BREEAM and the Riba Plan of Work

The BREEAM assessment methodology is a popular way of expressing the sustainability performance of new buildings in Europe and the Middle East and particularly in the United Kingdom. The Riba Plan of Work is a system of building project planning that is widely used by architects in the United Kingdom. This article discusses how managing…

The BREEAM assessment methodology is a popular way of expressing the sustainability performance of new buildings in Europe and the Middle East and particularly in the United Kingdom. The Riba Plan of Work is a system of building project planning that is widely used by architects in the United Kingdom. This article discusses how managing BREEAM projects can successfully be aligned to the Riba Plan of Work.

BREEAM rates building projects in five categories: pass, good, very good, excellent and outstanding. The rating is based on an assessment of many different issues that relate to sustainable construction. Although there are some mandatory measures that need to be implemented, it is not necessary to score in each of the issues considered to achieve one of the ratings. It is therefore a client and design team decision which sustainability measures will be selected to achieve the required rating. The selection criteria are usually made up of a combination of cost effectiveness, ease of implementation and client preferences.

Many of the issues that are considered within the BREEAM methodology are specific to development site and not associated with the built form itself. The final suite of sustainability measures that will be implemented is therefore often different for each project, particularly when aiming to achieve the more ambitious ratings such as excellent and outstanding. To ensure cost-effective implementation it is important to start considering sustainability issues early on in the project cycle.

The Riba Plan of Work separates the development of construction projects in eleven distinct stages, labeled Riba stage A to Riba stage L. The plan of work provides guidance and procedures of the activities that should take place during each of the stages. In addition it identifies which of the parties involved in the project should be responsible for completing these activities.

The early stages (A and B) are about preparation. During these stages the client's requirements are identified and constraints and opportunities examined. This leads to the development of a design brief (Riba B).

The stages C, D and E cover the design of the development from concept (Riba C) to detailed design (Riba E). The Riba stages F, G and H are about preparing contract documents and going to tender with selected contractors. The construction activities and responsible parties are described in Riba stages J and K. Finally Riba stage L details the activities and responsible parties required to support the new occupants during the initial phase of occupation.

When I work with my clients I guide them through the BREEAM assessment in a process that consist of five stages:

1. BREEAM Appraisal
2. BREEAM Strategy
3. BREEAM Pre-assessment
4. Design Stage Assessment
5. Post Construction Review

The aim of carrying out an assessment in an early stage of the project is to provide an overview of the sustainability constraints and opportunities of the project and to identify the potential actions that are required to achieve the various BREEAM performance categories. The assessment will help in setting the BREEAM performance standard and provides a road-map for the reminder of the project. These are essential ingredients of the strategy. For instance, certain BREEAM credits are only available when further surveys or assessments are carried out during the design stage of the project. The evaluation will identify those that are relevant to the project, allowing the project manager to ensure that these are budgeted for and that sufficient time is allocated within the program.

The evaluation and refining the strategy should take place early on in the project cycle, ideally no later than during the Riba B stage. BREEAM recognizes the importance of this and rewards up to two credits when this is done with the support of a BREEAM Accredited Professional.

The pre-assessment follows on from the assessment and should reflect the sustainability measures that the project team has committed to implement. This document should be completed before the end of Riba D and should be submitted to the local planning authority with a full planning application. The pre-assessment report should also be included in any tender information that is made available to construction contractors bidding for the construction of the building.

The design stage assessment should be completed before construction starts at the Riba J stage. The design stage assignment differs from the pre-assessment in that for each of the measures measures that will be implemented full evidence is required to back-up the claims. This stage should be completed formally so that an interim certificate can be awarded.

Finally the post construction review serves to confirm the interim BREEAM rating at the design stage assessment. The post construction review is a formal step and leads to the award of the final BREEAM certificate. It should be transported out when construction is completed and occupation of the building starts (Riba K or L).

Vernacular Architecture for Modern Times

With respect to architecture, the term vernacular is used to describe building designs and styles that reflect the local customs, needs, and building resources available. Since antiquity, people have learned through trial and error, the various structural concepts we often take for granted today.

With respect to architecture, the term vernacular is used to describe building designs and styles that reflect the local customs, needs, and building resources available. Since antiquity, people have learned through trial and error, the various structural concepts we often take for granted today.

Reducing Our Energy Consumption at Home

Now more then ever before the world is becoming more and more cautious about the effect we have on the earth. Consumers are staring to take advantages of the benefits of being green. Simple changes to your home not only benefit the planet, they also benefit our health and wallets too.

Now more then ever before the world is becoming more and more cautious about the effect we have on the earth. Consumers are staring to take advantages of the benefits of being green. Simple changes to your home not only benefit the planet, they also benefit our health and wallets too.

Smart Buildings – Living Green in a Big Way

Smart Buildings -what are they, who is building them and why? Smart Buildings are basically any building that has incorporated eco-friendly streamline operations which deliver better service to their end users. 

