The Building Research Establishment’s Environment Assessment Method

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d) Energy – excessive usage of energy is perhaps the primary concern of sustainability. The RICS encourages the minimisation of energy in a cost effective manner, through the use of renewable energy sources and by obtaining ‘green’ energy from energy grids. The design team involved in a construction project may want to consider developing additional land with wind turbines if conditions permit and also the use of solar cells in a remote site. A passive design is always the most useful way to reduce energy expenditure. To ensure minimum energy usage, there must be minimum energy wastage and this must be designed appropriately by considering the climate and the materials used in construction. During modelling, the human factor coupled with the inhabitation of varying periods of time must be considered in order to arrive at a realistic picture of energy usage.

e) Geology – the soil is not only the link to ground water but also harbours many different species of the animal kingdom. Therefore, it is important that there is minimal damage to the soil during the construction process and that no dangerous chemicals are added which may leach into the ground water and contaminate the already scarce drinking water supplies. In the case of unforeseen contamination, the soil must be immediately treated for remediation. Similarly, if the soil is dislocated from the construction site, it must either be replaced or re-used in an off-site location.

f) Land Use – Natural land use will obviously be influenced by considerations like deforestation, soil use etc. Apart from these aspects, the effect of other building sites on the construction site itself must be examined. This should be done prior to any construction work beginning in order to ensu...

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...liminary assessment of the building plan. In this pre-assessment, the Assessor will explain the process of the BREEAM issues and credits. This is generally followed by a collaborative effort to determine which environmental aspects can be best addressed. Once this initial assessment is approved, the project is then registered under the BREEAM scheme. The project is continually monitored by the BRE and follow-up assessments are conducted of the design structure and post construction stage.

At the design stage assessment, the Assessor will test the willingness of the client to follow the standards set by the BREEAM guidelines with respect to the design ideas presented which will influence the overall BREEAM score to quite a large extent. At the final post construction assessment, the Assessor will visit the site and compare the newly constructed building against the
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