BREEAM New Construction: Retail

BREEAM for retail buildings is an assessment method and certification scheme that can be used at the design, construction and refurbishment stages of a building’s lifecycle. Launched in 2004, BREEAM for retail can be used to carry out environmental assessments for most types of retail development, and for a number of different stakeholders, ranging from developers to individual tenants, managing agents and landlords.

The scheme can be used to assess one or a combination of the following types of retail building:

General display and sale of goods: general shops and retail units selling non-food goods;

Food retail: supermarkets/superstores and other convenience stores i.e. building types which display food or food and non-food goods;

Food preparation and service: restaurants, cafes, public houses, bakeries, takeaways i.e. building types where food is prepared on site and served for consumption either on or off site;

Service provider: banks, post offices, bookmakers, dry cleaners, travel agencies.

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Wednesday, 1st May 2013

Gavin Summerson, Building Research Establishment (BRE)

In regards to Green Lease agreements, we are aware that there are success stories as well as some rather less positive experiences. One of our retail pilot projects commented last week that ‘in an ideal world, there would be no such thing as a green lease and that all leases should have green clauses.’ Clearly we are quite far off from that point however given that there are success stories, it is good to continue to encourage this success. However for the more difficult sites where there is competition for tenants, we certainly do need to consider what flexibility BREEAM should give and how this flexibility is given. One thing we are reviewing is the relationship between shell and core and fit out assessments and how they are tied together. We are a little way off from finalising our solution to this at the moment however through working with the BREEAM Refurbishment pilots and further consultation exercises, we hope to identify the best way forward for this.

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Wednesday, 1st May 2013

Gavin Summerson, Building Research Establishment (BRE)

We are looking at how BREEAM applies to refurbishment and fit-out and developing a BREEAM Refurbishment 2014 scheme.

At the moment we are piloting the scheme with a number of projects including major retailers and gathering feedback. We are tackling the biggest issue which is relating to the scope of the scheme. What we are hearing is that industry wants to have more flexibility for the issues that they cannot influence (e.g. position of the windows, location of the building etc.) but also have comparability so that you can compare one building against another. Through the development of the scheme we are also reviewing the following aspects:

• Reviewing the inclusion of issues that cannot be influenced in a refurbishment, following a similar approach to the BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment scheme which was launched last June (see here http://pinpoint.ukgbc.org/resource/7771)
• Testing energy benchmarks that recognise the improvements made to a building, relative to the buildings opportunity for improvement
• Recognising further within the scope of the scheme the split responsibility between landlords and tenants whilst still promoting collaboration e.g. Shell and core assessments vs. fit out assessments.
• Provide greater recognition for the limitations with listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas (we are testing this out through the pilots including 2 Savoy Place, see here http://www.breeam.org/page.jsp?id=563)
• Generally reviewing all technical issues applicable to refurbishment and fit-out currently used in BREEAM to rationalise the intent, benchmarks used, the standards referenced, the complexity of each issue and its relevant to each building type and scale of refurbishment e.g. fit out, shell and core, whole building refurbishment, listed buildings etc.

Therefore we hope that many of the issues raised in the discussion will be addressed through this new scheme however we will be consulting further with industry and assessors as this develops further, following on from the BREEAM New Construction 2014 consultation process. As with all BREEAM schemes, this will also evolve with time as the scheme is used and we gain feedback.

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Wednesday, 1st May 2013

Ben Cartmell, Southfacing Services

As a further resource we have recently completed some collaborative research on targeted BREEAM credits of live assessments and how these can inform both teams / clients and the scheme operators. The work was presented at the CIBSE Technical Symposium 2013 earlier this month with authors representing Mace, Hilson Moran, BSRIA and PRP Architects with a wider group of consultants involved in a survey group, this paper can be found here: http://pinpoint.ukgbc.org/resource/7767

The approach uses live data from Tracker Plus and by statistically ordering how often a particular credit issue is targeted, a view can be taken on why credits are either rarely targeted (and what could be done to encourage uptake) or mostly targeted and may benefit from tightening of requirements in scheme revisions. It is of course very helpful to have useful data from significant numbers of live projects.

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Wednesday, 1st May 2013

Yetunde Abdul, Building Research Establishment (BRE)

The question was asked on the follow through from BREEAM New Construction Retail to BREEAM In-Use. Around 1 in 5 BREEAM In-Use certificates emanate from the retail sector, which equates to around 50 buildings or shopping centres. Relatively few of these are direct follow-ons from BREEAM New Construction however we are working on this.

