible design options’ - KBCN0917

In homes where there are no partition walls, excluding ones that separate the bathroom(s) from the rest of home, it is possible to meet the '02 flexible design' criteria by meeting the requirements of the nationally described space standard.

Communal ventilation system - KBCN1388

A communal ventilation system is acceptable as long as it meets the requirements in the HQM manual. In terms of maintenance, if it is not possible for the home occupants to carry out system maintenance themselves due to the type of system installed we would need a statement from the professional designing the system stating this. Instead, any specified ventilation system requiring maintenance must be designed to allow building services engineers to easily complete the work in a safe manner in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and any other safety regulations, to prevent systems becoming redundant or being unable to function to their designed intention.

Compliant test body – alternative compliance route using a Suitably Qualified Acoustician - KBCN1412

Where acoustic testing and measurement has not been performed by an organisation or individual that meets the definition of a compliant test body, compliance with this requirement can still be demonstrated where a Suitably Qualified Acoustician has reviewed the relevant test report(s). The test report must: a) Be countersigned or authorised by a Suitably Qualified Acoustician b) Include a clear statement that the acoustic testing and measurements have been carried out in accordance with the BREEAM or HQM testing requirements AND c) Include evidence that the verifier meets the definition for a Suitably Qualified Acoustician within the relevant BREEAM or HQM technical manual

Composting waste - KBCN0827

Composting waste does not need to be included within the internal waste facilities for purposes of crit 2 and 3. This is dealt separately within crit 5.

Converting energy consumption into kWh/annum from new EU energy labels - KBCN1462

To convert the energy consumption from new EU energy labels into kWh/annum, the following guidance should be followed: Dishwasher: multiply kWh/100 cycles figure on EU energy label by 2.8 to get kWh/annum Washing machines and washer dryers: multiply kWh/100 cycles figure on EU energy label by 2.2 to get kWh/annum Ovens: multiply kWh/cycle figure on EU energy label by 286 to get kWh/annum
25 Aug 2023 - Correction to 'typo error' for dishwasher conversion factor - previously shown as 2.08, now corrected to 2.8

Cost Output-PV connected to landlord supply - KBCN0833

Any cost savings associated with PV connected to landlord supply are not considered in the HQM cost output. The intention of the cost output is to provide greater assurance regarding the cost efficiency to the specific home being assessed. If this cannot be assured, a worst case scenario must be assumed.      

Decorative gas/ethanol fires - KBCN1301

Although fires may be decorative, if they are permanent features of the home that burn fuel to produce heat, they will have an impact on local air quality. They should be assessed in the Impact on Local Air Quality issue.

Design stage evidence – Responsible sourcing of construction products assessment - KBCN0831

At design stage, a letter of commitment from the design team confirming that the products shall be procured from suppliers capable of supplying products covered by the required responsible sourcing certification scheme is acceptable. The letter must confirm the responsible sourcing certification schemes of the proposed products.

Determining the number of bedspaces in a home - KBCN1300

The number of bedspaces the home is designed for should be determined using the Nationally Described Space standard. The size of the bedroom should be compared with the technical requirements in section 10 and used to define the number of bedspaces.

District Heating - KBCN1302

Where a project is connected to a district heating system which is outside the scope of the project or the wider development (for example phased developments) and is mandated by a local authority or other statutory body, the system does not need to be included in the assessment and 11 credits can be awarded by default. This is on the basis that the development's design team do not have control over the specification of the system. Where this is the case, evidence must be provided to demonstrate this. Where the development's design team do have control over the specification of the system, then it must be assessed.  

District heating connected after post-construction stage - KBCN1312

For HQM, at design stage, it may be acceptable to assume a network will be implemented and used by the assessed home, at completion if appropriate design-stage evidence demonstrates this, even if the system is not implemented at the time of the design-stage assessment. At post-construction, evidence would need to be revised and re-submitted based on what has happened in practice. In most cases the district heating network would need to have been installed and connected to, in order to use this system as part of the home’s energy calculations for the Energy and Cost issue, and to demonstrate installation of LZCTs in the Decentralised Energy issue. However, there is a possibility that time-frames could be flexible depending on the specific scenario being considered, which are judged on a case by case basis. To be considered, a technical query needs to be raised, with detailed information about the project including: location, size, whether it’s mixed-use or a phased development, type of network being connected to, time-frames of the connection and justifications for these, and the assurances that will be in place to ensure this happens in-practice. If it is not possible to provide this information during the design stage, this can be raised later but please be aware that there is a risk that credits achieved at design stage may be lost at post-construction stage, if the network is not connected to as planned. If this does happen, the ‘infrastructure’ criteria in the Decentralised energy issue may still be applicable if adequate infrastructure is installed by post-construction stage, which can be used to connect the home to LZCTs in the future, in line with any relevant criteria (e.g. feasibility study, CN4 etc.). In terms of how this works for BREEAM, it is possible that connection after post-construction could be acceptable, if the development is part of a larger or mixed-use project where the centralised services provision only becomes viable at a later phase and there are robust, legally enforceable routes to ensuring delivery of them to a set timeline. Evidence would need to be reviewed at post-construction stage on a case by case basis, in line with KBCN0267.

