In-Use /

00 General

Information correct as of 11thApril 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 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: In situations where the client has submitted detailed comments (on the client side of the tool) which already outlines all of the relevant information noted above, then the Assessor can simply provide a shortened comment verifying the accuracy of the client comment. Note: Assessor comments must be written in English in order for the QA team to review the assessment. Where the majority of the information is provided within the client side, then this also needs to be in English, or simply translated over within the Assessor comments. Example of compliant Assessor comments (related to HEA 01 – SD221 – 2.0:2015) “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]."

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. 

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.
Information correct as of 11thApril 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.