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Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been contacted by a number of BREEAM Assessors who are looking for ways to boost their projects overall score and I found it interesting how many don’t realise the full number of credits available through analysis from IESVE.
The number of registered BREEAM projects continue to grow with resilience each year. With the BRE Environmental Assessment Method celebrating its 25th birthday, the numbers are staggering; globally there are more than 553,000 BREEAM certified developments, and almost 2,254,500 buildings registered for assessment, in over 70 countries since it was first launched in 1990. By any benchmark BREEAM is firmly placed in the construction industry.
In the UK, if you are working on a non-domestic building of any size the chances are that the project will be registered for BREEAM, and the work you are doing will influence the end result. Now, if you are reading this, then you are probably well aware of BREEAM and the role you will play in any particular assessment, either directly or otherwise, but did you know that 33% of BREEAM credits can be achieved using IESVE? *
Whether you are a BREEAM Assessor, or a consultant delivering credits, knowing which credits can be achieved can not only maximise the full potential of the projects BREEAM score but also generate additional revenue streams you may not currently benefit from. I’m not aware of any analysis tool which can deliver more credits.
If you are involved in BREEAM have a look at the following table to make sure you aren’t missing out attainable credits.
*For BREEAM UK NC 2014
|Assessment issue||Credit Description||Credit score|
|Man 02 Life cycle cost and service life planning||4|
|Man 05 Aftercare||2 +1 exemplary|
|Health & Wellbeing|
|Hea 01 Visual comfort||4|
|Hea 02 Indoor air quality||2|
|Hea 04 Thermal comfort||2|
|Ene 01 – Reduction of energy use and CO2 emissions||12 +5 exemplary|
|Ene 04 – Low carbon design||3|
|Ene 08 Energy efficient equipment||2|
|Mat 01 Life-cycle impacts||6 +2 exemplary|
BREEAM UK NC 2014
Did you spot any? Worth thinking about existing projects you are working on and what additional services you could be offering. Another question I get asked often is what IESVE can do for other BREEAM assessments, for example BREEAM_NOR, BREEAM international, BREEAM Communities, and the answer is simple, yes you can use IESVE for a number of credits on all BREEAM Assessments, and for other environmental assessment methods such as LEED®, DGNB, WELL etc. If you would like to know more then please don’t hesitate to contact your local IES representative.
Using IESVE for BREEAM credit analysis in conjunction an online project management system allows you to make the BREEAM certification process even more efficient. IES TaP is a BRE Global approved, secure online portal for managing the evidence gathering and credit tracking process for BREEAM assessments. Using a system like IES TaP ultimately speeds up the evidence gathering process saving time and money, allowing you to realistically take on more projects over and above your current maximum.
BREEAM has enjoyed a prosperous 25 years and will no doubt continue to do so for the next 25 years. One element of this longevity for any assessment method is adapting to the market and alignment with complimentary assessment methods. The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) and BRE recently announced an agreement between the two organizations to pursue alignments between the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) and BREEAM that will make it easier for projects pursuing both standards. The crosswalk identifying the applicable credits between the two standards, is being done by WELL’s certifying body, Green Business Certification Inc., and BRE, and is expected to be completed in January 2017. Alignment between these assessment methods should help save time and costs, but ultimately help to deliver better, healthier, sustainable buildings.
Solutions like IESVE can help to maximise the full impact of under taking such assessments, by delivering the analysis and evidence required for credit attainment in as little time as possible. Rather than seeing the assessment as an addition to the core work, IESVE is able to integrate the analysis within a single model allowing you to not just validate but to undertake multiple studies to optimise the project for all aspects of its performance.
To read more about how IES can help you with your BREEAM assessment, visit http://www.iesve.com/software/breeam.
New IES customers can also take advantage of our limited time IESVE for BREEAM special offer.
This morning, a client called me and asked for some help. He needed to generate future weather files for a BREEAM certified project in Brussels (necessary for HEA04 – Thermal Comfort credit). I was happy to lend a hand!
