You are here: 14.0 Appendices > Appendix F – Guidance for relating ecologist’s report to BREEAM

Appendix F – Guidance for relating ecologist’s report to BREEAM

Before using this guidance and completing the form please read the following:

  1. This document is to be used for BREEAM 2011 assessments, where an ecologist has been appointed and produced an ecology report as part of a proposed development.
  2. As an ecologist may have been appointed to carry out ecological site surveys and produced an ecology report without being aware that a BREEAM assessment has been, or is to be conducted, the purpose of this document is to help assist BREEAM assessors relate the contents of such a report to the land use and ecology criteria of BREEAM.
  3. The assessor is to request that the appointed ecologist complete all sections of this guidance and return it to the BREEAM assessor along with all relevant documentation required to demonstrate compliance with the BREEAM criteria.
  4. The assessor is to use this completed document in conjunction with the latest issue of the BREEAM 2011 New Construction Scheme Document and information provided by the developer/client to carry out the assessment of the land use and ecology BREEAM issues.

There are 6 sections (sections A - F) in this document.

  1. Section A requires contact details for the ecologist and developer/client.
  2. Section B1 determines whether the appointed ecologist is ‘suitably qualified’ (under BREEAM); and if not, section B2 determines whether the report has been verified by an ecologist who is ‘suitably qualified’.
  3. Section C determines whether the findings of the report have been based on data collected from site surveys conducted at appropriate times of the year to determine whether different species are evident.
  4. If ‘no’ is recorded for either Section B or C then the contents of the ecology report cannot be used to determine compliance with the BREEAM criteria.
  5. Section D provides the BREEAM assessor with the necessary information to complete the assessment of the ecology related BREEAM issues.
  6. Section E provides details of the documentation/information required by BREEAM as evidence of compliance.
  7. Section F requires the signature of the appointed ecologist who has completed this document.

Please note: it is only the appointed qualified and licensed BREEAM assessor who can award or withhold a credit for a BREEAM assessment.

Section A: Contact Details

Contact details

Ecologist’s Details

Company name:

Company address:
Contact name:
Contact telephone number:

Ecology report reference:

Developer/Client Details

Company name:

Company address:

Contact name:

Contact telephone number:

Development details

BRE reference number (if known):

Development name:

Development address:

Section B1: Ecologist’s Qualifications

  1. Do you hold a degree (or equivalent qualification, e.g. N/SVQ level 5) in an ecology related subject?
Yes   No  

If yes, please provide details

 
 
 

Note: Depending on the ecological content (minimum 60%), the following degrees might be considered relevant: Ecology, Biological Sciences, Zoology, Botany, Countryside Management, Environmental Sciences, Marine and Freshwater Management, Earth Sciences, Agriculture, Forestry, Geography, Landscape Management.

  1. Are you a practising ecologist with a minimum of 3 years relevant experience within the last 5 years?
Yes   No  

If yes, please provide details

 
 
 

Note: Relevant experience must clearly demonstrate a practical understanding of factors affecting ecology in relation to construction and the built environment; including, acting in an advisory capacity to provide recommendations for ecological protection, enhancement and mitigation measures. Examples of relevant experience are: ecological impact assessments; Phase 1 and 2 habitat surveys and habitat restoration.

  1. Are you bound by a professional code of conduct and subject to peer review*?
Yes   No  

If yes, please provide details

 
 
 
 

Note: a full member of one of the following organisations will be deemed suitable: Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM); Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM); Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA); Landscape Institute (LI).

Note: Peer review is defined as the process employed by a professional body to demonstrate that potential or current full members maintain a standard of knowledge and experience required to ensure compliance with a code of conduct and professional ethics.

If ‘no’ has been answered for any question in Section B1 then the BREEAM requirement for a ‘suitably qualified ecologist’ has not been met. The ecology report CANNOT be used to assess the BREEAM Ecology issues unless it is verified by an individual who is ‘suitably qualified’ (see section B2).

