Ecology in BREEAM

Ecology is one of a series of key categories included across the BREEAM family of schemes comprising BREEAM, CEEQUAL and the Home Quality Mark. Added in 1993 it broadly aims to encourage design, project and facilities management teams to:

  • identify ecologically valuable features and opportunities,
  • protect and enhance habitats,
  • mitigate unavoidable impacts

In particular, it seeks to improve long term ecological outcomes through design and management practices and strategies that address impacts and opportunities relating to both the assessed sites and their wider zone of influence. This webpage collects all resources and documents relating to the Ecology section of the BREEAM family of schemes into one centralised location to help assessors and other interested parties to better understand the scope of the Ecology section.

Developing the Ecology Section

BRE’s BREEAM team recognises that best practice in the evaluation, protection and enhancement of ecological features continue to evolve and change. This change is ongoing, with a number of key policy areas under development, including work on ecosystem services and natural capital.

To ensure a clear understanding of these developments, BRE has worked with a wide range of stakeholders, including professional bodies such as Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), the Landscape Institute, the UK Green Building Council, and, and a range of consultants, developers, designers, constructors, managers and policy makers.

This stakeholder consultation fed into the development of a consistent strategic framework for evaluating ecology related issues across all schemes that are applied in the UK. This Strategic Ecology Framework aims to ensure a fair and balanced framework for evaluating ecological impact, mitigation and enhancement issues across the BREEAM family of schemes, whilst reflecting current best practice and future direction.

BREEAM UK’s Strategic Ecology Framework

BREEAM UK’s Strategic Ecology Framework provides a wider understanding of the objectives of BREEAM and sets out a common basis on which appropriate ecology related assessment criteria is developed as part of new schemes and existing scheme updates in the UK. It has been published to enable those working in the built environment to better understand the basis of BREEAM evaluations, and to take account of this in their future planning (click image to download).

In addition, there are number of published resources available to support those involved in interpreting and applying the Ecology related BREEAM, CEEQUAL and HQM assessment criteria in projects (see below).

Supporting Resources

Evaluating the Ecological Risk Associated with Sites/Developments

Ecology Risk Evaluation Checklist (GN34)

BREEAM, CEEQUAL and HQM Ecology Calculation Methodology – Route 2

Calculating the Change in Ecological Value

Ecology Calculation Methodology – Route 2 (GN36)

Calculating the Change in Ecological Value

Ecology Calculation Methodology – Route 2, Appendix C (GN36)

Ecology Reporting

Ecology assessment issues reporting template (GN40)

An Overview of BREEAMs new Change in Ecological Value Methodology

BRE Academy webinar

Updating Ecology in BREEAM: Past, Present and Implementing the SEF

BRE Academy webinar

Strategic Ecology Framework

Archived Consultation

Implementing the Strategic Ecology Framework in BREEAM

Video short