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Mat 01 Life cycle impacts

Number of credits available Minimum standards
Building type dependent

No

Aim

To recognise and encourage the use of construction materials with a low environmental impact (including embodied carbon) over the full life cycle of the building.

Assessment Criteria

The following is required to demonstrate compliance:

  1. BREEAM awards credits on the basis of the building’s quantified environmental life cycle impact through assessment of the main building elements, as set out in Table 18 below:

Table 18 Elements assessed by building type

Building type Element Type Assessed
External walls Windows Roof Upper floor slab Internal walls Floor finishes/coverings
Office

 

Retail

 

Industrial

 

     
Education

Healthcare

Prisons

-

-

Courts

Multi-residential

Other buildings

  1. Credits are awarded on the basis of the total number of points achieved, as set out in Table 19 below, and calculated using the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator. This point’s score is based on the Green Guide rating(s) achieved for the specifications that make-up the main building elements (as above).
    Note: Where an independently verified third-party Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), covering part of or the whole life cycle, is available for a material/product that forms part of an assessed building element, this can be used to increase the contribution of that element to the building’s Mat 01 performance (refer to Calculation procedures in the Additional Information section for more detail).

Table 19 Allocation of credits by building type and Mat 01 points

Building type Total Mat 01 points achieved1 and 2
2 4 5 8 10 12 14
Available BREEAM credits
Office 1 1 2 3 4 5 -
Retail 1 1 2 3 4 5 -
Industrial 1 2 - - - - -
Education 1 1 2 3 4 5 6
Healthcare 1 1 2 3 4 5 6
Prisons 1 1 2 3 4 - -
Courts 1 1 2 3 4 5 6
Multi-residential 1 1 2 3 4 5 6
Other buildings 1 1 2 3 4 5 6
  1. Please refer to ‘Calculation procedures’ in the Additional Information section (below) for a description of the methodology used to determine the number of points and BREEAM credits achieved.
  2. Where the total points achieved exceeds the level required for maximum credits see the exemplary level criteria as the building may be eligible for an additional innovation credit.
  1. Life cycle Green House Gas emissions (kgCO2 eq.) for each element are also required to be reported based on a 60-year building life. Where specific data is not available for a product or element, generic data should be used. Generic data can be obtained from the online Green Guide for each element and must be entered in to the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator.

Exemplary level criteria

The following outlines the two exemplary level routes available to achieve up to three innovation credits for this BREEAM issue.

Route 1: Using the Green Guide to Specification (elemental approach) - one credit

  1. Where assessing four or more applicable building elements, the building achieves at least two points in addition to the total points required to achieve maximum credits under the standard BREEAM criteria (as outlined in the table above) OR
  2. Where assessing fewer than four applicable building elements, the building achieves at least one point in addition to the total points required to achieve maximum credits under the standard BREEAM criteria.

Where the assessed building does not specify an element listed above, see the Compliance note regarding the exemplary level benchmark.

Route 2: Using compliant Life Cycle Assessment software tools (Whole Building approach) - two credits

  1. Where the design team has used an IMPACT compliant software tool (or equivalent) to measure the environmental impact of the building.
  2. Where the design team can demonstrate how the use of an IMPACT compliant software (or equivalent) has benefited the building in terms of measuring and reducing its environmental impact.
  3. Where the design team submit the Building Information Model (BIM) from the IMPACT compliant software tool (or equivalent) for the assessed building to BRE Global (via the project’s appointed BREEAM assessor). See CN 17.

Further information about IMPACT is provided in the Other information section of this BREEAM issue.

Please note a project can achieve all three innovation credits where it is complying with exemplary level criteria 4 to 8, i.e. one route is not necessarily exclusive of the other, a project can comply with both routes 1 and 2 or choose to comply with only route 1 or only route 2

Compliance Notes

Ref

Terms

Description

CN1 

Element not specified. See criteria 1, 2,4 & 5 Where the building does not contain an element listed above, for example there are no upper floors in a single storey building, the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator allows the BREEAM assessor to exclude the element from the assessment. In such instances the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator will re-calculate the standard and exemplary level benchmarks on the basis of the remaining applicable elements.