The methodology is to use the climate change world weather file generator named CCWorldWeatherGen. It uses Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report model summary data of the HadCM3 A2 experiment ensemble and is based on the so-called ‘morphing’ methodology for climate change transformation of weather data, which was developed by Belcher, Hacker and Powell. From a present weather file (BrusselsIWEC), future weather predictions can be generated for the horizons of 2020, 2050 and 2080.
I was astonished by the magnitude of the climate change in this case. The mean dry bulb temperature is predicted to raise from 10.2°C (present) to 11.2°C by 2020, 12.3°C by 2050 and up to 14.0°C by 2080! This represents a +3.8°C elevation, much higher than the average +1.5°C under which the world’s nations committed to the COP21 in December 2015.
Another key point was the maximum temperature that rose from 34.9°C to 43.8°C and the percentage of the time the temperature was above 26°C rose from 1.1% to 5.5%. This means a drastic change in building management in terms of heating/cooling and comfort.
Just a few weeks ago, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) declared July 2016 as the hottest month on record in 136 years. So we are seeing first-hand the increase in temperature and my climate analysis for Brussels shows just how much it is set to rise.
In these conditions, how will our existing buildings behave? Should all our buildings now be designed to anticipate these forecasts? I hope the scenario is overly pessimistic but I think we need to prepare for the worst case scenario.
Russia’s largest retailer approached IES recently to ask for help in designing significantly better performing buildings – the result a UK 4-day study tour led by our Business Development Consultant for CEE, Guy Eames.
“Britain is one of the leading countries when it comes to high performance or “green” buildings”, boasts Guy, “IES’ technology highlights what is possible, when building owners set their minds to reducing their carbon footprint”.
The executives saw first-hand how buildings are passively heated and cooled using locally grown materials pressed into blocks; how green roofs affect insulation and provide natural habitats and how rainwater harvesting reduces water use by 50%. “Implementing such build strategies would be impossible without first making careful calculations”, continues Guy. “Building simulation analysis offers the best way to do that, allowing “scenario analysis” or comparisons between various construction materials and technologies. IESVE offers the most integrated and speediest approach.”
We were pleased to welcome Environmental Sustainability Manager at Adnams, Ben Orchard on the tour to present to the executives and share the firms sustainability story. Part of this is its BREEAM Excellent distribution centre which incorporates many eco-friendly measures such as rainwater harvesting, solar panels and LED lights. “It was a pleasure to be able to highlight the features and demonstrate the success of our award winning, ‘eco’ designed, distribution centre; an iconic and crucial milestone in our sustainability story”, said Ben.
Globally renowned architect and pioneer for super-efficient buildings Bill Dunster, CEO of ZED Factory, also welcomed the group and praised the IESVE (Virtual Environment) platform. Zed Factory demonstrated the “Zero Bills Home” and how to use innovation to reduce energy demands whilst taking advantage of natural renewable energy – sun and wind.
Renewable energy was a reoccurring topic throughout the tour, as all of the buildings seen were powered naturally. “In the CIS there are very few wind turbines, although PV and hydroelectric are playing a growing role, so there’s nothing like standing under a wind turbine and comparing how whole communities can be powered on renewables.”, said Guy. It was a pleasure to meet with companies like RES which specialise in such schemes and demonstrate how IESVE can calculate loads on individual buildings”. RES showed off their thermal storage capabilities as well as combined solar heating and power installation. Visitors were impressed to see electric vehicles charging from wind and solar power.
The ZEDfactory Zero Bills Home showed how battery power could store excess energy or cheap off-peak power to cover energy peaks and even charge electric vehicles. The homes, although grid connected, are energy positive for 8 months of the year and only energy negative for 4 months, when they rely on the grid. This is possible thanks to their solar voltaic roofs (BIPV), low thermal loads by maximising energy efficiency and using all electric heat pumps producing hot and cold water, and the reduced costs of electrical storage. There is almost no case for centralised power plants with this combination. Affordable near off-grid buildings are now ready to replace investment in fossil or nuclear powered centralised grid infrastructure – however it requires clients and local government to stop investing in large scale solutions and concentrate on higher quality optimised local buildings and masterplans.