Early product procurement policy - KBCN1309

A documented product procurement policy and procedure needs to be in place by RIBA stage 2, which sets out the requirements for all suppliers and trades to adhere to in relation to responsible sourcing of products. However, this policy and procedure can be fairly high-level at RIBA stage 2, as long as all other criteria are met, including dissemination and the encouragement of products that have responsible sourcing certification over products that don’t. At this early stage, the policy is likely to contain overarching principles and policies that later feed into a more detailed plan or strategy, further into the design stage. BS8903:2010 and BS8900-1:2013, provide guidance on what is considered good practice. Our experience with BREEAM has shown that considering the potential for responsibly sourced products early on makes procurement of these products more achievable, which in turn makes the associated credits for this more likely to achieve. This principal extends to the other issues in the Materials category as well.

Emissions – measuring heating demand - KBCN0182

Emissions for all heat sources should be measured under normal operating conditions which are when all heat sources from the building plant are operating to their maximum design heat outputs to meet the building's heating demands. Where plant is designed to operate below maximum capacity, for example multiple or modular systems or standby boilers,the emissions should still be calculated for the plant operating to meet the building’s heating demand. Any redundant capacity or standby plant should not be included.  

Emissions from products – Guidance Note 22 (GN22) - KBCN0719

Latest version: v2.8, January 2024 Within the Health and Wellbeing category of several BREEAM schemes, credits are awarded for specifying materials that minimise emissions from building products of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The criteria involve meeting emission level performance requirements in accordance with compliant performance and testing standards. Guidance Note 22 (GN22) lists schemes that show equivalent or better performance than the current BREEAM and HQM criteria, and therefore can be used to demonstrate compliance with the criteria. This document should be read in conjunction with the relevant assessment issue guidance provided in the appropriate BREEAM or HQM technical manual. The guidance note contains two tables: Download Guidance Note 22 View all Guidance Notes on BREEAM Projects (licensed assessors only)
01-Feb-2024 - Updated for release of GN22 2.8
31-Jan-2023 - Updated for release of GN22 2.7 
10-Oct-2022 - This KBCN merged with KBCN0646. Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Made applicable to UK and International NC V6.
25-Jan-2019 - Link to Guidance Note updated
12-Mar-2018 - Link to Guidance Note updated

Emissions from products – installations manufactured off-site - KBCN0137

Internal finishes to installations manufactured off-site such as elevators need to be assessed for the emissions from products 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.
10-Oct-2022 - Title amended to align with standard KBCN naming format for clarity and consistency. Made applicable to UK and International NC V6.

Emissions from products – scope of assessment - KBCN0212

General This issue covers any product installed or applied inside the inner surface of the building’s infiltration, vapour or waterproof membrane. Where this membrane is not present, it applies to the inside of the building envelope’s interior-facing thermal insulation layer. Only products that are installed or applied in parts of the building where their emissions are likely to affect indoor air quality need to be assessed. Paints and coatings Any decorative paints and varnishes that occupants are exposed to should be assessed. This is likely to include paints and coatings applied to walls, ceilings, floors, doors, etc. Whole products A finish applied to a product in the factory is assessed as a whole product, and not separately as a paint or coating. For instance, a wood panel has a finish applied in the factory. The whole panel, including all the elements that make up that panel, would need to comply with the requirements set for wood panel products in this issue. The finished product as a whole must meet the performance requirements / emission limits set in the manual.
11-Oct-2022 - Title amended for clarity and consistency. Content merged with KBCN0871.
10-Oct-2022 - Wording simplified. Scheme applicability updated.
16-Jun-2017 - Title and general principle amended to extend the applicability of the KBCN to all finishes. Paints specified for specialist applications covered in KBCN0872.