CN2 

Green Guide Online. See criterion 2

www.thegreenguide.org.uk

Refer to the Additional Information section below for guidance on using the online Green Guide to Specification and accessing the appropriate ratings for the assessed elements.

CN3 

Element consisting of more than one specification. See criterion 2 Where more than one specification is present for a given element, the Green Guide rating and area for each specification should be entered into the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator. The calculator will then determine the total points score on the basis of each specifications rating and area as a proportion of the whole element.

CN4 

Finding exact Green Guide Ratings. See criterion 2 Whilst exact matches in specifications are not always found, it should be possible to identify a similar specification and use its rating for the purposes of assessment (also see note below ‘No Green Guide rating match’).

CN5 

No Green Guide rating match. See criterion 2 Where a generic Green Guide rating cannot be found for a specification the BREEAM assessor can use the online Green Guide calculator to determine a bespoke Green Guide rating for the specification (for any elements except floor finishes). Licensed BREEAM assessors can access the calculator via www.thegreenguide.org.uk. If a required component is not present via the online Green Guide calculator, the BREEAM assessor will need to submit a Bespoke Green Guide Query proforma, from which BRE Global will calculate the rating and confirm the result to the assessor.

CN6 

Environmental Profile Certification of products. See criterion 2

Products with certified Environmental Profiles can be used to demonstrate compliance with this BREEAM issue. Products are certified with a “product specific” Green Guide rating as part of a relevant elemental specification, e.g. a manufacturer’s concrete block as part of an external wall specification. This rating can be used in the same way as a generic Green Guide rating for this BREEAM issue (see the Additional Information section for a screenshot example of a product listing from GreenBook Live).

Where a certified product forms part of a different specification, for the same or different element type (i.e. different to that described on the Environmental Profile certificate), the guidance within the Calculation procedures (Additional Information section) concerning Environmental Product Declaration types should be followed. This procedure outlines how BREEAM gives additional recognition for materials with robust Environmental Product Declaration types.

A copy of the Environmental Profile Certificate and its appendix (which contains characterised data, normalised data and the Ecopoints score) can be sourced from the manufacturer or via the Environmental Profiles listing on www.greenbooklive.com.

CN7 

Reporting life cycle GHG emissions See criterion 3

Where the data is available, it is a requirement that the life cycle GHG emissions (kgCO2eq.) for each specification are gathered and reported, via the BREEAM scoring and reporting tool. BREEAM assessors can source this information as follows:

For generic Green Guide ratings the kgCO2eq. is reported via the online green guide www.thegreenguide.org.uk. Simply click on the relevant specification type (having already defined the building, category and element type) and the kgCO2eq. are reported along with the individual category ratings for that element, at the bottom of the page (see screen shot in the Additional Information section). The information is not available at present for bespoke Green Guide ratings.

For Green Guide ratings based on a product manufacturer’s certified Environmental Profile, Assessors will find the kgCO2eq. in the product’s Environmental Profile Certificate appendix, in the ‘Characterised data’ section (against the ‘Climate Change’ issue).

CN8 

New elements containing re-used materials. See criterion 2 If a new element is specified e.g. external wall, and part of that element includes a reused material e.g. reclaimed bricks, the BREEAM assessor will need to submit a Bespoke Green Guide Query proforma. BRE Global will then calculate the rating and confirm the result to the assessor.

CN9 

Existing elements re-used in the new construction For new constructions, only new elements need to be assessed, existing in-situ elements adjoining a new construction, e.g. an existing building façade, do not require assessment. If this BREEAM scheme is being used to assess a major refurbishment project, where the assessed building is re-using existing in-situ elements as part of its structure, those elements can be allocated an A+ Green Guide rating. If the existing element will contain substantial new materials the BREEAM assessor will need to submit a Bespoke Green Guide Query proforma. BRE Global will then calculate the rating and confirm the result to the assessor.

