Domestic Refurbishment / 2014 /

00 General

Information correct as of 5thMay 2021. Please see for the latest compliance information.

Adding a basement extension to an existing dwelling - KBCN0253

A basement extension, which includes habitable space, is considered to be part of the house and would need to be assessed and meet the minimum standards. This is classed as new space

Company name changes - KBCN0947

To change the company name on the BREEAM licence agreement we require a licence application to be completed. For company name or address changes it is only necessary to complete sections 2, 5 and 6 with the necessary details and signatures. If the company registration number will be remaining the same you will only be required to complete a BREEAM Licence application form with the legal name change.  The licence renewal date will remain the same. If the company registration number has changed then a new licence agreement will need to be signed as it is a new company. This means it will be necessary to terminate the current licence agreement and all assessors will need to re-apply for a licence with the new company details. Please be aware there will be additional licence, registration and certification costs associated with this. It is the responsibility of the licensed company to ensure that BRE Global is informed of any changes to the licence agreement and licensed assessors. Please contact the BREEAM Licensing team for further information.

Compliance: Applicability of criteria to subsequent schemes’ versions - KBCN0554

When assessing a project under a certain scheme, criteria or compliance notes from a previous scheme cannot be used to demonstrate compliance.

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. 

Compliance: Statutory requirements - KBCN0395

BREEAM is an assessment method which promotes best practice in sustainable buildings. Matters critical to health and safety, as well as any mandatory requirements from statutory authorities which conflict with BREEAM criteria may take precedence over BREEAM requirements. In this instance, evidence would be required to demonstrate that this is the case. Note, this does not change the criteria requirements, and where BREEAM requirements are not met the design team must explore alternative options or specifications if the relevant credits are to be awarded.
17/04/18 Wording amended to clarify

Confirmation of version / year of technical standards - KBCN0519

When providing evidence of compliance it is important for design teams to clearly refer to the version and / or year of the standard being complied with for an assessment. The issue / release / adoption of standards sets the requirements appropriate at the time of publication of the BREEAM scheme documentation.  A standard may be updated in between BREEAM re-issues and updates so the standard cited in the requirements or the most current version of a standard can be applied. This applies to standards such as National (e.g. British) Standards, HTM documents, Environment Agency and Policy Planning Guidelines etc. Where the current version of the standard differs notably from the cited standard in the manual, it is the role of the assessor or design team to verify that it is equivalent or more robust than the original requirement. Evidence failing to demonstrate this will be result in raising of a non-conformance within QA and will delay certification. See also: KBCN0747 Equivalent standard use
23/08/17 Merged with “Superseded standards and evidence referenced” KBCN0453

Evidence for meeting minimum standards in listed buildings and buildings in a conservation areas - KBCN0156

The assessor and project team should work with the planning conservation officer to produce a report which demonstrates that the minimum standards have been met as far as practically possible. Where this is not possible, it would be acceptable for the assessor and project team to write a report and for the conservation officer to sign this off.

To acknowledge the limitations associated with listed buildings and buildings in a conservation areas.

Evidence: Final design/’as-built’ drawings as evidence - KBCN0393

Where drawings are not clearly marked to indicate their 'as-built' status, additional evidence would need to be provided by the design team to confirm the drawings represent the completed development and that there have been no changes relevant to the BREEAM/HQM assessment. This could, for example, be a written confirmation from the architect or the contractor, as appropriate.

Issues where credits can be awarded by default - KBCN0157

Wat 02 and Hea 02 have credits that can be awarded by default in certain circumstances as clarified in the manual.

The scheme includes criteria which can be applied to all house types and in general, for all Issues, the credits must be awarded or withheld based on compliance. The above are exceptions to this principle.

Outstanding Invoices – Account suspensions - KBCN0998

If an invoice remains outstanding for 75 days or more, Once an invoice reaches 75 days your account is suspended and we are unable to complete any technical queries, bespoke applications, licences, registrations or QA’s until the invoices have been settled fully. We run our debt list weekly on a Monday, therefore if you are on the list on the Monday and pay that same day you will not be removed until the following weekly list is run.  

Pre-assessment site visit using Checklist A-1 - KBCN0254

It is not a strict requirement to conduct a pre-refurbishment site visit, however this is useful in order to collect data on the existing building. Checklist A1 sets out all the issues that the assessor or other member of the design team may need to review for the existing dwelling's performance. Checklist A-1 provides guidance to assessors for checking existing building features.

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: Project team member no longer operational - KBCN0590

In situations where a member of the project team is no longer operational, for example where a company has gone in to liquidation or administration, and the assessor is unable to obtain the required evidence to meet the requirements of BREEAM schemes and HQM, any credits affected must be withheld. Whilst BRE appreciate and sympathise with the circumstances surrounding these types of situations, BREEAM schemes and HQM rely upon an auditable trail of evidence with which to award credits. This trail of evidence is used to demonstrate how criteria have been met. BREEAM standards and HQM must be applied consistently to all developments undertaking assessment to ensure that certificates issued provide an accurate and consistent representation of the level achieved. If the necessary evidence cannot be presented and the assessor deems it insufficient to demonstrate compliance in accordance with the schedule of evidence then credits should not be awarded.

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

Projects which cannot be assessed under BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment - KBCN0159

Projects classed as new-build dwellings, non-domestic buildings, buildings containing rooms for residential purposes (e.g. student halls of residence) and buildings outside of the UK cannot be assessed under BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment. A full definition can be found in the scope section of the manual.  Generally, dwellings subject to Building Regulations Approved Document Part L1b will fall under the scope of BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment.

Registration transfer of a current version - KBCN0949

Transferring assessments takes place to ensure a previous version is maintained when the assessment company changes.   If your project is a current version, there is no requirement to use the transfer option.  Instead you should submit the details of the registration as a new current version using the online registration form.

Scope: Mixed BREEAM CSH/HQM developments - KBCN0383

In general terms, any relevant areas or facilities which serve the building should be included in the BREEAM assessment, regardless of whether they are also assessed under CSH/HQM. Whilst CSH is a Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) scheme, it was developed by BRE Global and the requirements are generally aligned with BREEAM. This should not, therefore involve the duplication of work, but means that the same evidence can be applied to each scheme as appropriate.  

Technical: Location of scheme technical documents - KBCN00022

All scheme technical manuals are available to view and download on the BREEAM website 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.

Tools: Use of reissued tools - KBCN0384

The most up-to-date version of an excel tool should be downloaded from the BREEAM Assessor's Extranet when a new assessment is started. If an updated tool is subsequently released then it will not be necessary to use the updated tool instead of the version already being used. The assessor can choose to use the updated tool if they wish. When new tool versions are released, assessors are notified through the monthly Process Note. We would expect Assessors to review the 'Schedule of Changes' tab when an updated tool is released. If fundamental changes have been made to the tool and they will affect the results for the issue in question please contact BRE for guidance.
Information correct as of 5thMay 2021. Please see for the latest compliance information.