The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a widely recognised and used environmental assessment and ratings system for buildings.
BREEAM requires assessment of the performance of developments, both during design and once construction is complete.
BREEAM measures the sustainability of a development against nine categories, one of which is land use and ecology. Performance targets are set for each category, and these targets are more demanding than those required by the building regulations. Credits are awarded depending on the performance of the building against each target.
The most frequently used technical manual is BREEAM’s UK new construction: non-domestic buildings (2014). Ten credits are available in category eleven (land use and ecology), representing 10% of the total score.
The performance targets for the land used and ecology category are as follow:
- Site selection
We can award one credit where at least 75% of the proposed development’s footprint is on an area of land which has previously been occupied. UES can also liaise with your contaminated land professional (if relevant) and principal contractor to award a further credit if remediation works are to be undertaken.
- Ecological value of site and protection of ecological features
At UES we have suitably qualified ecologists (SQE), who meet BREEAM’s specific criteria. Our SQEs can assess whether your site is of low ecological value and award one credit. Our SQEs can also recommend appropriate mitigation measures, that will secure you another credit under protection of ecological features.
- Minimising impact on existing site ecology
Our SQEs will liaise with your landscape architect to calculate the change in ecological value, before and after development. We can award one credit for minimal change or two credits for no negative change.
- Enhancing site ecology
We can award up to two credits where we have been appointed as a SQE to advise on enhancing the ecology of the site at an early stage.
- Long term impact on biodiversity
We can award up to two credits where we have been appointed as a SQE, produced a long-term landscape and habitat management plan, and where additional measures to improve the site’s long-term biodiversity are adopted.
Our expert ecologists can assess your site’s ecological value and advise on how to avoid and mitigate ecological impacts in order to achieve the maximum number of credits available.