Evidence requirements – responsible sourcing of materials at post-construction - KBCN1599

Whilst the UK BREEAM manuals are less prescriptive in the evidential requirements to allow flexibility, to ensure consistency across the schemes, it is expected that robust evidence should be provided to verify the source of any certified materials and how the assessor has confirmed the products and manufacturers used. Evidence supplied at post construction stage must reflect the completed building and confirm the responsibly sourced materials that have been procured and installed on the project. Supporting documentation is required to validate letters of confirmation or schedules of materials. Evidence provided could include proof of purchase, for example, invoices, delivery tickets, purchase orders or correspondence from suppliers. This may be an example for each material sourced, rather than every delivery ticket for instance.  Alternatively, evidence of the use of the responsibly sourced materials may include as-built drawings, O&M documentation or site photographs.

Evidence requirements – Water calculator - KBCN0668

For crit1b and crit1d, it can be assumed the equivalent modelled water consumption (110 or 100 litres per person per day) has been achieved, where the following conditions have been met:

• the specified water fittings meet the standards outlined in the 'Water fittings standards' table • waste disposal and/or water softener are not specified and • either a bath and shower or shower only are specified

In this instance, the water calculator tool does not need to be completed. However, all other evidence must be provided.

Exemption from meeting the optional standard for a particular water fitting - KBCN1351

For some developments, it may not be possible to meet the maximum water consumption required for a particular water fitting in the optional standard for a reason out of the developers control e.g. occupants have accessibility needs that require particular water fittings. These situations are reviewed on a case by case basis. If it is felt that there is a robust reason why a water fitting cannot meet the maximum water consumption required in the optional standard, please contact [email protected] If an exemption is awarded, it may not be possible for maximum credits to be available for this issue.

External water consumption - KBCN1296

The total water consumption should include external water consumption in the same way as it is for building regulations purposes ( i.e. assumption of 5l/p/d added to the internal water consumption calculated in the water calculator)  

FSC and PEFC Mixed Sources certified timber - KBCN00091

Products labelled: Meet the BREEAM responsible sourcing requirements. This means any such products: Products carrying the FSC Mix label contain at least 70% FSC certified and recycled material. These products may contain a small proportion of FSC Controlled Wood (KBCN00054). However for BREEAM compliance, the FSC Mix label is sufficient to meet our requirements.
14-Mar-2024 - Wording clarified and expanded. Relevant prerequisites and requirements clarified. Scheme applicability updated.

FSC Controlled Wood - KBCN00054

The FSC Controlled Wood label minimises the risk that wood comes from illegal or controversial sources, however it does not eliminate this risk. Therefore, products which are: Do not meet the BREEAM definition of responsibly sourced. Where FSC Mix labelled products contain FSC Controlled Wood, see KBCN00091. This means that any such products:
14-Mar-2024 - Wording clarified and expanded. Relevant prerequisites and requirements clarified. Scheme applicability updated.

GN28 Home Quality Mark (HQM) Energy and Cost Methodology Guidance Note – Draft - KBCN0768

The purpose of this guidance note is to provide a background to the calculation methodologies underpinning the energy performance section in the HQM ‘Energy and Cost’ issue. The purpose of this guidance note is to provide a background to the calculation methodologies underpinning the energy performance section in the HQM ‘Energy and Cost’ issue. As its name suggests, the HQM is focussed around delivering quality homes. When looking to purchase or rent a new home, consumers look for quality, and also for particular features specific to their needs (e.g. location, size, specification etc.). The HQM standard reflects these needs by promoting a holistic approach to assessing homes and reporting on specific attributes of a home. This enables consumers to make informed decisions and allows developers to showcase and differentiate their product in the marketplace. This document is intended to give a technical background to the calculation methodologies underpinning the HQM ‘Energy and Cost’ issue for end users (e.g. assessors, consultants or others) needing to make decisions influencing a home’s HQM score of the issue. It explains how the methodology works, the HQM inputs required and each of the outputs generated. It also provides guidance on how variations in the input (i.e. SAP inputs, ‘bolt-on’ inputs etc.) affect the outputs. The principles of the calculation methodologies used in the Energy and Cost assessment issue are in keeping with the above. Three measures have been incorporated into the issue to assist in meeting the above aims: • Adoption of the ‘triple metric’ approach – this calculation methodology is used to calculate the Home Energy Performance Ratio (HEPR). This ensures a balanced approach when considering the fabric performance, systems efficiency and CO2 emissions of the home. • Introduction of a cost output – this will allow consumers to compare predicted regulated energy costs and identify specified systems that may perform well environmentally, but be more costly to run. • Introduction of rigour routes – this enables recognition of measures taken to improve the accuracy of the energy calculations. This guidance document looks into the detail of the calculation methodologies for each of the above three measures. In particular it looks into: • The HQM energy calculation engine – the basis of the engine which is used to calculate credits regarding energy performance (and high temperature – see other guidance note), and information on how it works. • Bolt-on calculations – several new elements have been added to the Building Research Establishment Domestic Energy Model (BREDEM1 ) methodology to improve the accuracy of the calculations; the required inputs and methodologies for each of these ‘bolt-on’ calculations are discussed in more detail View full Guidance Note (licensed assessors only) View all Guidance Notes (licensed assessors only)

