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Environment and Energy


University Policy

All new major new build and refurbishment projects are required to be certified as at least ‘Excellent’ under BREEAM (the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), a comprehensive environmental rating system for buildings.

The University’s Design & Standards Brief makes some aspects of the BREEAM Assessment mandatory and the University’s annual Environmental Sustainability Report reports on compliance with this policy.

If BREEAM  certification  is  not deemed appropriate,  the  design team  shall agree with the University’s Environment & Energy team a method for measuring performance  that is considered to be at least equivalent to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.  An example is the redevelopment of the New Museums Site, which is addressing sustainability issues through a bespoke Sustainability Plan prepared in consultation with University Estate Management, the design teams, and the various user groups.  This approach has the support of the Local Planning Authority.

In rare circumstances, where a project is highly constrained, the University’s Environment & Energy team may accept a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating; provided the project achieves exceptional energy efficiency such that it scores in excess of 70% in the BREEAM Energy category.

Background to BREEAM

BREEAM awards credits for different environmental features which are combined to achieve an overall score. BREEAM compliant buildings are certified on a five-point scale of Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.

BREEAM is widely recognised both in the UK and internationally. It was launched in 1990 and is revised every 3-4 years to reflect developments in technology.

A BREEAM assessment uses recognised measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks for different building types, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use. The assessment covers a broad range of categories including energy, water use, health and well-being, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.