What is the relevance of BREEAM In-Use to FM?

Introduction

BREEAM In-Use is a scheme used to assess environmental impacts and sustainability issues relating to existing buildings.  It is designed to reduce the running costs of buildings and improve their environmental and sustainability credentials by identifying areas for improvement. If your building has a BREEAM Outstanding rating, you will need to undertake a BREEAM In Use assessment, to maintain the outstanding rating.

Features

The standard is arranged into 3 parts, which are:

  • Asset performance
  • Building management performance
  • Organisational effectiveness

You can have all three of these parts assessed, or just one or two.  A star rating is awarded for each.  There are nine environmental issues considered.  Below there is a list of the nine topics with an example of a question that would be asked to gain points toward that topic:

Management - Has a building user guide been prepared for the building and is it freely available and is it freely accessible to the entire occupying organisation's staff?

Materials - Which of the following are used to determine the acceptability of suppliers (various choices ranging from simply requesting their environmental policy to requiring them to compliant with standards such as ISO 50001)?

Waste - Do you have waste management arrangements, which set targets and minimise environmental impact?

Transport - Is there adequate provision of covered, secure and well lit cycle racks and showers?

Water - What percentage of water supplies are reused?

Health & Wellbeing - Is there a policy for minimising the use of harmful VOC emitting materials/substances?

Pollution - Is there any refrigeration equipment which uses CFCs or other ozone depleting agents?

Energy - What is the result of the building pressure test?

Land Use and Ecology - Is there a Site Bio diversity Action Plan (SBAP) as part of the 'operational manual' of the building?

There are around 200 questions in a BREEAM In-Use certification assessment.  The client assesses themselves on these questions through an on-line system.  A licensed auditor then checks the assessor's answers and evidence and forwards on to BRE Global for certification. A licensed auditor can complete the questions on your behalf, should this be required.

Further Information

Prior to your BREEAM In Use assessment, it may be useful to undertake a pre-certification assessment, which will look at key performance indicators too.

This would involve a licensed consultant going through the assessment process and question sets and producing a report summarising the areas in which the site is compliant, whilst highlighting the areas where it is not. This would also give an indication of the score likely to be achieved.

A recommendation report would be provided so you can easily understand the areas that may be improved, individually signing them off or allocating resource for the future. A certificate is also provided for display if you choose.

This guide is of a general nature; specific advice can be obtained from Assurity Consulting. Assurity Consulting is the UK's leading independent compliance consultancy specialising in workplace health, safety and environmental solutions. We have over 30 years' experience of helping customers of all sizes, from across all sectors, manage their compliance responsibilities, making sure that their organisation is compliant, their employees are safe, their processes are cost effective and their management team is in control.

This guide is of a general nature; specific advice can be obtained from Assurity Consulting by calling tel. 01403 269375 or by email info@assurityconsulting.co.uk

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