In terms of assessments, we have several hundred registrations under BREEAM In-Use from the retail sector, and this is on a truly international basis covering 27 countries. So this is a significant and growing area of operation for BREEAM In-Use. The detailed statistics on certifications under BREEAM In-Use to date can be found here: http://pinpoint.ukgbc.org/resource/7769

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Wednesday, 1st May 2013

Yetunde Abdul, Building Research Establishment (BRE)

We have started the process of updating the BREEAM New Construction 2011 scheme to a BREEAM 2014 version. One of the areas identified for review is the evidence required to demonstrate compliance against BREEAM criteria. The points raised at last weeks discussion will be considered as part of this work. This feedback is essential to the update process to support delivery of a useful, relevant BREEAM 2014 version. In support of this process we have put a plan together that includes UK-GBC members in the 2014 consultation, also we are working with a number of retailers and developers, including M&S, on a specific basis. We will be holding a number of briefing/consultation events for various stakeholder groups (industry, assessors, specifiers etc.) and a survey will shortly be available online to submit feedback to BRE via the BREEAM website. We invite you to continue to be involved in the update process by feeding back through one or more of the routes above.

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Friday, 26th April 2013

Danielle Densley Tingley, The University of Sheffield

There is sometimes the issue of credits not being applicable (which will often happen for refurb projects), GreenStar has a good way of dealing with this, under certain criteria a credit can be deemed ‘Not Applicable’ and removed from the total number of credits – (this is often seen in the materials category). This idea could be built into BREEAM so that for refurbs or small projects which will have more constraints only the relevant credits are included, potentially making the higher scores more accessible.

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Friday, 26th April 2013

Thomas Palfreyman, Urban planters

As I am from a horticultural background I have one very simple request of BREEAM whether it be for a new build, a retail location or indeed as an ongoing assessment of a building in use. That requirement is to echo Green Star and LEED assessments that give points towards accreditation for the use of live planting and also for having those live plants maintained by a professional company.

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Friday, 26th April 2013

Sarah Graham, Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES)

I am a proponent of BREEAM in general and BRE, although I do sympathise with the frustrations experienced. I definitely support the notion of BREEAM AP, I think that would serve to strengthen the whole system. In my view we need to do something as an industry, rather than have lots of different sets of sustainability criteria to evidence and adhere to ( I think that’s how Pinpoint came about – the decision NOT to develop yet another set of criteria but to consolidate and signpost whats already out there). BREEAM is recognised worldwide. The principles of sustainability don’t tend to change much – reduce environmental impact in all its forms, so perhaps, echoing what others have already said, all BREEAM needs is more flexibility in the approach. Follow the examples of LEED and others, pick out what they do well.

With respect to Buildings in Use vs Design Intent – that is a massive issue which I consider is being dealt with very poorly by the industry as a whole.

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Friday, 26th April 2013

Neil Cutland, Cutland Consulting

Our industry seems to enjoy indulging in “BREEAM knocking” and, more generally, “BRE knocking” to such an extent that I wouldn’t be surprised if *whatever* BRE does to improve BREEAM as a result of this and other forums, it will continue to get knocked!

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Thursday, 25th April 2013

Hardip Mann, BAM Construct UK Ltd

BREEAM is the leading rating tool in the UK. It may have its issues, and there have been much change over the years, some of these in line with BREEAM User-comments, but to try and simplify, condense and standardise a scheme of this size and type has, to date, I’m sure, been a mammoth task. Other schemes, such as SkA, might be better for certain types of building, but is unlikely to evolve into an overall BREEAM-alternative that such a broad-range of building types. LEED, again, can be used in the UK, but is based on very onerous US Standards’ compliance, so does not travel well outside of USA.

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Thursday, 25th April 2013

Mary Rawlinson, DPP

BREEAM New Construction criteria now uses one criteria to assess all building types so the requirements are even less specific to the function and issues affecting retail developments.

There will always be issues with the ‘tick box’ format of a BREEAM assessment and the fact that good practice is not recognised if it doesn't fully comply with the BREEAM criteria. However this is typically a difficult issue to address- a set criteria is necessary if a BREEAM certificate is to hold weight as a reputable sustainable assessment tool since it demonstrates that certain, specific standards have been met. However, it would help if there was more freedom for the individual BREEAM assessor to make a judgement call as to whether the proposed sustainability measure/technology/strategy meets the overarching requirements of the BREEAM credit in question, even if it doesn’t exactly tick all the boxes. I understand there was talk of the introduction of the BREEAM AP exam which would allow for the distinguishing of BREEAM assessors who really ‘know their stuff’ (other than just ticking boxes where proposals match the criteria).