Green-roofs - KBCN0263

When assessing green roofs,  only the structural elements of the roof construction need to be considered i.e. the waterproof layer and above can be excluded. Where Green Guide is being used to assess the issue, it is likely that the online Green Guide Calculator will need to be used to provide a rating for the roof construction. HQM - For the purpose of HQM, green roofs fall under 3.3 Specialist roof systems therefore should be included in the IMPACT model.

Heat pumps - KBCN1316

Heat pumps can only be considered as a renewable technology when used in heating mode. Refer to Annex VII of Directive 2009/28/EC for more detail on accounting for energy from heat pumps.

Heated common areas for homes - KBCN1390

A BRUKL is only required for the HQM calculation if it is already required by building control.

If heated common areas are not applicable to the assessment but the assessment tool is requesting inputs for them, please check your inputs for shared common areas in the 'Home details' and 'Energy and cost' parts of the tool.

Homeowner’s report - KBCN1287

A homeowner's report should be undertaken for the occupants as the maintenance and operational costs will eventually be passed onto them. Therefore when putting together the report it should be assumed they are going to purchase the home. The homeowner's report should be made available to anyone wanting to rent the home before they make a decision on whether to rent the home.

Homeowner’s life cycle cost report - KBCN1286

The life cycle cost analysis and lifecycle assessment can be undertaken per house type. A house type includes homes that are identical in specification, design and location (end/ mid-terrace, ground or mid/ top floor). Any home that does not meet this definition for house type will need to be modelled separately.

HQM energy averaging - KBCN0909

Energy averaging cannot be applied for the purposes of HQM, which means the energy credits scored are specific to the individual home being assessed. This means that individual homes within the same block can score significantly different outputs. This approach has been taken because HQM is driven by the consumer and its outputs need to relate to the actual home that the consumer is looking to purchase or rent.  This is particularly important for aspects like cost, which in practice, can vary significantly between apartments within the same block.  If costs were averaged across the building, they would have very little relevance to people’s bills. In this respect HQM follows the same principles as EPCs, instead of Building Regulations and the Code for Sustainable Homes, which act as regulatory drivers for carbon reduction rather than individual home performance. This approach applies across other issues in HQM. For example, penthouse luxury apartments may be more likely to score better in issues like 'Daylight' or 'Access and space' compared to smaller mid-level apartments within the same block, which may be more energy efficient and cheaper to run.

HQM energy engine via BREEAM Projects - KBCN0670

The HQM energy engine is built into the full HQM assessment tool within BREEAM projects. To use the engine to calculate the HEPR for a home, you need to register a project on BREEEAM projects and upload the relevant files listed in the ‘Methodology’ section of the ‘Energy and Cost’ assessment issue. The engine is not currently available via the pre-assessment tool. There is also an excel tool (HQM-2015-Beta-Energy-forecast-and-cost-IE-Pr-70-0201-.xltx) that is used in combination with the HQM energy engine when credits are sought via the comprehensive route in the ‘Energy and Cost’ assessment issue. This tool is available in BREEAM projects, under ‘Home Quality Mark 2015 Beta Assessment Tools’.

Internal composting waste storage - KBCN0829

Internal composting waste storage facilities are not required to be fixed. Fixed units are only required for recyclable waste.

