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BREEAM to reward buildings using less peak-period energy.

August 21, 2023

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

A new proposed update to the BREEAM standards suggests that buildings designed to use less energy during peak periods could be incentivised. Read on to find out more.

On the 24th of May, BRE launched a public consultation, highlighting changes to its widely-used sustainability assessment method. The method will be Version 7 of the BREEAM standards, helping building owners and developers make informed decisions in order to meet environmental targets.

Buildings that are designed to use less energy during peak periods could be incentivised under this new proposed update of the BREEAM standards. In this blog, we will go into more detail about the new standard update and how it will have an impact on the industry.

What are the proposed BREEAM standard updates?

The new version of BREEAM Version 7 (V7) will see the first modular update across the multiple BREEAM schemes out there, introducing improved Energy and Carbon science across new construction, in-use and refurbishments. 

The V7 update addresses the industry’s need to account for embodied carbon in performance assessments through an updated methodology calculating carbon emissions, helping building owners and developers make informed decisions about any materials and products they use to meet environmental targets. Ultimately, it is going to be a valuable tool for investors and building owners, allowing them to assess the climate risk of a building and set benchmarks for their carbon emissions for working towards net zero.

BRE chief executive Gillian Charlesworth said: “By looking at energy and carbon science across the board, BRE continues to provide the leading assessment and certification method for the built environment, helping owners and occupiers around the world to address the most pressing sustainability challenges in a holistic way.

We want to ensure that BREEAM reflects the latest developments in net-zero science and regulation to ensure users can drive sustainability projects beyond best practice, confident that their sustainability goals are being met.”

RELATED: What is Embodied Carbon and How Should I Approach It? 

How can you use less peak-period energy?

So, how can you use less peak-period energy? Here are a few areas that you could consider:

  1. Complete Energy Efficiency Audits

Completing an Energy Efficiency audits will help builders to reveal data on energy consumption that could benefit from adjustments. This will be done through reviewing utility data from HAC systems and bills, assessing the building’s envelope and design and assessing the cost vs benefit for the energy efficiency recommendations.

  1. Use LED Lights

Replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs is a brilliant cost effective solution to save money on energy bills as they use 75% less energy. LED lights are bigger and brighter, improving tenant comfort, with some smart LED fixtures able to be controlled from a mobile device! Smart, ay?

  1. Focus on Insulation

Insulation is a requirement for many building standards and the right insulation should minimize heating and cooling costs through ensuring the insulation is as airlight as possible. In new builds, this can be achieved using high-performance insulations and non-traditional wall systems that offer additional insulation. In addition, replacing doors and windows to avoid air leads in existing builds will be super beneficial too, ultimately helping energy efficiency and tenants to feel more comfortable.

  1. Switch to renewable energy

Utilising tools such as solar panels and PVC panels will help supply a building with energy, assisting the lighting, heating and cooling. 

RELATED: 10 Ways to Build Low Carbon Buildings 

What do the experts think?

Andrew Sadler, a Sustainability and Building Compliance Expert and Founder of Buildpass says: “The new BREEAM V7 is a really positive step in the right direction. If energy efficiency is planned and considered at every building conception stage, the long term benefit would be enormous. Having an incentive to get people to ensure they are considering energy efficiency is going to have a huge positive impact on our industry.”

Can Buildpass advise how to design a building that uses less peak period energy?

You bet! We offer consultations on the BREEAM Standards, PAS 2035 and Passivhaus standard, all schemes surrounding standards and advice for new builds and refurbishments. We also offer specialized CPD training sessions in low carbon construction for those who want to learn more.

We can help you explore the best ways to build and deliver low carbon, long lasting buildings and how to use less peak-period energy. Get booked in for a call with the Buildpass team now!

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