A green-building tour of the UK wouldn’t be complete without learning more about BREEAM. The group was lucky to visit 6 BREEAM certified buildings (many award winning) as well as being greeted by senior staff at the BRE (Building Research Establishment). BREEAM is increasingly being used abroad, either using the international BREEAM or National Schemes. IES works closely with the BRE, projects include IMPACT and modules for the VE to speed up the BREEAM certification process.
The tour was intense but deep – covering retail strategies (Mike Barry from Marks & Spencer found an hour for us), manufacturing and distribution buildings (Skanska, Adnams), and Residential and Office. To complete the day, the group were treated to a presentation of Terminal 5 at Heathrow – the UK’s largest free-standing buildings, where IES was selected as Energy and Sustainability Modelling Consultants.
Guy concluded, “The tour was a great success, full of inspiring projects, showcasing the best of British in taking forward the sustainability agenda. We look forward to these ideas being transferred across CEE countries and greeting more Eastern Europeans!”.
As any BREEAM assessor will empathise, traditional reporting processes involving numerous spreadsheets and hard copy CD submissions can be somewhat laborious. Having spent countless hours in the past compiling my own excel based reports I knew there had to be a way of making assessment services more time and cost effective.
It has now been more than 4 years since we implemented the IES TaP project management tool at Encon Associates and I think it is safe to say that we wouldn’t still be providing BREEAM assessment as a service without it. Since we started using IES TaP we have seen the capacity of each of our BREEAM assessors triple, allowing us to take on more projects knowing that we won’t be hindered by the associated administrative tasks.
With the progress of each project tracked in real time it’s a huge benefit knowing that I can go into a client meeting knowing that I have the most up to date report, where previously it would have been just a snapshot in time. The ability to access all of our projects on site via an internet enabled device also means that our assessors can complete a live pre-assessment and carry out multiple BREEAM scenarios on site, saving precious time otherwise spent in the office.
We have now used IES TaP on a number of high profile projects and the response from our clients on how it benefits the whole process has been extremely positive. Recent projects we have worked on include the prestigious City Park 1 development in Aberdeen, Scotland – a £42million venture which will is set to achieve a BREEAM rating of Very Good – and Beatrice Tate School, which achieved an BREEAM Excellent rating of 80.47% and reached the shortlist of the 2015 BREEAM awards.
2014 was an exciting year for IES TaP! A number of IES TaP managed projects were shortlisted for the 2014 BREEAM Awards, with one of them coming out on top to win the BREEAM Industrial Award: the inspirational Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery project managed by GWP. It was also the year we launched IES Tap for LEED v4, and a huge number of projects were successfully certified under the LEED and BREEAM rating systems.
This year we are very pleased to announce that three IES TaP managed projects have been shortlisted for the BREEAM Awards 2015. The shortlists for the BREEAM Awards 2015 are comprised of an extraordinary variety of inspirational buildings. Here’s a little bit about each of the IES TaP managed projects nominated…
Beatrice Tate School, Tower Hamlets, London
A Bouygues UK project, the Beatrice Tate School is a co-educational special school for pupils aged eleven to nineteen with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties. The school accommodates 75 pupils within a new facility across three floors on a constrained site in Mile End with a GIFA of 3004m² on a 4600m² site. The design for the new school provides a compact plan with a social hub at the heart of the new school. The school has been designed considering sustainability and environmental credentials from the outset by ensuring the building meets the stringent London Plan guidelines of a 40% reduction in CO2 over Building Regulations. The school has met the requirements for a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating narrowly missing out on an ‘Outstanding’ rating under the 2011 regulations.
University of Hertfordshire Phase 1 Student Accommodation Buildings
Another Bouygues UK project, this student accommodation scheme comprises 2,511 new student bedrooms in a variety of formats (studios, cluster flats and town houses, up to a maximum of six storeys) which will be built across three phases. In addition to the accommodation blocks, Phase 1 has an energy centre (which will provide CHP for the whole site) and a social Hub building, along with external sports pitches. The Scheme is set to be a market leader in sustainability representing an exciting first in its sector. The new buildings will achieve a ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and meet BREEAM Outstanding requirements under the 2011 regulations.
