What is BREEAM?
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) was first published in 1990 by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) as a worldwide standard method for assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability of buildings. It is seen as a benchmark standard when it comes to sustainable development, with buildings being rated by credits achieved for the following criteria:
- Water consumption
- Health and wellbeing
What kind of developments can benefit from a BREEAM assessment?
BREEAM can cover all master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. All developments utilising BREEAM accreditation gain the following benefits to the developer and occupiers of the buildings:
- Balancing the cost and life cycle value
- Reducing operational costs
- Helping to limit risk to investor and developer
- Making assets more attractive to let, sell or retain
- Creating productive and healthy places in which to live and work
What are the requirements for BREEAM and noise?
The Pollution (POL) and Health and Wellbeing (HEA) sections of BREEAM cover issues relating to noise as follows:
Aims to avoid significant noise impacts on nearby noise sensitive properties from the building or the external fixed installations.
HEA 02 (domestic refurbishment)
HEA 05 (non-domestic refurbishment and new build)
Considers the internal impact of noise within the development, including noise ingress from external sources, sound insulation and privacy between spaces, and reverberation and speech intelligibility.
Up to five credits in total are available for acoustics, depending upon the type of building and the performance achieved.
There are a number of steps to be taken as part of a BREEAM assessment to ensure that the acoustic standards are achieved.
A suitably qualified acoustician needs to be appointed early to provide key input into the initial design, and will work as part of the design team as the project is developed. Site noise surveys are usually required to inform various aspects of the design and are carried out in the early stages; reports will include the results of any surveys carried out, as well as designs, product specifications and mitigation proposals for achieving the various acoustic credits that have been targeted.
How are the credits for BREEAM achieved?
Credits are awarded under BREEAM where the requirements are achieved. This may require post construction testing to identify whether the acoustic criteria have been achieved, either in the form of sound insulation testing, measurement of internal ambient noise levels and reverberation times or surveying of plant emission noise levels at nearby receptors. A final report would be prepared for submission to the BREEAM assessor to enable the credits to be awarded.
Bringing Miller Goodall into your project as environmental consultants means you can be certain that you are meeting the required standards of environmental best practice. Talk to us: firstname.lastname@example.org