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

Associate membership of the Institute of Acoustics - KBCN00064

Associate membership of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) is not sufficient to demonstrate that the individual is a member of an appropriate professional body, to meet the requirements of a suitably qualified acoustician (SQA). The following is stated on the IOA website about Associate Membership; 'this class of membership is aimed primarily at persons who have obtained the appropriate academic qualifications for the grade of Member but who do not (yet) have the relevant period of experience in the profession for the grade of Member.'  
13/01/2020 Wording clarified and confirmed applicability to Issue Pol 05
06/01/2020 Clarification that this applies to BREEAM UK NC2018

Certification of phased developments - KBCN0367

Individual phases of a development can be certified separately or multiple phases can be grouped together for certification purposes. It is up to the client as to how phases are grouped. It is not a requirement that the certified areas reflect the phases that have been or will be submitted for planning approval or that the certified areas reflect the phases that have been outlined for construction. To ensure the certification of a development is flexible to developments that are phased.

Change in ecological value- non-native species - KBCN0221

Non-native species specified by the Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE) can be included in ecology calculations. There are no requirements set for LE 03 relating to the specification of non-native species (this differs from the requirements in LE 04). If an SQE specifies non-native plants for the development and confirms the species count pre and post development, then non-native species can be included in the ecological change calculation.

Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) and Home Quality Mark (HQM) certification - KBCN0368

CSH assessments will continue to be recognised where they are part of a legacy requirement. Where CSH is not part of a legacy requirement, but the client wishes to demonstrate going beyond current regulatory requirements for dwellings, then it is possible for the client to voluntarily commit to achieving HQM certification. Where the client wishes to demonstrate a commitment to achieving HQM certification then a written commitment from the client would be accepted as evidence. Credits are allocated as follows for HQM:
Credit(s) Home Quality Mark star rating
3 2 stars
4 3 stars
5 4 stars
6 5 stars
To promote a continued commitment to sustainability throughout the lifecycle of a development and to reflect the changing policy context in the UK.

Community transport schemes in rural areas - KBCN00013

In rural areas, where scheduled public services are insufficient to gain credits via the calculation of the Accessibility Index, community transport schemes, including 'on-demand services', can be used to achieve the 'dedicated bus service' option. In such cases evidence must be provided to demonstrate:
Content reworded to highlight the availability of the on-demand service to all potential users. 24/04/2017

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

Compliant attenuated noise levels - KBCN00047

BS 4142 noise level requirements can be used to demonstrate compliance provided the best practice testing methodologies for noise attenuation outlined in BS 7445 are followed.    

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

Consultation plan – Conflict of interest - KBCN0165

In order to be considered as “independent facilitation” the person or company leading and facilitating the consultation should not be part of the developer's design team. However it is accepted that the company or individual leading the consultation may have had involvement in developing the consultation plan, provided that they are from a company independent of the developer and do not have another role on the project team. Therefore they should not be a person or persons directly involved in the detailed design of the development, such as the architect. This is accepted, as knowledge of the consultation plan will likely improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the consultation process and its facilitation.

Consultation plan made up of multiple documents - KBCN0369

The consultation plan can be made up of multiple documents, provided that together these cover the requirements in the criteria and compliance notes and provided that they are the most up to date pieces of documentation. Clear links should be made between the documents that make up the consultation plan to promote a joined up approach to the consultation process. Consultation is often a detailed and iterative process and there may not be sufficient knowledge to fully set out the consultation content within the first consultation plan developed for a site.

Contaminated Land- No contamination - KBCN0372

Where the assessed site does not contain any contamination then the credits for this issue are not available by default. To encourage the use of previously developed and/or contaminated land and avoid land which has not been previously disturbed.

Contaminated Land- Presence of radon gas - KBCN0155

Naturally occurring radon is not considered as contamination in relation to BREEAM. However, where radioactive substances have been introduced as a consequence of human activities, that land would then be considered to be ‘contaminated with radioactivity’ and remediation of such contamination would fall under the scope of the relevant BREEAM issue.

Cycle spaces – Folding bicycles and scooters - KBCN00024

The provision of cycle storage that is only suitable for folding bicycles or scooters is not compliant. Providing reduced storage space for folding bicycles or scooters in place of compliant cycle storage may limit future travel options.
14 03 2018 Wording clarified and reference to scooters included.

Cycle spaces – Prominent location - KBCN00053

The requirement to provide cycle storage facilities in a prominent location on site, within view of building users, is intended to encourage use through advertising their presence to building users. Providing these facilities inside the assessed building, such as in the basement, may be compliant so long as there is prominent signage to indicate their location to all building users.  