CN10 

Mixed use developments and roofs. See criterion 1 Where the assessment covers only some of the floors in the building, the roof must still be assessed as it is protecting the assessed building below. If the roof is directly above domestic accommodation (e.g. flats), the equivalent domestic Green Guide rating for the roof must be used as opposed to the ratings for non-domestic roofs. Roof areas not protecting parts of the assessed building/space can be omitted from the assessment.

CN11 

Floor finishes and speculative buildings. See criterion 1

Where the floor finishes have not been specified due to the speculative nature of the building, compliance with the criteria can be demonstrated via one of the following means in shell only buildings/areas:

  1. Option 1 – Use of a tenancy lease agreement between the developer and tenant/s (full value of available credits)
  2. Option 2 – A Green Building Guide for tenant fit outs (half the value of the available credits)
  3. Option 3 – Developer/Tenant collaboration (full value of available credits)

Refer to the Scope of BREEAM 2011 New Construction section of this scheme document (section 2) for further description of the above options.

Office buildings: If the developer has specified floor finishes in a show area only (for compliance with BREEAM issue Wst 04 Speculative floor and ceiling finishes), the area and Green Guide rating of the show area floor finishes must be accounted for in this issue. This is in addition to accounting for the floor finish specification in the speculative areas of the building (as per the above options).

CN12 

Specialist floor finishes in operational areas. See criterion 1 Specialist floor finishes in operational areas of buildings fall outside of the scope of the Green Guide. This is due to specific performance requirements of the specifications, such as chemical resistance, temperature resistance and impact resistance, all of which limit the options available for specification. Therefore, only consider floor finishes in non-operational areas of the building when assessing this BREEAM issue (see also guidance in Additional Information section, below, on floor finishes).

CN13 

Roof lights, patio doors and glazed conservatories. See criterion 1 For the purpose of this issue any doors with a large expanse of glazing, such as patio doors, should be assessed as windows. Similarly, glazed areas of conservatories and roof lights should be assessed as windows.

CN14 

Where integral insulated cold storage units form a part of the building fabric Please refer to the Additional Information section for guidance on assessing this issue for buildings with integral cold storage i.e. where the walls, floor and ceiling of that unit form a part of the building’s fabric.

CN15 

Multi-residential development including CSH assessed dwellings. See criterion 2

For multi-residential developments with self-contained dwellings being assessed under the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), the number of credits achieved under the Code assessment are equivalent to the points associated to Green Guide ratings under BREEAM.

For example:

  1. An A+ rated specification in the CSH achieves 3 credits
  2. 3 credits in the CSH are equal to 3 points in BREEAM
  3. 3 points in BREEAM achieves approximately 1 credit

Therefore, where elemental specifications in the multi-residential building are the same as that used in CSH assessed self-contained dwellings, the information/evidence concerning performance in the CSH can also be used for BREEAM purposes.

Please note: assessors must use the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator to determine the actual number of Mat 01 credits achieved. Please also refer to the Additional Information section of this issue for important information about how the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator determines the number of credits achieved.

CN16 

Demonstrating benefit (Criterion 6)

This should take the form of a short qualitative statement from the design team providing comments on the following:

  1. How and at what stages of the design the tool was utilised.
  2. How the tool helped (or did not help) steer the design/design process to optimise cost and mitigate environmental impacts, giving examples of specific changes to the building design/specification that resulted.

This statement should be submitted to BRE Global along with the BIM from the IMPACT compliant tool.

CN17

Scope of IMPACT Compliant (or equivalent) Tools and Data Submission Requirements.

See Criterion 8

Guidance note GN08 : Scope of IMPACT Compliant (or equivalent) Tools and Data Submission Requirements available via the Assessor Extranet outlines in detail the requirements for submitting the BIM from IMPACT compliant (or equivalent) software tools. The Guidance Note also contains instructions on how tools other than IMPACT compliant software tools can demonstrate equivalency for the purpose of this assessment issue.

Assessors should review Guidance Note GN08 and ensure that submissions meet the criteria relevant to demonstrate compliance.

Schedule of Evidence

Ref Design stage
Post-construction stage
All

Specification providing a detailed description of each applicable element and its constituent materials specification.

Design drawings or specification detailing the location and area (m2) of each applicable element.