Smart Buildings -what are they, who is building them and why? Smart Buildings are basically any building that has incorporated eco-friendly streamline operations which deliver better service to their end users. 

15 Energy Efficient Tips For Your Home

The ideas listed here are are just some of the items that can be done to lessen your energy expenditures month in, month out. They have low or no fees and may be performed quickly to allow you to be secure, comfy all the while helping the environment and being economical. Share these with the…

The ideas listed here are are just some of the items that can be done to lessen your energy expenditures month in, month out. They have low or no fees and may be performed quickly to allow you to be secure, comfy all the while helping the environment and being economical. Share these with the whole family and try to get each person included.

Eco-Friendly, Green Home in Florida

Many of us have recently been hearing about growth in a few areas of our economy. For example: social media and on-line shopping are growing and there are predictions that tourism and travel are going to take off. Prognosticators are forecasting an elevated demand in the market for “Green Homes.” It is intriguing, not because…

Many of us have recently been hearing about growth in a few areas of our economy. For example: social media and on-line shopping are growing and there are predictions that tourism and travel are going to take off. Prognosticators are forecasting an elevated demand in the market for “Green Homes.” It is intriguing, not because “Green Homes” deliver great lifestyle for Americans, but surprising simply because it is taking place so quickly. The time has arrived! I will do my best to present what every future owner of “Green Homes” should know as we enter a new era of eco-friendly homes.

Going Green – Construction, Which the Environment Loves!

Sustainable building, green building, green construction or simply “going green” is a concept about eco-friendly construction. It involves the application of practices and technologies that are environmental friendly, right from the construction, to occupancy, maintenance, renovation and finally demolition. This concept first started rising in the ’70s when concerns regarding harmful impacts of construction industry…

Sustainable building, green building, green construction or simply “going green” is a concept about eco-friendly construction. It involves the application of practices and technologies that are environmental friendly, right from the construction, to occupancy, maintenance, renovation and finally demolition. This concept first started rising in the ’70s when concerns regarding harmful impacts of construction industry on environment, and its resources, started growing.

What Is Sustainable Architecture?

Sustainable architecture is the idea of using environmentally conscious techniques and materials in the field of architecture. This green building and living technique is intent on creating as little waste as possible, using renewable and clean energy, and building with materials that are not damaging to living things or the earth’s environment.

Sustainable architecture is the idea of using environmentally conscious techniques and materials in the field of architecture. This green building and living technique is intent on creating as little waste as possible, using renewable and clean energy, and building with materials that are not damaging to living things or the earth’s environment.

Construction And The Environment – Green Building

This is a conclusion to our series of articles on ways in which construction affects the environment. Green building is a concept in construction which aims at creating environment friendly construction. The aim here is to reduce the impact of construction on the environment as well as coming up with remedial measures to resuscitate the…

This is a conclusion to our series of articles on ways in which construction affects the environment. Green building is a concept in construction which aims at creating environment friendly construction. The aim here is to reduce the impact of construction on the environment as well as coming up with remedial measures to resuscitate the already chocking environment. Below are just examples of green construction practices.

· Using renewable energy sources in buildings for example solar and wind energy in the place of electricity and fossil fuels.

· Coming up with designs that require minimum energy supporting systems like maximizing on day lighting in buildings as opposed to electric lighting.

· Reducing the use of timber in construction, especially rare and deciduous types, and in their place using fast growing species like bamboo and softwoods in controlled forests and plantations.

· Reusing timber as well as timber wastes like saw dust to make timber replacements.

· Tapping into rainwater and other precipitation for use in buildings to replace or supplement water from other sources.

· Reducing water wastage by making use of pressure control valves, low flush cisterns and the like.

· Reusing grey water (all used water in the house, other than closets, bidets and such).

· Using porous materials in parking and general surfaces to allow for percolation of water for replenishing sub surface.

· Incorporating gardening and greening in built up areas, including the introduction of green roofs.

· Reducing earth-moving activities for construction works.

· Avoiding construction in environmentally fragile areas for example water catchment areas.

· Reducing the wastes from buildings that end up in land fills by ensuring sorting at source. A good example is where biodegradable wastes are put in different bins and used as fertilizers.

· Rehabilitating derelict land and mine fields by planting trees and such environmental conservation measures.

All these and many other similar measures will definitely nurture the environment. They will however need a lot of clarification and forward planning so as to make success. It is also worth noting that green building is usually more expensive upfront but could be affordable in the building life cycle. Furthermore, the extra cost in money will be compensated in a sustainable environment.

Green construction is a collective responsibility and should be bought by all and sundry. Architectural association and building regulatory boards the world over should put all the necessary efforts to have their jurisdictions adopted green construction. Governments should also demonstrate green building in their projects to have their subjects readily accept them. Learning institutions and training institutions should also put enough emphasis on these procedures. Green construction materials and equipment should also be zero rated to reduce costs as well as create a preference.

