BREEAM is widely used to specify overall environmental performance. One of the aims of BREEAM is to encourage the use of materials that have lower impact on the environment, taking account of the full life cycle of the materials in question.

How does BREEAM work?

BREEAM assesses the performance of buildings in the following areas

BREEAM Assessment Areas

Credits are awarded in each of the areas according to performance. A set of environmental weightings then enables the credits to be added together to produce a single overall score.

The building is then rated on a scale of Pass, Good, Very Good or Excellent.

Within BREEAM, materials credits are achieved by specifying materials which achieve an ‘A+’ rating in the Green Guide to Specification, where at least: 80% of roof specifications achieve an ‘A+’ overall rating.

Specifiers are encouraged to consider these issues at the earliest opportunity to maximise their chances of achieving a high BREEAM rating.

When considering materials used in the construction industry it is important not only to consider the raw materials used but also the embodied energy used to create each element in a building.

BREEAM does this by rewarding:

• Materials with a low embodied energy i.e. 'A+' rated in the Green Guide to Specification

• Buildings where part or all of an existing building is being re-used (i.e. refurbishment projects)

Responsibly resourced materials

• Use of recycled materials

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