A copy of the output from the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator, including Green Guide rating and element number1 for each specification assessed.

And if relevant:

  1. Copies of Environmental Product Declarations
  2. A link/reference to the EPD’s Product Category Rules
  3. Online Green Guide calculator output
  4. Environmental Profile certificate(s) (or certificate number)
  5. For IMPACT (or equivalent) the Building Information Model (BIM) and BRE Global email confirmation for receipt of the Model.

Where relevant for multi-residential buildings:

Evidence in line with the Design stage evidence requirements of the CSH Issue Mat 1 OR

A copy of the Design Stage CSH certificate and report from the CSH online reporting system confirming the number of credits achieved for CSH Issue Mat 1.

Assessor’s building/site inspection and photographic evidence confirming the specified elements in-situ (where possible)

Where relevant, as built drawings and written design team confirmation of any changes to materials specification.

Where relevant for multi-residential buildings:

Evidence in line with the Post Construction Stage evidence requirements of the CSH Issue Mat 1 OR

A copy of the Post Construction Stage CSH certificate and report from the CSH online reporting system confirming the number of credits achieved for CSH Issue Mat 1.

  1. Element numbers are unique but the available specifications may change. As a result assessors should keep a note of the element numbers they use to give Green Guide rating advice on BREEAM assessments for auditing purposes.

Additional Information

Relevant definitions

BREEAM Mat 01 calculator
A spreadsheet-based calculator required to determine the number of credits achieved for this BREEAM issue, based on each applicable element’s Green Guide rating. See Calculation procedures below for a description of how BREEAM determines the number of credits achieved for the life cycle impact of the building’s main material elements.
Ecopoint
The Ecopoint used in the Green Guide online is single score that measures the total environmental impact of a product or process as a proportion of overall impact occurring in Europe. The annual environmental impact caused by a typical EU citizen therefore creates 100 Ecopoints.. Green Guide ratings are derived by sub-dividing the range of Ecopoints/m2 achieved by all specifications considered within a building element.
Environmental Product Declaration
BS EN ISO 14025:20101BS EN ISO 14025:2010, Environmental labels and declarations - Type III environmental declarations, Principles and procedures. BSi, 2010. defines an environmental label or environmental declaration as a claim which indicates the environmental aspects of a product or service. BS EN ISO 14020:20012BS EN ISO 14020, Environmental labels and declarations - General principles. BSi, 2001. goes on to state that environmental labels and declarations provide information about a product or service in terms of its overall environmental character, a specific environmental aspect, or any number of aspects. BRE’s Environmental Profile Methodology and Green Guide to Specification is an example of an EPD. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the tool underpinning EPD and the LCA should conform to the requirements of the BS ISO 14040 series.
BRE Environmental Profile Methodology
BRE Environmental Profile Methodology and subsequent product certification involves calculating the ‘cradle to grave' environmental profile of a building material, product or system, and services. This is a measure of all key environmental impacts, during extraction, processing/manufacture, use (including maintenance and refurbishment) and disposal, over a 60-year study period. Once certified, environmental profiles are reviewed on an annual basis to ensure they remain valid, and are recalculated every three years.
Frequently updated lists of building materials, products and systems assessed and certified under the Environmental Profiles Certification Scheme can be viewed at www.greenbooklive.com. The listing also includes the Green Guide rating for the approved products.
Where a product specified is claiming certification against the BRE Environmental Profiles Methodology, the BREEAM assessor should ask for a copy of the certificate or the certificate number and certifying body from the relevant manufacturer or, alternatively, they can verify the claim via Green Book Live listings. The BREEAM assessor should include a reference to the BRE Global Approved certificate number in their assessment report. An example screenshot of a product specific Environmental Profile listing on GreenBook Live is provided in the Additional Information section of this issue.
Green Guide to Specification
The Green Guide to Specification is an easy-to-use comprehensive reference website and electronic tool, providing guidance for specifiers, designers and their clients on the relative environmental impacts for a range of different building elemental specifications. The generic elemental ratings within the online Guide are based on LCA data generated using the BRE Environmental Profiles Methodology. The Environmental Profiles Methodology has been peer reviewed to comply with BS ISO 14040 and represents the Product Category Rules for BRE Global’s environmental labelling scheme (EPD - ISO 14025, Type III) for construction products and elements. www.thegreenguide.org.uk
Green Guide element number
A unique BRE Global reference number given to a Green Guide rating for any particular building element type specification. Both standard Green Guide ratings and those calculated using the Online Green Guide calculator will have an element number.
Online Green Guide calculator
BRE Global have developed the online Green Guide Calculator to enable BREEAM and CSH assessors to quickly and efficiently generate Green Guide ratings for a significant proportion of specifications not listed in the Green Guide Online. The Green Guide Calculator database is based on the components currently used to create specifications within the Green Guide online. These components can be selected and combined to generate instant Green Guide ratings for a multitude of different specifications.
To access the Green Guide Calculator, you must be a licensed BREEAM/EcoHomes/Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor. Please note that, at the time of writing, the Green Guide Calculator is not yet available for public use.
Reused materials
Reused materials are materials that can be extracted from the waste stream and used again without further processing, or with only minor processing, that does not alter the nature of the material (e.g. cleaning, cutting, fixing to other materials).

