BREEAM consults on new scheme for refurbishment and fit-out projects

Newham CC new officesA draft of the part of the BREEAM sustainability assessment schemes which deals with refurbishment and fit-Out, has been published for consultation. Launched this week at MIPIM, the consultation will close on 10 April 2015. The draft document can be downloaded from the BREEAM website here. All interested parties, buildings owners and investors, designers, construction industry professionals, BREEAM assessors and other stakeholders are invited to send their comments to with the subject: “Comments on draft BREEAM International RFO 2015”. The draft publication of of the scheme comes four months after the launch of the UK Refurbishment and Fit-Out 2014 scheme. BRE claims that this has been adapted for an international market to take account of a range of local and regional standards, conditions and climates.

Gavin Summerson who heads up the BREEAM scheme said ‘Against a backdrop of increasing international legislation around existing buildings and the introduction of schemes like ESOS we need to make sure that BREEAM Refurbishment & Fit Out international is aligned to market requirements – we welcome feedback from all stakeholders’

BREEAM refurbishment and fit-out schemes have a modular approach with four assessment parts. Part One deals with the building fabric and structure, Part Two with core services (e.g. centralised M&E plant), Part Three with local services and Part Four interior design. Refurbishment and fit-out projects can be assessed against one or all of the four parts, or any combination, depending on which are relevant to a particular project.

The new scheme provides a tailored version for assessing refurbishment and fit-out projects around the world, in countries where a BREEAM National Scheme Operator (NSO) is not currently operating.

In a separate announcement, BRE has announced it is to partner with GRESB, an industry-driven global sustainability benchmark organisation. Collaboration between the two organisations is aimed at promoting their shared goals of advancing transparency and sustainability performance in the real estate industry.

BRE’s BREEAM family of schemes is used in more than 60 countries. As a partner of GRESB, BRE will serve on the GRESB Benchmark Committee, providing strategic, commercial and technical input regarding the GRESB assessment process and related products and services.

Gavin Dunn, director of BREEAM at BRE, said: “BREEAM… currently provides a valuable route to achieving credits under the GRESB benchmark and our hope is to extend its reach under the partnership so more clients can realise the benefits on new and existing properties. Our collaboration demonstrates that GRESB recognises all green building standards and schemes that have credibility and rigour behind them.”

GRESB assesses environmental, social, and governance attributes and performance of property funds around the world. In 2014, GRESB covered 637 funds representing $2.1 trillion in property value. The GRESB benchmark addresses issues including corporate sustainability strategy, policies and objectives, environmental performance monitoring, and the use of voluntary rating schemes such as BREEAM. Close to 25 per cent of GRESB participants have one or more BREEAM-certified assets in their portfolio.

“Commercial real estate investors are increasingly demanding information on their assets and portfolios to better understand immediate sustainability risks such as flooding and exposure to energy efficiency regulation, but also to allocate capital to sustainability-related investment opportunities, such as the repositioning of inefficient assets that might otherwise become obsolete. Our partnership with BRE helps both organisations to further deliver on the joint mission to advance sustainability in the built environment to enhance and protect shareholder value,” said Nils Kok, CEO and co-founder of GRESB.