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BREEAM credits for sustainable construction

BREEAM Credits Explained: A Guide to Sustainable Construction

In sustainable construction, BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) stands as a beacon of excellence, guiding projects towards greater environmental responsibility. At its core, BREEAM credits are the fundamental building blocks in assessing a building’s environmental performance.

Understanding these credits is pivotal for any construction project aiming to achieve BREEAM certification, signifying its adherence to the highest sustainability standards.

The Importance of BREEAM in Sustainable Development

BREEAM’s comprehensive approach to assessing environmental performance across various categories—including energy, water use, internal environment, management processes, pollution, transport, materials, waste, and ecology—ensures a holistic view of sustainability. Each credit earned reflects a step towards reducing environmental impact, from responsible material sourcing to efficient water use.

Calculating BREEAM Credits

BREEAM credits are awarded based on the extent to which a construction project meets specific sustainability criteria. These include:

Responsible Sourcing Credits: Up to three credits for using responsibly sourced materials and encouraging sustainable supply chains.

Water (WAT) Credits: Focus on reducing potable water consumption and efficient water management, with credits allocated for water consumption, monitoring, leak detection, and the use of water-efficient equipment.

The assessment process involves a qualified BREEAM assessor who evaluates the project against set benchmarks for each category. Credits are then awarded based on how well the project meets these criteria, culminating in a final BREEAM rating that underscores the project’s environmental performance.

The Role of Ecology Services in Achieving BREEAM Credits

Ecology Services, as provided by RSS Infrastructure, play a critical role in attaining BREEAM credits, particularly in the ecology category. Through services such as Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA), Habitat Surveys, and Biodiversity Net Gain Surveys, RSS Infrastructure supports projects to enhance their ecological value and achieve BREEAM certification.

For instance, the BREEAM criteria under the ecology category focus on protecting and enhancing the site’s biodiversity, requiring expert ecological insight to navigate. RSS Infrastructure’s Ecology Services offer the expertise necessary to integrate environmental care into every project planning stage, ensuring that ecological balance is maintained and that projects contribute positively to their natural surroundings.

Bridging the Gap Between Development and Ecology

The collaboration between RSS Infrastructure and construction projects exemplifies a partnership-oriented approach, where ecological considerations integrate seamlessly into development objectives. By leveraging RSSI’s ecological expertise, projects can navigate the complexities of BREEAM’s ecological credits. An approach that ensures development does not come at the expense of the environment.

RSS Infrastructure’s commitment to ecological and environmental sustainability extends beyond compliance. Through initiatives like Habitat Restoration and the implementation of Water-Efficient Equipment, RSSI champions sustainable development. This aligns with BREEAM’s objectives to minimise environmental impact and promote ecological health.

Our Expertise in BREEAM Assessments

Alex Blundell, RSSI’s Principal Ecologist, has significantly contributed to sustainable development through his expertise in BREEAM assessments. He demonstrates a strong commitment to environmental responsibility and ecological balance. With extensive experience in ecological consultancy, Alex has been instrumental in guiding construction projects towards achieving BREEAM certification. Alex understands the importance of integrating ecological considerations into project planning and execution.

His notable work includes two comprehensive BREEAM assessments from his previous role for Darwin Group Limited. The first assessment focused on a Post-Construction Review (PCR) for a three-storey teaching block and surrounding area at John Kyrle High School in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. This project aimed to achieve Credits LE03 – LE05 under BREEAM’s stringent criteria for ecological sustainability. The PCR evaluated the implementation of habitat enhancements and management strategies. Alex is adept at ecological planning and monitoring to meet BREEAM’s high standards for environmental performance.

The second ‘Frimley Park’ assessment further exemplifies Alex’s proficiency in ecological management and BREEAM certification processes. This report outlines the achievement of BREEAM criteria, including a significant net gain in ecological value, calculated at 140%. This demonstrates exceptional environmental enhancement and sustainability practices. The report also emphasises the importance of ongoing habitat monitoring and management, highlighting Alex’s comprehensive approach to ecological consultancy.

Conclusion: A Sustainable Future with BREEAM

BREEAM credits are more than just a measure of a project’s environmental performance; they represent a commitment to sustainability that resonates with RSS Infrastructure’s ethos. Integrating ecological expertise is crucial for construction projects to balance development and environmental stewardship while meeting BREEAM standards.

While challenging, the journey towards BREEAM certification offers projects an opportunity to distinguish themselves as leaders in sustainability. With the support of RSS Infrastructure’s Ecology Services, projects can confidently navigate this journey. We ensure that each step taken is a step towards a greener, more sustainable future.

Contact Ecology Services

For reliable project delivery that aligns with the highest standards of environmental responsibility, contact RSS Infrastructure today at 0330 113 0004. Our experienced Ecology Services team, led by Alex Blundell, is ready to assist on your next project and guide it towards ecological success and BREEAM certification.


About Us

RSS Infrastructure (RSSI), based in Birmingham, Cwmbran, Doncaster and Tonbridge, provides infrastructure services for the rail, civil, and utilities sectors. We serve clients like Network Rail, WMCA, HS2 and Tier 1 & 2 contractors. Our services include Arboriculture, Civils and Construction, Geofencing, Industrial Rope Access (IRATA), Magnetic Track Safety, Rail Operations including Possession Management and P/Way, Rail Welding, Signalling, and Track Warning Services.

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