Construction And The Environment – Effects On Climate

Climate change is certainly the most identifiable global concerns today. It has taken center stage in the world for and has raised many mitigative measures to counter the worrying trends. Construction is one of the contributors to climate change as can be derived from our previous examples, which are summarized below. · Lowering the water…

Climate change is certainly the most identifiable global concerns today. It has taken center stage in the world for and has raised many mitigative measures to counter the worrying trends. Construction is one of the contributors to climate change as can be derived from our previous examples, which are summarized below.

· Lowering the water table, making it more difficult for plants to survive.

· Hampering with weather conditions for example by altering normal rain formation trends of a specific area.

· Clearing vegetation, reducing moisture available for rain formation.

· Reducing water available to water bodies with similar effects as above.

· Increasing water available in an area for evaporation and then more precipitation in an area.

· Industrial and residential emissions, altering normal air conditions.

All these and more are ways in which construction activity has consistently led to climate change. The conditions of an area are continuously changed to form completely different ones. Some of the common direct results of these include:

· Depletion of the ozone layer, risking us to harmful radiations from the sun.

· Reduced precipitation, resulting to more cost of acquiring water.

· Increased precipitation, requiring more elaborate ways of removing excess water or even requiring project design changes.

· Reduction of food in the food chain, leading more food chain conflict and imbalances.

These are just but examples. The blatant truth is that climate change is becoming a very thorny issue and it needs to be addressed by all and sundry. All avenues available for averting this trend should beought and followed. Key players in the construction industry bought to join hands with their counterparts, especially in the manufacturing industry, to come up with eco friendly products and procedures. Activities that lead to toxic emissions, for example, should be shunned as much as possible and if not, should be put at a minimum. Buildings should be provided with utilities that lead to less waste, for example by reusing some materials. The issue of cost and value should be clearly addressed to make sure that the better advantage goes to the environment as opposed to the developer alone. Consultations should be done to ensure that all the hurdles to environmental conservation that arise in any project are properly handled at the earliest opportune moment.

It is always important to remember that our climate determines just how easy our tomorrow will be. It therefore calls for all that are involved to put into consideration the idea of ​​continuity in the construction project at hand.

Construction And The Environment – Effects On Vegetation

Vegetation is among the clearest indicator of life in our environment (probably second to the animals). It is also a key pillar in the environmental dynamics especially the weather. Vegetation takes different forms and shapes and vary from one type of environment to the other. Construction activities affect vegetation in the following ways; · Construction…

Vegetation is among the clearest indicator of life in our environment (probably second to the animals). It is also a key pillar in the environmental dynamics especially the weather. Vegetation takes different forms and shapes and vary from one type of environment to the other. Construction activities affect vegetation in the following ways;

· Construction materials. Construction has drawn a lot from natural vegetation in the following forms;

o Timber: This is the most common material in construction, since time immemorial. This could either be used in its raw form for example in posts or in machined timber for example tongued and grooved panels for ceiling construction. Frames for structural work like roofing and timber walls are also very common use of wood. Other machined forms, for example plywood are also very common in construction. The tricky thing with timber for construction is that the preferred timber comes from hardwoods, which are rare, hard to breed and take a long time to mature.

o Roof covering: reeds and such vegetation have for long been used in the form of that for roofing, mainly in informal settlements but also in motels and hotels, especially beach resorts.

o Furniture: Timber furniture has for long been the most preferred in houses. This has a big impact on trees as most are purely out of wood and especially hardwoods which are very hard to come by as previously explained.

· Clearance for settlements: large forests and other such vegetation's have been cleared for settlement activities, either for purely construction work or in combination with other activities like farming.

· Importation of vegetation and soils: introduction of alien plants, especially for landscaping compounds also affects the environment by changing things like normal photosynthesis activities by normal plants. Importation of soils will also lead to the support of different kinds of vegetation, especially where this is supplemented with irrigation.

· Dumping of material: The disposal of material, whether waste or excess spoil, introduces a new formation on which new forms of vegetation are most likely to grow. This may also lead the death of the existing vegetation.

· Dewatering of land: This is common in swampy lands and is mostly done to ensure good compact of earth.

Following these examples, it is clear to see just how extensively the activities of construction have impacted on vegetation and by extension, on our fragile environment. It is very important to ensure that whatever technologies that are adopted in construction projects are environmental friendly, by reducing impacts to the lowest possible levels.

Top Reasons Why Green Rehabs Will Create Long Term ROI And Market Advantage

Green Real Estate Investing is coming full bore through consumer demand, Government incentives and environmental regulations. The future and success of your Real Estate Portfolio demands attention to the current and coming Green Real Estate Boom!

Green Real Estate Investing is coming full bore through consumer demand, Government incentives and environmental regulations. The future and success of your Real Estate Portfolio demands attention to the current and coming Green Real Estate Boom!