LZC technologies – planning conditions and restrictions - KBCN0535

Where a mandatory planning condition exists (eg to attach to a District Heating Scheme), this will clearly affect the number of options available in a feasibility study. In such cases, compliance can still be achieved where evidence on the planning condition restrictions is provided, and it is clarified how this excludes other technologies from being considered. The feasibility study will still need to be carried out to cover the remaining energy needs of the building (eg Electrical and lighting load in the case of a district heating scheme).  

Measuring the flow rate of domestic components - KBCN0641

On site testing can be carried out by an appropriate professional to determine the flow rate and capacity of domestic components. This must be overseen by the client’s facilities manager and as-built drawings must be provided to confirm the presence and location of the components and any flow restrictors. Note that the conditions under which the testing is completed must be recorded, e.g. the pressure and the temperature of the water for taps. The assessor could conduct the test provided they are able to carry it out accurately.
15/02/2021: amended to cover all component types.

Portable clothes drying racks - KBCN0164

Portable clothes drying racks are not compliant. These are not a fixed feature of the built asset and could be removed or moved to rooms which are not sufficiently ventilated.

Post-construction measurement- TVOC concentration using BS ISO 16000-6: 2021 VOCs in air by active sampling - KBCN1642

Where BS ISO 16000-6: 2021 VOCs in air by active sampling is used, the TVOC concentration measurement can be performed over a 40-60 minute period.

Product procurement policy after RIBA stage 2 - KBCN0994

Where a product procurement policy is put together at a later stage than RIBA stage 2, ‘02 Product procurement policy and product environmental information’ credits may still be achievable. If it can be confirmed by the person responsible for the policy that the policy will not restrict procurement of responsible sourced construction products due to its late production and implementation, then the credits can still be awarded (provided all other compliance requirements are met).

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.

Reasoning for setting requirements for total water consumption as well as water fittings standard - KBCN0993

We have set requirements for total water consumption as well as for individual water consuming fittings to limit instances where one very high water consuming fitting is specified which requires offsetting by very low water consuming fittings which are impractical to use. The intention was to achieve a balance in water consumption between fittings and ensure all fittings are usable.

Responsible sourcing insulation - KBCN0907

Insulation is within the scope of the responsible sourcing of construction products.

Robust Details – 01 Sound insulation between homes - KBCN1517

Due to HQM credit entitlements being unavailable for Robust Details wall and floor types, this route can no longer be used to demonstrate compliance with crit. 1

Sampling formaldehyde and TVOCs - KBCN0834

The requirement for three sampling tubes per parameter per room is based on guidance in Annex D of ISO 16000-2, covering the dependence of the confidence interval for the determination of formaldehyde in indoor air. Where deemed appropriate by the accredited organisation performing the sampling work, it is acceptable for one sampling tube to be used in each room for each of the formaldehyde and TVOC measurements (i.e. two per room if both parameters are being measured).

Shower over bath and a separate shower - KBCN0774

To calculate the water use in this scenario, the flow rates of both showers need to be entered into the water calculator tool as well as the capacity of the bath.

Shower with multiple shower heads - KBCN0855

To calculate the water use of a shower with more than one shower head, one of the following should be done:
22 Feb 2024 - Applied to BIU, BREEAM NC and RFO standards

Sound Insulation between rooms - KBCN1114

Testing between rooms cannot be carried out in–situ for the purposes of HQM. Software calculations are not acceptable either.  Lab testing must be carried out as required by Part E of the building regulations (which also does not allow in-situ testing or software calculations).  

Sound Insulation testing for Cupboards - KBCN1299

A cupboard (even built in) does not constitute a room and does not need to be assessed for the 'Sound insulation levels for internal walls and floors' credits as it is not permanent (part of the home's fabric) and also non-habitable.

Sound testing between rooms - KBCN1303

Only lab tests carried out in accordance with Part E of the building regulations are accepted as evidence to show compliance with the requirements sound insulation between rooms ( 02 Sound insulation levels for internal walls and floors - HQM ONE). In-situ testing and software calculations are not acceptable ways of  showing compliance.    

SQCC reluctant to produce the reports in case their projections are inaccurate - KBCN1389

An LCC appraisal demonstrates that the homebuilder has taken care to identify the approximate replacement, operation, and maintenance costs of the asset. The forecasts are considered indicative and the information produced should not be solely used for decision making. Any assumptions, contingencies (in line with the methodology set in BS – ISO 15686-5:2008) should be declared in the report.

