BREEAM and Intervest: working towards sustainable construction together
Intervest focuses on sustainable entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility, in line with stakeholder expectations. One of the ways we work to achieve this is to optimise our buildings using BREEAM, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.
What exactly does this involve? BREEAM assesses the sustainability of masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It does this through independent certification of sustainability performance according to a standard method, awarding ratings varying from one star (Pass) to five (Outstanding). We will explain how this works.
About BREEAM ratings
BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for buildings. No fewer than 425,000 buildings are currently provided with certified BREEAM assessments, with two million buildings registered since the introduction in 1990.
To gain those coveted five stars, you must meet a number of fixed and variable criteria defined by BREEAM. The method assesses the building on nine different sustainability-related topics. These include management, health concerns, energy, transport, water, material usage, waste management, ecology and pollution.
Why do this?
Naturally, your organisation strives to act in a manner that benefits society. A high BREEAM rating means you’re on the right track. This is certainly not the method’s only advantage, however! Your efforts to meet BREEAM standards can also be financially rewarding, thanks to grants that can ultimately result in a lower total investment than for buildings lacking the BREEAM label.
Standards and criteria
BREEAM sets the standard when it comes to sustainable building design, construction and development. This has resulted in the label’s rapid establishment as one of the most comprehensive, universally recognised models for the measurement of buildings’ environmental performance.
Rightfully so, as it encourages the design of buildings with lower carbon emissions and energy requirements, reducing the impact on the environment.
The BREEAM assessment is based on recognised criteria. A comparison to predetermined benchmarks is used to evaluate the specifications, design, construction and use of the building. The employed measures represent a broad range of categories and criteria, from energy to ecology.
Why do we use it?
Many different organisations take (or are obliged to take) the BREEAM rating into account. We provide an overview below.
Clients, planners, developers and creditors use BREEAM as a fast, comprehensive and readily understood way to quantify their buildings’ sustainability performance on the market.
Real estate agents use it to promote buildings’ environmental qualities and advantages to potential buyers and tenants.
Design teams use the method to improve their buildings’ performance and to increase their own experience and understanding of environmental sustainability factors.
Managers use it to reduce operating costs, calculate and optimise building performance, guide staff in improving their effectiveness, define action plans and to monitor and report on performance.
It’s clear to see; this is all very relevant to Intervest. “We do good things and do them right,” remember? We focus on our corporate responsibility in everything we do, considering both social and sustainability aspects. We strive to act with transparency and in an ethically responsible manner.
In other words, we assume responsibility for our own actions and behaviour. This is precisely why we are working so actively to both gain and constantly improve our BREEAM ratings.
We actively seek out ways in which to upgrade our buildings and achieve a higher BREAAM rating. Intervest recently launched a project to have our buildings qualify as “Very Good” on the BREEAM scale.
We started by creating baselines for several buildings, determined the current ratings and drew up an action plan for getting started. We began with eight buildings (three Greenhouses and five logistics properties); our ultimate intention is to implement this plan for our entire portfolio.
What are we doing?
We have investigated the light intensity in our buildings to discover whether there were any standards we were failing to meet. Measuring the lux helped us to determine where to install LED lighting. We also linked this lighting to motion and daylight sensors.
Furthermore, we are actively working on the provision of good cycling facilities. This means generous bicycle parking, but also lockers and showers. In this way we want to encourage more people to commute by bicycle.
Another major portion of the project focuses on energy efficiency and savings. We are performing very extensive renovations to the roofs (both new roofing and insulation) for improved sustainability as well as installing water-saving taps in all common areas and showers. And that’s not all. We are working to install solar blinds and renew our HVAC installations.
We are also implementing a measurement project to track the energy flows in our buildings in detail using a smart platform. The data are constantly recorded by digital meters and then scanned by an algorithm to detect usage anomalies. That means we can act more rapidly if something goes wrong.
Want to learn more about sustainability at Intervest?
Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to answer any questions. Want to learn more about Intervest’s focus on sustainable entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility? Find out all about it here!