3 General Technical /

Compliance Principles

Information correct as of 10thDecember 2019. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.

‘BREEAM compliant’ products or materials - KBCN0925

In order to demonstrate compliance with the relevant BREEAM criteria, the performance of specific products or materials must be considered in the context of each assessed building. BREEAM is a whole building-based assessment scheme and BRE does not endorse or approve products or materials as 'BREEAM compliant'.

Green Lease Agreement – reference to the technical manual - KBCN0881

The technical manual includes criteria, intended for the guidance and interpretation of licensed BREEAM assessors. It does not generally provide detailed practical solutions to meet the criteria. In the BREEAM UK New Construction 2011 and International New Construction 2013 schemes, Shell only/Shell & core assessments included provision for demonstrating compliance for fit-out items using a Green Lease Agreement (GLA). The future tenant and their design team should not have to rely on a licensed BREEAM assessor to assist them in interpreting the GLA to achieve a compliant fit-out. Specifications for achieving compliance must therefore be explicitly included within the GLA, with reference to the relevant BREEAM criteria, to allow the fit-out team to understand exactly what is required. A compliant Green Lease Agreement must be a robust alternative to the actual implementation or installation of fit-out measures. A Green Lease Agreement which relies solely on reference to the BREEAM Technical manual is not considered a robust solution. 

My client insists the credit is met because it was ‘accepted’ on a previous assessment - KBCN0837

BRE will support assessors in our role as an accredited certification body, particularly where they feel a non-compliant solution is being pushed on them on the basis that it has been 'accepted' on previous assessments by assessors or BRE. In such instances, and for any scenarios where the assessor requires support, you can contact us (BREEAM Technical Support) for an impartial view to assist with your verification. In such situations, it would be helpful in the first instance, to explain the audit and certification process to the client and clarify why the proposed solution may not be compliant. Whilst it may be a consideration in the process of verification for a specific assessment, implying compliance or accepting evidence of it solely on the basis of an assessment on a previous project, potentially by a different assessor, is not good assessment or certification practice. We strongly advise assessors not to submit assessments based on evidence that you know or believe to be non-compliant in the hope that it will either not be selected for QA or we that we will simply accept compliance in such instances. Doing so could put an assessor in breach of your licensing terms and lead to suspension or termination. A large part of the value of BREEAM is in its certification, if certification is based on invalid or unverified assessment of performance it undermines the scheme, assessors and BRE.

Where the flexibility lies in demonstrating compliance - KBCN0838

This compliance note aims to clarify flexibility in evidence types versus flexibility in compliance. Evidence types: We are aware that not everything given to assessors will be in the precise format or of the exact type that the schedule of evidence (in schemes for which there are detailed schedules) requests. We have attempted to clarify the flexibility which is afforded assessors in this respect by removal of the prescriptive schedule of evidence in the more recent UK New Construction schemes, however feedback has been mixed with some assessors stating that a more rigid and definitive schedule of evidence is the preference. Compliance: We wish to be clear that this flexibility relates to how compliance is demonstrated and does not extend to the requirement to meet the technical criteria. Within the QA process, deviations from the technical requirements of the scheme cannot be considered. If compliance is being claimed then such claims must be backed by robust evidence demonstrating that claim, and that evidence can come in a variety of different forms. If the assessor believes that the aim of the assessment issue is fully met by means other than strict compliance with the defined criteria, they should send in a technical query, including all relevant details, for consideration before submitting for QA.

Who determines compliance the Assessor or BRE? - KBCN0839

In the BREEAM assessment model, the assessor determines compliance and BRE Global quality-assures the assessment. Rather than saying definitively that an assessor's decision is incorrect, the QA process may raise a finding (Non-Conformance) where it is not clear that compliance is demonstrated. BREEAM technical support cannot generally confirm compliance, as that would be deemed as advice, which could conflict with our need to remain impartial as the certifying body. However, we can, and do, support the assessor in the decision-making/assessment process, affording confidence through assisting with interpretation of the criteria in any given scenario. Ultimately, however, it is the role of the licensed BREEAM assessor to determine compliance and to demonstrate this with appropriate evidence in their assessment report.
Information correct as of 10thDecember 2019. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.