Suitably Qualified Acoustician – Associate membership of the Institute of Acoustics - KBCN00064

Associate membership of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) can be considered to demonstrate that the individual is a member of an appropriate professional body. This supersedes previous guidance on this matter, which has been updated following confirmation from the IOA that ‘Associate members’ are bound by the same Members’ Code of Conduct as ‘Full members’.    
06/06/2022 - BRE stance on this has been revised - Title also updated for clarity
13/01/2020 Wording clarified and confirmed applicability to Issue Pol 05
06/01/2020 Clarification that this applies to BREEAM UK NC2018

Thermal model sampling - KBCN1015

Thermal modelling, in accordance with CIBSE AM11, does not need to be carried out for each individual home, where the thermal modeller uses their professional judgement to ensure that an appropriate sampling approach is adopted, in line with section 3.1 of CIBSE TM59 and the following considerations: The modeller needs to provide evidence and justifications that demonstrate how the samples have been determined, with their justifications, in line with the above. A house type should include homes that are identical in specification, design and location (end/ mid-terrace, ground or mid/ top floor).

Using water from natural underground sources to offset water consumption - KBCN00094

Water from natural underground sources (for instance aquifer water accessed via boreholes) cannot be used to offset: A significant amount of water used for public consumption is already drawn from aquifers. Private boreholes may be drawing water from the same sources as public utility companies.
27-Mar-2024 - Title and text updated to broaden definition. Scheme applicability updated.

Ventilation air intakes CIBSE TM21 compliance - KBCN0669

As TM21 largely contains general guidance, rather that strict rules, it is expected that the designer or services engineer would be familiar with the requirements within TM21 and be able to determine which sections are relevant for the development in question. The main areas to consider in relation to TM21 are: • Provision of filtration • Positioning inlets to minimise impacts of traffic pollution • Positioning inlets to minimise impacts of other local sources of pollution • Positioning inlets to minimise recirculation from ventilation exhausts Confirmation is required that each of these items (and anything else the designer/engineer deems relevant) has been considered in determining the location of air intakes. Suitable evidence may for example be in the form of a short report with diagrams indicating the proposed location of intakes, with respect to sources of pollution and with reference to the relevant parts of TM21.

Ventilation controls - KBCN0932

To meet the requirements of crit 9, CO2 levels (monitored via sensors in bed and living rooms) can be used as a proxy for occupancy levels within a home. The increase in ventilation rates above the minimum set out in Approved Document F should be proportional to the rise in occupancy above that set out in Approved Document F. Relative humidity sensors can be used to trigger a 'boost' mode in wet rooms.  

Ventilation rates criteria for MVHR - KBCN0924

The ventilation rates provided  in Approved Document F 2010 are explicitly stated as being the ‘minimum’. 25% as a boost should be factored in as a matter of good design. If systems are so critically sized that an increase of 25% requires larger MVHRs, and larger ducts then this suggests there was no flexibility in the original design/sizing and AD-F was deemed to be the target ventilation rate. Correct sizing of systems is  especially critical for flats where we have the worst problems of under ventilation and where making changes retrospectively may be costly. MVHRs should not be operating above 50% fan speed in background mode, so the ability to achieve boost should always be present, regardless of dwelling type.

Washer dryers - KBCN0699

Where a washer dryer is specified, the water consumption figure for the wash and dry cycle should be used. The drying cycle of a washer dryer is taken into account because it usually uses water during this drying process (e.g. for cooling during the drying cycle) and in some cases, this water usage can be significant.
18-Nov-2022 - Updated to apply to BREEAM In-Use Version 6

Wine coolers - KBCN0374

Wine coolers fall outside of the scope of this issue therefore do not need to meet the criteria for fridges. HQM - this means they do not need to be included in HQM's Energy Forecast and Cost bolt-on reporting tool.

[KBCN withdrawn] ~ Erratum – Table 1 in GN22 v2.5 - KBCN1436

Table 1 in V2.5 of GN22 has two footnote symbols missing: • Product Type column – Paints and varnishes should read Paints and varnishes* • Product Type column – Wood panels should read Wood panels^
10-Oct-2022 KBCN withdrawn as GN22 has been re-issued with fixes.

[KBCN withdrawn] ~ GN22 – Scheme version applicability - KBCN0646

Table 1 is for the use of any version of a scheme where the first version was released pre-December 2015, and table 2 is for the use of any version of a scheme where the first version was released post-November 2015.
10-Oct-2022 This KBCN has been merged with KBCN0719. KBCN withdrawn.

Information correct as of 22ndJune 2024. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.