BREEAM and BIM, perfect partners for the sustainable build

According to the Building Research Establishment (BRE) “the key input to the BREEAM assessment process is building and building related data.” BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a sustainability assessment method that is used to masterplan projects, infrastructure and buildings. It sets standards for the environmental performance of buildings through the design, specification, construction and operation phases and can be applied to new developments or refurbishment schemes.

BIM provides a clear structure for the storage, accessibility and formatting of data and increases the potential for informed collaborative decision making compared to previous working practices. One of the principle opportunities that BIM affords a BREEAM assessment is the potential it offers for digital building data to be processed and analysed to determine performance. Benchmarking the procurement, design, construction and operation of a development against the range of categories within the BREEAM assessment brings consistency of approach across all disciplines and allows for collaboration across international borders. The Code for a Sustainable Built Environment, of which BREEAM is a part, consists of a set of strategic principles and requirements which define an integrated approach to all aspects of construction across the full life cycle of the built environment. BIM is again a key component to the implementation of all aspects of the code.

In 2010 a UK government-funded project resulted in a data structure and protocol for product libraries used to populate embodied carbon numbers. Discussing this work Ben Stubbs associate director at Faithful and Gould said “We expect to see ‘BIM-enabled’ BREEAM assessments with the data inputted by different design team members providing direct evidence of compliance against specific BREEAM issues such as materials, waste or water. The role of our BREEAM assessors could change significantly. It should also be possible to incorporate responsible sourcing data relating to specific products and materials”.

Developing an IT infrastructure that supports effective BIM execution plans designed to achieve the goals discussed by Stubbs is made easier by Driving Vision’s partnership with Plannerly. As a BIM management platform for real time collaboration, Plannerly interacts with standards bodies such as BRE to produce better outputs. End users then have instant access to standards and can share real-time feedback and ideas for improvement. Working with Plannerly's cloud-based tools for architects, engineers, construction companies and building owners simplifies BIM planning, execution and monitoring. It improves collaboration and communication maximising efficiency while minimising cost. Get in touch for a demonstration and to learn more about Driving Vision and Plannerly.

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