Checklists and Tables

None.

Calculation procedures

Determining the number of BREEAM credits achieved as a result of each element’s Green Guide rating

The Green Guide uses an A+ to E rating system, whereby the rating relates to the relative life cycle performance of a specification in comparison with other types of specifications available for a particular building element type e.g. external wall.

Three steps are undertaken to translate the performance of all the separate individual elemental specifications and their Green Guide ratings into an overall building performance score for life cycle impact, against which BREEAM credits can be awarded. Each of these steps is undertaken using the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator and the information collated by the BREEAM assessor. The steps in this process are as follows:

Step 1: Translating the Green Guide rating into points

The first step in the calculation procedure is translating a specification’s Green Guide rating into a number of points. The table below illustrates the points available by Green Guide rating.

Green Guide Rating Mat 01 Points
A+ 3.00
A 2.00
B 1.00
C 0.50
D 0.25
E 0.00

The maximum number of points available for an assessed building is a product of the number of elements assessed multiplied by three. For example, for an office building five elements are assessed so there are a maximum of fifteen points available; furthermore twelve of those fifteen points must be achieved to award all five BREEAM credits.

Whilst it may appear that three points are available for each element assessed, and in many assessments this may be the case, the actual maximum number of points available for a particular element will depend on the impact of the element type compared with the other elements present and assessed (refer to step 3 below). This is because this issue assesses the life cycle impact of the whole building, taking in to account the relative performance and therefore contribution of the main building elements towards the building’s overall performance.

Step 2: Weighting the performance of individual specifications within an elemental category

Where an element consists of several different specifications, the overall points achieved for that element are weighted according to the relative area and Green Guide rating of each of the individual specifications.

An example of this is provided below for an external wall element consisting of three different types of external wall specification.

Element type Specification Area
(m2)
% of element type Generic Green Guide rating Points Area weighted points
External Wall External wall type 1 280 26% A+ 3 0.78
External wall type 2 350 33% C 0.5 0.17
External wall type 3 435 41% B 1 0.41
  Element Total 1065 100% - - 1.36

This adjustment is made to ensure the contribution of points is balanced in accordance with the life cycle performance of each specification.

Step 3: Weighting the performance of individual elements relative to all elements assessed

Step three is completed in two parts:

Part 1: Weights the performance of the building elements based on its area relative to the overall area of the different elements. This is done by multiplying the area of each element by the weighted Green Guide score, adding the total for all elements and then dividing by the total area of the assessed elements.

For example, a 20-storey office block will have a smaller roof area than external wall area, and so the area weighting will take this into account by giving a smaller weighting to the points score for the roof in comparison to the external walls.

Part 2: The range of impacts, measured using Ecopoints, for each of the elements will differ and therefore so will the increments between each Green Guide rating level. For example, the external walls have a larger Ecopoints range than the internal walls, therefore, if both elements achieve the same Green Guide rating, the rating of the external walls achieves a higher proportion of the overall points than the rating for the internal walls, thus recognising the relatively higher reduction possible in the environmental impact of the external walls, due to the larger Ecopoints range for that element.