Cyclist safe access - KBCN0188

Safe access for cyclists must be via a compliant cycle lane, unless it is demonstrated that it would be impractical to cycle for a short distance between the site entrance and cycle storage. For example, where a gate, door or barrier forces the cyclist to dismount and walk for a short distance to access the cycle storage and it would be impractical for cyclists to re-mount. Where it is not practical to provide compliant cycle lane from the entrance to the cycle storage, the safety of cyclists and pedestrians must be maintained.
21/02/2020 Re-worded to clarify the intent

Cyclists’ facilities – Visitors - KBCN00014

Where the cycle spaces requirement is based on the number of staff plus visitors, customers or patients, the number of cyclist facilities required to demonstrate compliance is based on the number of cycle spaces for staff only. Visitors, customers or patients would not be expected to have access to showers and lockers within a building.

Dedicated cycle paths in the absence of cycle facilities - KBCN00039

Safe cycle access needs to be provided even if there are no dedicated cycle facilities. The dedicated cycle paths will generally need to be provided to the main entrance(s) of the building along routes likely to be used by cyclists through the site.  The design team are required to determine what is required to satisfy the intent of the criteria. Cycle access and cyclists' facilities are assessed independently of each other. Building users may cycle even if the building does not have cycle storage facilities and so safe and secure access to and from the building must be provided.

Energy consumption and carbon emissions of untreated spaces - KBCN00049

Where the assessment contains a mix of treated and untreated spaces, untreated spaces can be excluded and the performance based on the treated spaces only. Where the entire assessment is untreated, the whole of the structure(s) must be assessed on the basis that this issue is critical for certification. BREEAM is primarily designed to assess permanent, treated and occupied structures. Untreated structures are unlikely to gain many credits when being assessed.

Excluding excavation waste from ‘Diversion of resources from landfill’ - KBCN0226

Excavation waste should not be included and assessed against the requirements under ‘Diversion of resources from landfill’. This also applies to BREEAM Communities RE05 - 3rd/4th credits.  

Exemptions from hard landscaping and boundary protection - KBCN00062

Where a third party, such as the local authority, enforces strict constraints on the materials that can be used by the project for hard landscaping or boundary protection, and these materials do not achieve a Green Guide rating of A/A+, it is possible to exempt these materials from the assessment of this issue, on the condition that robust evidence confirming this is given. In this instance the developer does not have control over the materials specified, therefore it is not appropriate to include them in the assessment.    

GN23 BREEAM Bespoke Process - KBCN0720

This document contains information and guidance for BREEAM Assessors who are seeking to assess a bespoke project. This includes projects that meet one of the following options: — A building that does not fit the scope of the BREEAM New Construction and Refurbishment and Fit-Out schemes (UK and International) — A BREEAM Communities project outside of the UK — All BREEAM Infrastructure New Construction pilot projects. This document contains information and guidance for BREEAM Assessors on the operational and technical aspects of the BREEAM Bespoke Process. This document should be used alongside Operational Guidance (SD5070) and the relevant technical manual. View full Guidance Note (licensed assessors only) View all Guidance Notes (licensed assessors only)

GN29: Comparing criteria and evidential crossover between BREEAM Communities and building level assessment methodologies - KBCN0987

This document helps clarify the areas where compliance with BREEAM Communities can help to show compliance with criteria at Home Quality Mark (HQM) and BREEAM building level assessments from new construction to refurbishment and fit out. BREEAM Communities scheme offers a strategic approach to assess the environmental, social and economic sustainability of large scaled developments and masterplanning projects. This is the stage and scale where there are opportunities to increase sustainability across the entire site and for individual buildings through economies of scale, site-wide solutions and greater flexibility in design decisions. In turn, when it comes to later lifecycle stages of the development and assessing individual buildings under BREEAM or HQM, these solutions can be used to secure a higher score and rating where relevant. View full Guidance Note (licensed assessors only) View all Guidance Notes (licensed assessors only)

Independent consultation and engagement - KBCN0366

Where the person/company responsible for writing the consultation plan is also responsible for the independent facilitation of the consultation and engagement process, they must: This means they must not be directly involved in the detailed design of the development such as the architect. Principle Being independent from the development and not having another role within the project team means that they can be considered as being independent. Having someone who is knowledgeable about the consultation will also likely improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the consultation process and its facilitation.

Minimum Space Standards in housing - KBCN1005

The UK Technical Housing Standards – Nationally Described Space Standards (NDSS) is the UK Government’s Space Standard and it replaces all the various space standards used by different local authorities. Conformance with the NDSS is sufficient to demonstrate compliance with minimum Space standards in all housing in the development.

