BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) are industry quality standards that are used to assess the environmental performance of new and existing buildings.
BREEAM assessments can be undertaken for various types of site such as industrial sites (Industrial BREEAM), BREEAM for Offices, BREEAM Retail, multi-residential, BREEAM for Schools and Bespoke. For new housing, the Code for Sustainable Homes is now a mandatory assessment.
Credit points are available in both the BREEAM and CSH assessments under different disciplines, including ecology and the overall performance is then rated as ‘Pass’, ‘Good’, ‘Very Good’, ‘Excellent’ or ‘Outstanding’ depending on the number of credit points achieved. Funding for projects by Housing Associations, and Regional Development Agencies is often dependent on a project’s BREEAM rating, or planning permission may only be granted if a minimum rating is achieved.
In both BREEAM and CSH assessments, credit points are awarded within an Ecology category. Some of these credits are only available following a site visit and production of a report by a Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE). Arbeco can undertake the ecological and landscape appraisals of the BREEAM assessment, and include the following BREEAM credits:
- Previous land use of the proposed development site
- The ecological value of the site
- Any predicted negative impact on ecological features
- Calculate the change in the ecological value of the site pre and post development
- The potential to enhance any ecological features
- Ensure legal compliance and appropriate land management
- Develop appropriate enhancement measures
Management plans can be provided by Arbeco to ensure the steps taken to benefit biodiversity are sustainable for at least five years post development.