Section B2: Report Verification

Details on verifying an ecology report for a BREEAM assessment:

  1. The individual verifying the report must provide written confirmation that they comply with the definition of a ‘suitably qualified ecologist’ (as detailed in Section B1).
  2. The verifier of the report must confirm in writing they have read and reviewed the report and found it to:
    1. represent sound industry practice
    2. report and recommend correctly, truthfully, and objectively
    3. be appropriate given the local site conditions and scope of works proposed
    4. avoid invalid, biased, and exaggerated statements.

Written confirmation from the third party verifier on all the points detailed under 1 and 2 above (for section B2) must be included in an appendix to this guidance (see section E).

If the appointed ecologist does not meet the criteria of a ‘suitably qualified ecologist’ and the report has not been verified by an individual who does meet these criteria, then the report CANNOT be used as evidence of compliance with the ecology related BREEAM.

Section C: Site Survey

  1. Have the findings of the ecology report been based on data collected from a site survey(s)?
Yes   No  

If yes, please provide details to justify this (e.g. date(s) and scope of site survey(s))

 
 
 

Note: The site visit(s) and survey(s) must be conducted at appropriate times of the year when it is possible to determine the presence, or evidence of the presence, of different plant and animal species.

Note: the contents of the ecology report must be representative of the site’s existing ecology prior to the commencement of initial site preparation works, i.e. before RIBA stage K, Construction to Practical Completion, and after RIBA stage B, Design Brief.

If ‘no’ has been answered to question 1 of Section C then the ecology report CANNOT be used to determine compliance with the criteria of the relevant BREEAM ecology issues.

Section D: Site Survey Details

LE 02 Ecological value of land and protection of ecological features

  1. Is the land within the ‘construction zone' deemed by the suitably qualified ecologist to be of low ecological value?
Yes   No  

If yes, please provide a brief statement explaining how it has been deemed to be of low ecological value:

 
 
 

Note: The construction zone is defined as any land on the site which is being developed (and therefore disturbed) for buildings, hard standing, landscaping, site access, plus a 3m boundary in either direction around these areas. It also includes any areas used for temporary site storage and buildings.

  1. Are there any features/areas of ecological value that fall within the site, but outside the construction zone?

Yes   No  

Note: If you have deemed this area to be of low ecological value then there will be no features of ecological value to protect. However, if there is a feature(s) or area(s) of low ecological value you wish to advise be retained and enhanced, e.g. a species-poor hedgerow to a species-rich hedgerow, then full details of the protection and enhancement advice should be entered under LE 04 Enhancing site ecology.

If yes, please provide a brief statement outlining the advice / recommendations given for protecting all existing features and areas of ecological value:

 
 
 

LE 03 Mitigating ecological impact

3. Are you able to provide the following information for before and after construction:

Yes   No  
  1. If yes, please give a brief description of the landscapes and broad habitats surrounding the development site.
 
 
 
  1. The total site area (in m2). This will be the same before and after development.
 
  1. Please fill in Table 35 below with site details before and after development:

Table 35 Site details before and after development1

Broad habitat type2

Area of broad habitat type (m2)

Average total taxon richness per broad habitat type
     
     
     
     
     
     
Broad habitat type2

Area of broad habitat type (m2)

Average total taxon richness per broad habitat type
     
     
     
     
     
     
  1. Note to assessor (and ecologist where requested to carry out calculations); the information contained in these tables can be used to calculate both LE 03 Mitigating ecological impact and LE 04 Enhancing site ecology issues.
  2. Broad habitat types will include natural areas, e.g. various grasslands and woodlands; as well as areas of the built environment, e.g. buildings, hard landscaping. The area of each habitat type when added together must always equal the total area of the development site.
  1. Has the client / developer requested you to carry out the calculation for LE 03 Mitigating ecological impact and /or LE 04 Enhancing site ecology (where relevant)?
Yes   No  

Note: The calculations must be carried out in line with the methodology provided in the current version of the BREEAM 2011 Scheme Document.