Lees Medical Practice, Oldham
Lees Medical Practice is a new visionary and highly-sustainable 800sq m medical centre situated in Lees, Oldham. The building has been pre-assessed as achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating as well as receiving an impressive EPC ‘A’ Rating of 12. It utilises a series of innovative and sustainable solutions, which ensure a comfortable environment for patients and employees throughout the year without the need for air conditioning or traditional fossil-fuelled heating systems. The medical centre is designed and orientated to ensure maximum benefit from the 50kW solar panel array installed on the roof. This generates a significant proportion of the building’s power requirements and reduces the CO² emissions.
Online Tracker Systems
Online tracker systems such as IES TaP make it easier for construction professionals to incorporate environmental assessment methods such as LEED and BREEAM into their building projects. They equip users with a new and easier way of working that saves time, costs and increases productivity. I recently wrote article on the benefits of using project management systems as opposed to traditional methods, which you can read here.
The winners of the BREEAM Awards 2015 will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 3rd March at the London Marriott, Grosvenor Square. Good luck to all the nominees, and to all those who will be involved in the next ground breaking projects that will lead the way in this coming year.
For more information on IES TaP and to download a FREE Trial visit www.iestap.com.
Over the years sporting events across the globe have noticeably stepped up their game in terms of sustainability. The recent 2012 London Olympics boasted a saving of the equivalent of over 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide due to its sustainable practices, whilst the imminent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year, just last month received its certificate for achieving ISO 20121, the international standard for Sustainable Event Management, confirming its commitment to be a truly sustainable Commonwealth Games.
This year’s FIFA World Cup was no exception with the final match being powered purely by solar energy. And the lights certainly didn’t go out on Germany. Not only were they victorious in winning the Cup, the country has shown a true commitment to the world’s sustainability agenda by recently announcing its investment in the 100 Smart Cities initiative in India.
And looking on to the next World Cup to be held in Russia, plans are already under way to raise the bar for sustainable construction design in the country by designing stadiums to BREEAM standard. Using state of the art cloud-based project management technology IES TaP, three of the stadiums (Samara, Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod) are on track to achieve BREEAM ratings. BREEAM expert, Glenn Miles recently wrote an interesting article on the benefits of using project management systems as opposed to traditional methods, which you can read here.
It’s encouraging to see that such large scale, global events are putting sustainability at the top of their agendas. These events affect and reach millions of people and it is important that the messages on protecting the environment are promoted as much as possible. It’s clear that everyone is still not fully aware of the dangers of climate change and the more that is done to raise awareness and encourage people to be more responsible towards the environment, the more chance we have of mitigating the potentially devastating effects.
If you’ve been following the IES TaP twitter feed you’ll have noticed we’ve been posting some of the BREEAM 2014 changes that will come into affect when the new scheme launches this week. Following the biggest consultation BRE have ever undertaken, the scheme has been tweaked based on substantial user feedback. Because of this research, I see 2014 as being a more natural evolution of the scheme, rather than the severe changeover that took place for 2011. Most changes shouldn’t affect assessors and design teams too much, but I’ll use this blog post to highlight one of the changes that I think is worth noting.
The biggest potential banana skin I can see with the new scheme is the way that evidence is conveyed. With BREEAM 2014, BRE do not specify the exact evidence anymore, instead making it more generic by specifying general evidence types. I can see that BRE are trying to make it easier for the design team to collate evidence for an assessment, by not having to create BREEAM specific evidence for each credit. In doing that, I think it may actually make it harder for the design team as it doesn’t spell out exactly what they need to provide, and for the assessor as they would need to determine which general evidence types apply to each credit. IESTaP was created to ensure the design team know exactly what evidence they need to provide and this continues with the introduction of the BREEAM 2014.