Calculation procedure where a specific Environmental Product Declaration is available for a material

The Green Guide online provides users (design teams and clients) with information on the relative life cycle environmental impacts for a range of different building elemental specifications e.g. external wall, roof, windows etc. Each specification’s online Green Guide rating is based on verified LCA data for generic construction products assessed according to BRE’s Environmental Profiles Methodology.

There are many different schemes producing EPD for products or services complying with BS ISO 14025 (there is specific construction product and service variant of BS ISO 14025; BS ISO 21930) using LCA according to the BS ISO 14040 series.

Where a third party verified EPD is available for a product that forms part of an assessed element, for example a concrete block used in an external wall, the EPD can potentially be used to uplift the element’s BREEAM performance, i.e. points and therefore credits achieved. The degree of uplift available in such instances depends on three factors:

  1. The assessed element’s existing Green Guide rating
  2. The proportion of the total environmental mass of the element that the material with the EPD contributes
  3. The manufacturer’s Environmental Product Declaration type for the relevant product/material(s)

Using this information, the points achieved for the existing Green Guide rating of the element is adjusted as follows (using the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator):

  1. The proportion of the total mass of the assessed element that the material with the EPD contributes is determined using the Responsible Sourcing of Materials search tool, available on the assessor extranet. The Responsible Sourcing of Materials search tool will list the relative mass of each constituent material of a defined element as a percentage. Select the percentage for the relevant material and enter this into the BREEAM Mat 01 calculator.

    If an element cannot be found using the Responsible Sourcing of Materials search tool the assessor will need to complete a Bespoke Green Guide Query Proforma and submit to BRE Global with a notification that mass proportions are required for the EPD uplift calculations. BRE Global will then confirm the relevant proportional mass of the material(s) in question. This will also be required for a material with a BRE Environmental Profile which is specified as part of an element that differs from the elemental description on which that profile is based (see also relevant compliance note above).
  1. Define the Environmental Product Declaration type and tier level (see Table 20 below) for the material(s) in question.

Table 20 The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) type and tier ranking

EPD Tier level EPD description
1 A third-party, independently verified EPD covering the whole life cycle (i.e. cradle-to-grave).
2 A third-party, independently verified EPD covering partial life cycle (i.e. cradle-to-gate or cradle-to-gate with options*).

*Partial life cycle EPD can cover:

  1. The product stage only. Such an EPD covers raw material supply, transport, manufacturing and associated processes; this EPD is said to be “cradle to gate”;
  2. The product stage and selected further life cycle stages. Such an EPD is said to be “cradle to gate with options”

In both cases, the above EPD must be produced in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 14020 series, particularly ISO 14025 & ISO 219303BS EN 15804:2012 Sustainability of construction works. Environmental product declarations. Core rules for the product category of construction products.BSi,2012. (concerning environmental labels and declarations) and ISO 140404BS EN ISO 14040:2006 Environmental management. Life cycle assessment. Principles and framework. BSi, 2006 and 140445BS EN ISO 14044:2006 Environmental management. Life cycle assessment. Requirements and guidelines. BSi, 2006 (concerning life cycle assessment).

  1. Once the element’s Green Guide rating and the relevant material(s) proportional mass and EPD type and tier level have been defined, the points uplift can be calculated (see Table 21 below). The BREEAM Mat 01 calculator does this by multiplying the material’s proportional mass by the maximum points uplift available for the Green Guide rating achieved for the element. The points uplift is then added to the points already achieved for that element’s generic Green Guide rating (see worked example below). The BREEAM Mat 01 calculator then continues its calculation procedure, as outlined in steps 2 and 3 above, to determine the number of BREEAM credits achieved.