Many organisations now have BREEAM as a corporate target, and even if they don’t, around 50% of local authorities require BREEAM now.

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Wednesday, 24th April 2013

Alan Fogerty, Cundall

Regarding the performance gap between design and operation, this is not surprising. The metrics used in BREEAM Ene 1 are based on NCM calculations which were generated to demonstrate compliance with Part L and modified for EPCs. They do not predict actual energy consumption and typically underestimate this by as much as a factor of 5. Therefore the use of BREEAM as a means of predicting low energy performance is flawed.

From talking to developers there is a desire to use BREEAM Retail as a measure of and to be demonstrably sustainable, but there is a general frustration at the one size fits all approach. There is an increasing number of credits which add no value to projects and are merely a paper chasing exercise to achieve a rating level.

The flexibility of the SKA rating tool means that it is an attractive alternative and it is growing in credibility.

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Wednesday, 24th April 2013

Alan Fogerty, Cundall

To get even a Pass under BREEAM will require a Green Lease. This is of great concern to developers as they do not want to discourage tenants in any way. It can be argued that a new scheme in a particular area will have to comply with the same Planning requirements so if this is the trigger for the certification, then a competing site will have the same issues.

Having said that many of the items that goes into the Lease are not difficult and some issues are already covered by Building Regulations. Getting the lease right is an issue as these are usually drafted by lawyers and tend to make clauses all-encompassing and specific to the evidence requirements.

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Wednesday, 24th April 2013

Helen Drury, British Council for Shopping Centres (BCSC)

BCSC members have also highlighted a performance gap between using BREEAM during construction and actual building performance. Another issue raised about BREEAM Retail is that it is does not differentiate between the different types of retail and so does not lend to comparability.

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Wednesday, 24th April 2013

Hardip Mann, BAM Construct UK Ltd

In many cases the specification/performance of certain elements may meet or even exceed BREEAM requirements, but because of the prescriptive, and too-narrow a nature of BREEAM technical requirements, the auditors may mark such situations as a ‘red’. The only way this can be remedied is by ensuring that the BREEAM requirements can encompass different ways that requirements have been met, including updating Standards/Codes, so that in these situations the auditors are able to look “outside the pre-set requirements box”. The issue of QA consistency also needs to be addressed from project to project, as certain compliance requirements may be met in project X, but not necessarily for project Y, where the same criteria apply.

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Wednesday, 24th April 2013

Chris Ilman, Waterman Group

We find that BREEAM Retail is required, not predominantly as a planning requirement, but as a corporate sustainability requirement by the investors, supermarket chains, landlords. The Retail scheme seems to have become adopted as the baseline industry standard with the majority wishing to achieve Good or Very Good. More often than not, BREEAM runs alongside in-house sustainability assessment methodologies. Where Excellent or Outstanding are targeted, there is already a client onboard in the position of developer to drive the sustainability agenda.

In our experience Excellent and Outstanding are not sought for speculative shell and core units. Speculative units are usual just a shell building and incoming services which are capped off, there are no services of any kind installed, something the BREEAM scheme doesn’t cover well. This means that other than shell contractor items, materials, and landscaping, there is very little input from the developer. They do not wish to place legal green lease agreements in place, as these are prohibitive to attracting suitable tenants. Incoming tenants will not be attracted to the BREEAM rating, or the potential BREEAM rating, only the location and potential for business.

Instead we often get asked if an informal BREEAM lite assessment can be undertaken – assess the credits only relevant to the shell works and demonstrate a BREEAM score, so this can be turned into a full assessment if / when a tenant wishes to do so. This approach could be investigated further provide more meaning to shell and core assessment scores.

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Wednesday, 24th April 2013

Anna Surgenor, UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC)

Developer’s Shell and Tenant’s fit-out assessments need to be kept separate for contractual reasons and to keep the cost of BREEAM consultancy to tenants to a minimum

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Wednesday, 24th April 2013

Anna Surgenor, UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC)

In many cases our own specification exceeds that of BREEAM but is not recognised because BREEAM is too prescriptive and we therefore lose out on the credits.

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