Dr. Gavin Dunn
The connection between our natural environment and the built one is intricate. With a global landscape fraught with examples of poor decisions, made without the necessary tools and expertise to balance out the impact that our activities have upon our planet. Luckily, since global awareness has increased, shorter term returns are steadily being replaced with much longer term and sustainable ones as the science to back up damaging claims, become more evident.
For example, do we sacrifice important natural habitat to provide much needed housing or can we explore a more sensible solution? It was to help address such dilemmas that BREEAM was originally developed to provide a balanced framework that assessed the buildings performance against the impact which those important decisions were having.
Over the past 25 years since BREEAM was launched, BREEAM has enabled countless examples of impressive buildings and communities. Architects and engineers have begun to design with nature and wellbeing at the very forefront of their designs. Greater emphasis on innovative alternatives to depleting resources are being sought and energy providing technologies, once deemed too expensive to manufacture and install are tumbling down in costs. People’s lives are also becoming enriched with an array of design features that feels more natural and enhances their work/life balance. BREEAM has played a leading role in achieving all of this and much, much more.
The perception that high performance buildings still cost more, combined with a market preference for lowest capital cost, is also diminishing. Independent research has proved that BREEAM buildings don’t have to be expensive. Instead, buildings can achieve ‘Very Good’ BREEAM performance ratings without costing a penny more. Achieving the higher level of ‘Excellent’ and ‘Outstanding’ can also be achieved with only a few percent increase in capital and paid back to the investor within a few years of savings through its utilities.
Our future vision is that BREEAM will continue to drive better design, construction and operation within our man made, built environment. It will do it increasingly on a global scale and will be delivered through talented technicians and customer service. Using a combination of ongoing development research, BIM and new digitalised assessor tools, we are investing heavily into further reducing assessment process costs. We will speed up delivery and share construction industry insights derived from BREEAM data for the greater value of all working across global real estate markets and aim to accomplish it all whilst protecting people, property and the planet.