Take Wat 01 for instance; BRE specify that the design team provide ‘One or more of the appropriate evidence types listed in the BREEAM evidential requirements’. But what specific type of evidence would meet the requirements? This would be a bit general for my liking; I’d prefer something along the lines of ‘Potable water and sanitaryware specification including flows’ to explain to the design team member what is actually required. By doing so this will reduce the input from the assessor and unnecessary questions from the design team asking ‘What exactly do I need to provide’. And that’s why I think it will prove a lot more difficult to assess without products like IES TaP.
For the 2014 update, BRE are removing specific evidence, but with IES TaP the assessor still has the option to allocate the specific evidence to the design team to avoid confusion and ensure the team know exactly what needs to be provided. IES TaP includes a standard evidence template which highlights the specific evidence needed for each credit. Want to create your own template? That’s easy too. IES TaP has been designed to allow the assessor to create their own evidence template for any given project, allowing for fully customisable evidence according to your project.
Flexible evidence requirements have been added to IES TaP for BREEAM 2014, which will be launching this week. This new version of our project management system will support BREEAM 2014 New Construction and Simple Buildings, the new Shell only and Shell & core only options.
We’ve also created an interface with the 4Projects by Viewpoint® system. Where documentation already exists in 4Projects, the direct upload of information to IES TaP helps to reduce workload and uploading of evidence more than once.
Another useful new feature will be our new project BREEAM score card. Similar to our LEED® score card, it makes it quicker to undertake a pre assessment, providing quick and powerful access to the whole project in one page.
So BREEAM is changing and so is IES TaP. If you’re already an IES TaP user, we hope these updates free up more time for you and your team. And for those of you who have yet to try it out? Well head over to our website and sign up to a free webinar and get yourself a free trial.
2012 has been a very busy and eventful year — we’ve joined forces with IES, launched IES TaP at Ecobuild and continued on our mission to provide the most efficient environmental assessment tracking tool on the market.
So what exactly is TaP? IES TaP is an intelligent online project tracking solution that allows you to access and track all of your BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) projects and evidence documents in one secure online location, without having to rely on email or fax to manage the process.
This tool is the brainchild of Track a Project Ltd. The idea came from the desire to streamline the way in which the Assessor gathered evidence from the Design Team, a notoriously difficult and time consuming process! The concept popped into the head of one of our BREEAM Assessors during a typically long winded Pre-Assessment meeting. The usual array of architects, engineers, M & E consultants, contractors and Project Managers were assembled around the table.
Running through the laborious process of pen and paper, scribbling down which member of the team was responsible for which piece of evidence, trying to explain what was needed, knowing full well that once back in the office, it would all have to be typed up into an excel spreadsheet and emailed to everyone and would be out of date the minute you hit send!
That was the driving force behind the need for something new, something better. Track a Project was born and the rest, as they say is history!
A team of BREEAM and CSH Assessors set off developing the idea. Talented software programmers, with a background of working on some of the leading information portals on the market, were drafted in and the ideas of the team were quickly made reality.
Once operational, the tool was tested by our in house Assessors for over 12 months. The flaws were ironed out, features added and improvements made. Within weeks of the portal going live, positive feedback from our clients and design teams was pouring in. The impact was enormous. The time the tool was saving was phenomenal. The word was beginning to spread and we knew we had something special on our hands, something capable of revolutionising the Environmental Assessment process.
At that point, we realised this was too good to keep to ourselves, we knew we had to release it to everyone! Track a Project was officially released in October 2010.
With a growing customer base, initial take up of the system was good, however if the product was to explode, we needed more muscle and who better to join forces with than world leading environmental experts, IES Ltd.
Many nights of burning the midnight oil followed, Track a Project was streamlined even further and eventually, after months of collaboration, the new IES TaP portal was launched.
It was fantastic to finally present IES TaP to the industry, and there was no better place to do so, then at the Ecobuild conference at Excel London, in March. It was a manic few days that brought a conveyor belt of people to the IES Booth. We had the opportunity to demo IES TaP throughout the event and we spoke to a lot of interested assessors that wanted to know more about the tool.