Table 21 Green Guide points uplift by EPD type

Existing Green Guide Rating

Generic Green Guide rating Points

EPD Tier 1

Max points uplift

EPD Tier 2

Max. points uplift

A+ 3.00 1.00 0.75
A 2.00 1.00 0.75
B 1.00 1.00 0.50
C 0.50 0.50 0.25
D 0.25 0.25 0.125
E 0.00 0.00 0.00

The points uplift for tier 1 has been linked to the points available for achieving generic Green Guide ratings. An element whose constituent materials have each had their masses quantified and independently verified i.e. tier 1 EPD, will achieve a points uplift to the next level above that achieved for the elements generic Green Guide rating. The tier 2 points uplift is set relative to tier 1, based on the fact that a tier 2 EPD covers only part of the material/element life cycle i.e. cradle to gate and not the full life cycle i.e. cradle to grave.

Example: The following is an example of the above calculation for a theoretical external wall specification with a generic Green Guide B rating (which equates to one point).

External wall specification Proportion of element mass EPD tier Points uplift
Load bearing concrete cladding 65% 1 0.65 x 1.0 = 0.65
Limestone finish 17% None 0
Medium density solid block 10% 1 0.1 x 1.0 = 0.1
Plasterboard & paint 5% 2 0.05 x 0.5 = 0.025
Insulation 3% None 0
  Total points uplift 0.78
  Total points achieved for element 1.78

In the above example therefore, having product specific Environmental Product Declarations for 80% (by mass) of the Green Guide B rated element’s materials results in a points uplift of 0.78 (a 78% uplift on the element’s BREEAM performance in this instance). This uplift could make a difference in the number of BREEAM credits achieved for the building.

Other information

Using the online Green Guide to Specification

The Green Guide categorises ratings by building type and element. When using the Green Guide online, (www.thegreenguide.org.uk), the main page asks the user to select a building type from the following options:

  1. Domestic
  2. Commercial (offices)
  3. Health
  4. Retail
  5. Industrial
  6. Education

To obtain the appropriate Green Guide ratings for the assessed building elements, select the category that corresponds to the assessed building type. See below for guidance on which category to select for building types not listed above.

Please note there are a number of common building elements (see below) and therefore Green Guide ratings. As these elements are common, any building type can be selected to determine the appropriate rating (regardless of the actual non-domestic building type being assessed).

Table 22 Building type and the use of appropriate Green Guide ratings

Building type Green Guide ratings

Further or Higher Education buildings

When carrying out a BREEAM assessment of a Further or Higher Education building, in most cases the Green Guide ratings listed under the ‘Education’ category can be used. Alternatively, if the elemental specification of the building/space is more akin to a commercial, retail, industrial or health specification in terms of its Green Guide functional unit, then select and use the Green Guide ratings from the relevant the building type.

Prison buildings

To obtain appropriate ratings for elements that are not common (upper-floors, roofs and floor finishes), select the ‘healthcare’ category. For prison building types that are more akin to commercial buildings in their construction e.g. visitors’ centres, catering buildings, sports halls select the commercial category. These categories include ratings that are most appropriate to the elemental specifications used for these types of prison buildings.

Law court buildings

To obtain appropriate Green Guide ratings for elements that are not common (internal walls, roof, upper floor slab and floor finishes) select the ‘schools’ category for court buildings. This category includes ratings that are most appropriate to the elemental specifications used for this building type. For floor finishes, it is permissible to select flooring from another building type other than schools, if the function/use in the assessed building is more appropriate to that type.

Multi-residential buildings

For multi-residential buildings please use the Green Guide ratings listed under the ’Domestic’ category.

Where the Multi-residential building is a high rise building i.e. more than 3 stories high, ratings from the ‘commercial’ category of the Green Guide must be used for the external walls and window elements.

To obtain appropriate Green Guide ratings for floor finishes within Multi-residential development, select the ‘healthcare’ category for floor finishes fitted in the communal areas and corridors and ‘domestic’ for those fitted in the over threshold area.

Other buildings

For many other building types assessed it may be clear which category of building type to select for Green Guide purposes (for elements that are not common). If it is not clear the BREEAM assessor will need to contact BRE Global for advice, supplying a description of the building including the relevant function(s). BRE Global will then confirm to the BREEAM assessor the appropriate category to select.