Number of compliant cycle storage spaces - KBCN1016

According to BREEAM New Construction Guidance, for sites where at least 50% of the available BREEAM credits for Public transport accessibility (Tra 01) have been awarded, the provision of the number of compliant cycle spaces required in Cyclist Facilities issue (Tra 03) can be reduced by 50%. However, this reduction cannot be applied to BREEAM Communities assessments for Cyclist Facilities issue (TM 05). This is firstly to ensure comparability amongst different Communities projects, namely the ones certified prior to the release of the new BREEAM New Construction Manual. Moreover, to allow for the sequential order of BREEAM schemes which is to comply with BREEAM Communities requirements first as they will help achieve BREEAM New Construction criteria. Less cycle spaces can be designed and built at building level assessment, provided that robust evidence can demonstrate the number of cycle storage spaces committed to provide at Masteplanning stage is more than required by individual buildings.

Pre-demolition audit/(pre-refurbishment) on other structures and hard surfaces - KBCN00045

A pre-demolition/(pre-refurbishment) audit is required where any existing buildings, structures or hard surfaces are present on a development site. The intent of the pre-demolition/(pre-refurbishment) audit is to ensure that any potentially useful materials are considered for re-use or diversion from landfill, not just materials resulting from buildings. 
22.11.17 Reference added to the pre-refurbishment audit for RFO assessments.

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.  

Restricted movement within a secure perimeter - KBCN000009

Where the movement of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles is tightly controlled within a secure perimeter due to security considerations, these areas may be excluded from the safe access criteria. Where the whole assessment is within such a zone, the credit may be awarded by default.

Retaining wall acting as site boundary protection - KBCN0304

Where a retaining wall also acts as the site boundary protection it must be excluded from assessment in this issue as boundary protection is not its primary function.  

Solid concrete washout - KBCN00063

Solid concrete washout waste should be included in the waste resource efficiency benchmarks.  

Suitably Qualified Ecologist – Other recognised organisations - KBCN0192

With regards to the definition of a Suitably Qualified Ecologist, in addition to the organisations already listed within the manual, full members of the following organisations are also deemed SQE's; Provided the individual meets all other requirements as outlined in the definition of a Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE).

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.

Temporary power solutions in noise impact assessments - KBCN0171

Plants such as standby generators that are only used temporarily are excluded from the noise impact assessment.

Timescales for management and maintenance responsibilities - KBCN0370

Where there are requirements for management and maintenance outputs or activities these should, as a minimum, cover a five year period following occupation of the development for the phase of development being assessed. This timeframe applies to the following management and maintenance activities: Management and maintenance activities are often fundamental in ensuring that the original sustainability measure or approach is successful over the long term.

Timing of Ecological survey/report - KBCN0292

If the ecologist's site survey and/or report is completed at a later stage than required, the assessor would need to be satisfied that it was produced early enough for the recommendations to influence the Concept Design/design brief stage and leads to a positive outcome in terms of protection and enhancement of site ecology.
21/02/2017 Wording clarified.

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.

Tram services - KBCN000004

Tram services are classified as train services when assessing transport accessibility.  

Using BRE SMARTWaste tool - KBCN0236

BRE SMARTWaste may be helpful in demonstrating the construction waste benchmarks; however its use is not compulsory to achieve the credits. Reference to the SMARTWaste tool has been included in the issue as an example of a tool that can be used to manage and monitor waste generated during construction.  

Using LEED as the accredited third party assessment scheme - KBCN1219

It is possible for the client to voluntarily commit to achieving LEED certification to demonstrate going beyond regulatory requirements. Where the client wishes to demonstrate a commitment to achieving LEED certification then a written commitment from the client would be accepted as evidence. Credits are allocated as follows for LEED:
Credit(s) LEED Points earned
0 LEED Certified 40-49 points
3 LEED Silver 50-59 points
4 LEED Gold 60-79 points
5 LEED Platinum 80+ points
6 Not possible with LEED

[KBCN withdrawn] ~ Flood risk – Environment Agency (EA) confirm the site is in ‘low flood risk’ area This KBCN has been withdrawn and is no longer valid. This is because its content was created on the basis of a very specific case and should not be applied generally. EA confirmation is no more robust or detailed than reference to flood maps, which are not in themselves compliant without a FRA.
KBCN withdrawn on 17/03/17:

If the EA have confirmed, in writing, that the site has a low flood risk and that a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) is not required then this is acceptable and the two credits can be awarded. The EA's written confirmation is a sufficient indication that an appropriate level of flood risk assessment has been completed. Please note that the use of the EA flood maps without this additional confirmation is not acceptable.

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