If yes, please complete Table 36 and Table 37 below:

Table 36 Calculation of the Ecological Value of the Site Before Development

Broad habitat type Area of broad habitat type [m2]   Average total taxon richness (see BREEAM issue LE 03 or a SQE*)   Average total taxon richness x Area of broad habitat type
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
(1) Total site area =     (2) Total =    
Average total taxon richness before development =    
Average total taxon richness x area of habitat type / Total site area = (2)/(1) =    

* SQE = Suitably Qualified Ecologist

Table 37 Calculation of the Ecological Value of the Site After Development

Broad habitat type Area of broad habitat type [m2]   Average total taxon richness (see BREEAM issue LE 03 or a SQE)   Average total taxon richness x Area of broad habitat type
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x      
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
    x   =  
(1) Total site area =     (2) Total =    
Average total taxon richness after development =    
Average total taxon richness x Area of broad habitat type / Total site area = (2)/(1) =    

LE 04 Enhancing site ecology

  1. Has the client / developer required you to provide advice and make recommendations for enhancing site ecology?
Yes   No  

If yes, please provide a brief statement outlining the advice / recommendations given on enhancing and protecting the ecological value of the site:

 
 
 

Note: Such advice is to include, and go beyond, compliance with all current EU and UK legislation relating to protected species and habitats.

LE 05 Long term impact on biodiversity

  1. Were you appointed prior to commencement of development work activities on site?
Yes   No   Don't know  
  1. Has the client / developer given you the responsibility to confirm whether all current EU and UK legislation relating to protection and enhancement of ecology has been (or will be) complied with during the design and construction process?
Yes   No  

If yes, please provide details on all current EU and UK legislation that relates to the site:

 
 
 
  1. Has the developer / client appointed you to produce an appropriate landscape/site ecology management plan covering at least the first 5 years after project completion?
Yes   No  

EITHER:

  1. If yes, and the management plan has already been produced does it include the following:
    1. management of any protected features on site
    2. management of any new, existing, or enhanced habitats
    3. a reference to the current or future site level Biodiversity Action Plan?
Yes   No  

OR

  1. If yes, but the management plan is still to be produced (due to it being too early in the design/construction phase), have you provided the following information to the developer / client:
    1. scope of management plan
    2. key responsibilities, and with whom these responsibilities lie, e.g. owner, landlord, occupier?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to either question 8a or 8b please provide a brief explanation outlining the details

 
 
 
  1. Has the client / developer required you, as part of your responsibilities, to provide recommendations and advice to minimise detrimental impacts on site biodiversity?
Yes   No   N/A  

If yes, or not applicable, please briefly explain your reasoning:

 
 
 
  1. Do your responsibilities to the client / developer include providing advice and recommendations for the protection of ecological features?
Yes   No   N/A  

If yes, or not applicable, please briefly explain your reasoning:

 
 
 
  1. Do your responsibilities to the client / developer include providing advice on the creation of a new ecologically valuable habitat, which is appropriate to the local area and is either nationally, regionally, or locally important, or supports nationally, regionally, or locally important biodiversity?
Yes   No   N/A  

If yes, or not applicable, please briefly explain your reasoning:

 
 
 
  1. 12. Do your responsibilities to the client / developer include providing advice and recommendations on when site works are to be avoided so as to minimise the disturbance to wildlife?
Yes   No   N/A  

If yes, or not applicable, please briefly explain your reasoning

 
 
 

Section E: Schedule of Evidence

Copies of the following documentation are required to support the above statements and act as evidence of compliance with the BREEAM Land Use and Ecology criteria:

  1. The suitably qualified ecologists site/project specific report
  2. Written confirmation from the verifier of the ecology report (where necessary)
  3. Any supplementary documentation e.g. maps, plans, drawings, letters / emails of correspondence, etc.

Please include these details along with the appropriate reference to each document in the table below:

Document Reference
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Section F: Signature of Validation

I confirm the information provided in this document is truthful and accurate at the time of completion.

Name of ecologist:

Signature of ecologist:

Date:

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