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A wider and deeper spectrum for BREEAM NC 2016

Hadrien VANDENBROUCKE - Energy & Environmental Engineer BREEAM
On March 28th, the new BREEAM environmental certification scheme for new constructions – BREEAM INTERNATIONAL NEW CONSTRUCTION 2016 (NC 2016) – replaced the previous scheme which had been used by the market for three years. As a continuation of BREEAM International NC 2013, it now completes the range of certifications with BREEAM INTERNATIONAL REFURBISHMENT AND FIT-OUT (RFO 2015) for the renovation and fit-out of buildings, launched last year. Our team of assessors has taken a close look at this reference, in order to provide an overview of what has changed, compared to previous versions.

Launched in the United Kingdom in 1990, BREEAM has become one of the most widely used environmental certification systems in the world. It is the most widely used in Europe, and in Belgium, where 33 new buildings have received final BREEAM certification and 36 projects an intermediary certificate.

BREEAM promotes the use of high energy and environmental performance, by going beyond the regulations and rules in force in this domain. As these are constantly evolving, the certification system evolves at the same time, in order to always stand apart. This evolution helps the construction sector move forwards, and challenges property developers, encouraging them to construct buildings which respond to the challenges of the moment (environmental, climactic, sanitary, ecological etc.).

New options for evaluating a building
By contrast with previous BREEAM scheme, BREEAM NC 2016 numbers three evaluation options: ‘Fully fitted’, ‘Shell and Core’ and ‘Shell only’. While the first of these enables buildings which are ready to be used immediately to be evaluated, the other two enable buildings to be certified without taking account of how they made be finished for tenants. In these cases, a second certification based on BREEAM RFO 2015 can complete the NC 2016 evaluation, by evaluating the fit-outs of the future tenants. As a result of this, it is no longer necessary for developers to have recourse to a Green Lease Agreement if they only wish to certify their buildings in the ‘Shell and Core’ or ‘Shell only’ state. Depending on the option selected, the certification can include all or part of the following elements: the structure, the envelope, the special technical elements, the lifts, the fit-out of the common areas, etc.

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