So what can this tool do for BREEAM and CSH assessors?
Save time? Check.
Save money? Check.
Make assessments easier? Check.
As far as ticking boxes goes, we’d say IES TaP is pretty much on top of its game. But don’t take our word for it…
“Assessing BREEAM credits can be such a complicated process and this makes it so much easier to be organised. It keeps everyone in the team on the right track and ensures that we never miss our deadlines. It’s a feature that I’ve never seen before in any other tool making it by far
the number one choice for me.” Andrew Matthews, Director of Vale Interiors Ltd.
“TaP has been an amazing assistant throughout our Code experience! It cuts the paperwork, the hassle and the timescale of passing on the relevant information to your code assessor! Fenwood Estates would recommend TaP to any company trying to achieve CSH whether it be a single plot to a multi-unit development!” Melissa Fennell, Development Director, Fenwood Estates.
So it’s onwards and upwards for IES TaP and this exciting new collaboration. We want to continue to provide the best project tracking tool to our customers in the UK, while also making plans to automate and streamline the process for building rating systems around the
Last year’s event attracted over 50,000 visitors, more than 13,000 exhibitors and 750 speakers. This year’s show promises to be even bigger! And just as Ecobuild is growing every year; so does IES and our presence at the event.Â This time around our Ecobuild activity will be spread across 2 stands and the Innovation Zone. That’s right, you can run, but you can’t hide…
But why would you want to hide? We have loads of exciting news and updates to fill you in on…
We’re also looking forward to once again getting involved in the live Ecobuild tweeting and meet ups over the course of the three days. So much so that we’ve even come up with an exclusive special offer for our twitter followers. With our Twitter Loyalty Offer you will be able to get 25% off a package that includes our architectural analysis tool, VE-Gaia, and the VE-Navigator for BREEAM new customer package.Â To qualify for this offer you will need to do the following…
1. Follow us on twitter — www.twitter.com/IESVE
2. Watch out for our daily Special Offer tweet during Ecobuild.
3. Retweet our Special Offer tweet.
4. Bring proof of the retweet to our stand and talk to one of our experts about VE-Gaia and the VE-Navigator for BREEAM.
5. Fill out our special offer form which gives you until the end of April 2012 to claim this fantastic promotion.
And finally, we realise we’ve been tweeting a lot of you over the last year without actually knowing what you look like. So if you are taking a photo of your team or something that has caught your eye at Ecobuild, remember to use our special photo hashtag – #ShowUsYourEcoFace
We’ll be sure to get the ball rolling on Tuesday…
Following John’s recent blog post about LEED 2012, I wanted to weigh in with my 2 cents. I find anything written about LEED fascinating. Everyone’s got an opinion, and it’s what keeps our industry fresh.
I recently came across this ed+c article – Middle East Architecture — LEEDing nowhere — and found myself applauding the author on multiple occasions.
For example, this particular line really got me.
“Green wants to embrace everything, and everyone wants to embrace green.”
Romi continues, “But when a definition becomes so overarching, it loses all significance. Architects now depend much on intelligent service systems to make up for their folly and neglect in basic building design. It is unfortunate that these rating systems like LEED, BREEAM; have converted architecture into an accounting exercise.”
Is this what architecture and design have become? Merely an accounting exercise? I think that’s taking it to an extreme. I believe that we are now more aware of the orientation of a building or the CO2 output, and can make changes that are positive for the future tenants of the building. Whether or not it is to achieve LEED status is a non-factor. Our awareness when it comes to the way in which we design buildings is what matters.
I thought Romi’s closing brings us to an interesting point.
“The world needs green buildings a lot more than green buildings need LEED certification. If certifications such as LEED, BREEAM continue to cost too much money, time and effort – we will not stop building green projects; we will just stop certifying them.”
What is/was the goal of the USGBC’s LEED program? If it was to increase awareness, well then regardless of whether or not a building is LEED certified, a better building is a better building.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. I’m always up for a good debate!