Common elements

The following elements, for the purpose of non-domestic buildings, have common Green Guide ratings irrespective of the building type:

  1. External walls
  2. Landscaping
  3. Windows - commercial

The user can therefore search for ratings for the above elements under any building category.

Guidance for the assessment of floor finishes

The Green Guide online, under each building type, has categories of flooring specifications commonly used for the key floor areas for that building type. For example, the Retail category contains ratings for hard and soft floor finish specifications for public access areas based on the functional unit for that type of space.

However, any given building will normally contain several different floor areas with different wear requirements. Therefore, the BREEAM Assessor will need to refer to floor finishes under other building type categories to find the relevant specification and Green Guide rating for the building (if floor finishes are one of the applicable elements). For example, for ‘back of house’ office and corridor areas in a retail development, it will be necessary to search the floor finishes specifications and ratings under the ‘commercial’ category of the Green Guide online. To aid users of the Green Guide online, there is a diagram that will direct you to the appropriate ratings to be used for other floor areas. The diagram is found in the guidance under the Floor Finishes category.

IMPACT (Integrated Material Profile And Costing Tool)

IMPACT is a specification and database for software developers to incorporate into their tools to enable consistent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC). IMPACT compliant tools work by allowing the user to attribute environmental and cost information to drawn or scheduled items in the BIM. IMPACT takes quantity information from the BIM and multiplies this by environmental impact and/or cost ‘rates’ to produce an overall impact and cost for the whole (or a selected part) of the design. The results generated by IMPACT allow the user to:

The benefit of BIM enabled whole-building assessment is that the calculations are based on real design data and accurate quantities, rather than generic specifications for particular building elements. IMPACT compliant tools also allow users to accurately model the life cycle performance of primary structures and substructures, which are not covered by the Green Guide to Specification.

IMPACT was developed by an industry consortium led by BRE. The work was funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. Further information about IMPACT and IMPACT compliant software tools (identified by the IMPACT compliant logo) is available from www.impactwba.com

Submission of an IMPACT (or equivalent) BIM

BRE Global requires the submission of the Building Information Model (BIM) from the IMPACT compliant software tool (or equivalent) in order to:

Any data supplied to BRE Global will be treated in confidence and the use of BIM data for research purposes will ensure individual projects are unidentifiable.

Tools equivalent to but not compliant with IMPACT

Tools that are considered by BRE Global to be equivalent to an IMPACT Compliant tool will be eligible for the same Exemplary credits. Equivalence will be judged by BRE Global based on the following:

Please contact BRE Global at the earliest opportunity to establish equivalence status of a non-IMPACT compliant software tool.

Indoor Air Quality and the Green Guide flooring category ratings

The Green Guide Online does not cover the potential health and wellbeing issues associated with flooring materials and indoor air quality, this impact is covered in BREEAM issue Hea 02 Indoor Air Quality.

Guidance for the assessment of buildings where insulated cold storage units form an integral part of the building fabric

  1. Where the cold storage unit forms part of, or is integral to the external wall element:
    As an external wall type the insulated units will be assessed in the Green Guide on the basis that it is a normal temperature building without the extra insulation, so a standard thickness of insulation will be considered. As such, the walls of the insulated unit should be treated as part of the external wall element for the assessment of this BREEAM issue.
  2. Where the cold storage unit forms part of, or is integral to a ceiling element:
    As a roof element of the insulated unit, suspended ceilings are not included within the Green Guide. Therefore, the roof of the insulated unit will be assessed as a standard construction from the deck upwards, assuming a standard thickness of insulation. As such, the roof of the insulated unit should be treated as part of the ceiling element for the assessment of this BREEAM issue.
  3. Where the cold storage unit forms part of an internal wall element:
    The insulated unit will be treated as meeting a very specific Functional Unit outside the scope of the internal wall elements listed in the Green Guide. The wall to the insulated unit should therefore be excluded from the assessment of the internal wall element.

Screenshot of a specification from the BRE Green Guide Online

Screenshot of a specification from the BRE Green Guide Online

Screenshot of a product specific Environmental Profile listing on GreenBook Live

Screenshot of a product specific Environmental Profile listing on GreenBook Live
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