BREEAM Collaborates With Sport England to Deliver Active Design in the Built Environment

The condition of the built environment has the potential to have a significant impact on society and public services. Research carried out by the BRE found poor-quality homes are responsible for a staggering £1.4bn in costs per year to the NHS, and a further £18.6 billion to wider society. Evidence such as this demonstrates the need to prioritise built environment design that supports and improves the health and wellbeing of building users. Good indoor air quality, comfortable temperatures, and energy efficiency are undoubtedly important factors in this, but beyond these building features the design of the wider community and outdoor space also plays a huge role.

Active Design, created by Sport England in partnership with Public Health England, is a guidance document developed to encourage and promote sport and physical activity through the design and layout of the built environment. Using a combination of 10 principles that support activity and health, the guidance demonstrates how to create healthier, stronger communities through the design of everyday environments.

For the last 12 months, BREEAM and Sport England have collaborated to map the high-level Active Design principles against issues and criteria outlines in the BREEAM, Home Quality Mark (HQM) and CEEQUAL built environment sustainability certification standards.

Benchmarkable standards for building design features which encourage active design can help to deliver these principles in practice. This is where the BREEAM family of certification schemes can help. The schemes allow developers, planners and other stakeholders to work to a common standard that the commercial sector, home-holders and communities can trust to deliver the principles of Active Design. The purpose of the collaboration between BREEAM and Sport England was to create a set of guidance to highlight the areas where issues and criteria assessed in BREEAM schemes also contributes to Active Design.

The mapping document and report created provide simple tables acknowledging where BREEAM schemes can help projects achieve Active Design, as well as several other sustainability goals in the process. This report adds a new layer to existing resources and frameworks that have complementary objectives such as NHS, TCPA and National Design Guide, to show how high-level aspirations such as Active Design can be implemented using tried and tested tools and benchmarks such as BREEAM.

The resources created as a result of the collaboration include an interactive pdf and a web page. The pdf explains the methodology behind the study and our key outcomes. The webpage illustrates which issues from the BREEAM family of schemes relate to the Active Design principles, including justifications of how and why they contribute. These resources can be found below, along with

Useful Resources

  1. Achieving Sport England’s Active Design Principles with BREEAM webpage
  2. Active Design and BREEAM Certification Schemes pdf