What is BREEAM?

BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method.

BREEAM Assessments: BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and is recognised both nationally and internationally as a measure of a building’s environmental performance. It provides an environmental performance benchmark across 51 sustainability issues.


Why and when do I need it?

If you are working on a commercial project, you need to check if BREEAM is a requirement. Many Local Planning Authorities require BREEAM Assessment as part of planning.

What do I need to do?

To ensure you do not miss out on the important early BREEAM credits, it is imperative that you contact a BREEAM assessor as early as possible. If the design is already well underway, don’t worry, contact HRS and our BREEAM assessor will work closely with you to ensure that you can still achieve your target rating.

The earlier we talk, the sooner HRS can start helping you gain BREEAM credits and prevent delays or unexpected costs. HRS pride ourselves on open lines of communication, providing you with a proactive service, working with you as part of your team.

For more information please contact 0800 030 4391 / email:

IES Tap and BREEAM Tracker Plus logos

BREEAM Assessments – Project Management

HRS can use any project management system that you and your team are happy with, the popular ones that we have found our clients like to use are Tracker Plus and IESTaP.

There are many benefits to using software like the above, one of the main benefits is that it gives you your real time BREEAM score, and it gives a clear view of what credits are still required and what evidence is needed to ensure you achieve your BREEAM rating.

For more information on Project Management and related services, please contact 0800 030 4391 / email:

BREEAM SCORING Fully Fitted Shell Only Shell & Core Only
Management 12% 12.5% 11%
Health & Wellbeing 15% 10% 10.5%
Energy 15% 14.4% 15%
Transport 9% 11.5% 10%
Water 7% 4% 7.5%
Materials 13.5% 17.5% 14.5%
Waste 8.5% 11% 9.5%
Land Use & Ecology 10% 13% 11%
Pollution 10% 6% 11%
Innovation 10% 10% 10%

BREEAM Assessments – the benchmark for sustainable standards

Having a BREEAM rated building can be part of a local authority’s planning conditions, especially if you are working on an educational, healthcare or new government building. If you are not sure if you have a BREEAM requirement, ask your client or check planning, the earlier you know the sooner you can plan – don’t miss the early credits.

Only an accredited BREEAM Assessor can carry out BREEAM assessments. HRS has a full team of assessors, who regularly receive thanks from HRS clients for their proactive client focussed approach (click here for client endorsements).

BREEAM credits can be awarded across 51 sustainable issues. These are put into categories which will then be given an assigned credit(s) target weighting.

Please note that BREEAM Assessment criteria are tailored to the type of building that is being assessed. Part of HRS’s BREEAM Assessor role is to ensure that you achieve the maximum number of credits. To ensure HRS are able to do this, it is important that HRS are involved at the early stages (RIBA Stages 0,1 previously called A, B). (please click here for more information on RIBA Stages and gaining credits).

For more information about the ratings, credits, categories or building types, please click here or contact a HRS BREEAM Assessor on 0800 030 4391 or email


There are 3 BREEAM stages:
Pre-assessment »
Design Stage Assessment »
Post Construction Stage Assessment »

What this means to you and what you need to know
Regardless of what stage you have got involved in the project, if you have a project that requires BREEAM it is imperative that you contact a BREEAM assessor at the earliest possible stage, as unfortunately far too often HRS BREEAM Assessors have to inform our clients that they have missed out on the early credits because we were not working with them at an early stage.

Information on all the stages and what they entail can be found by clicking the link to the KNOWLEDGE Hub.

Benefits to having a HRS BREEAM Assessor at the pre-assessment stage and what they can do for you:

HRS BREEAM Assessor will listen to your requirements and discuss with the design/construction team, giving them advice on how credits can be achieved in the most cost-effective way.

An action plan is then put together, giving a list of what information is required and who is responsible for listed items, making it clear for all concerned from the start.

The HRS BREEAM Assessor is there to help and support you at every stage, and their aim is to get you the best possible BREEAM rating. (Please click here to see what other people have said about HRS BREEAM Assessors)

How you can earn Extra BREEAM Credits?

There is still much confusion when it comes to BREEAM, this often leads to many of the earlier BREEAM credits being missed which can then lead to the desired BREEAM rating not being achieved.

In addition to HRS having BREEAM assessors that will work alongside you throughout the life of your project, we also provide the following in-house services that can help you gain those much needed extra BREEAM credits.

Design Stage Credits:

  • Ecological surveys and reports including landscape and habitat management plan (up to 8 credits)
  • SBEM (up to 12 credits)
  • Flood risk assessment and surface water run-off calculations (up to 5 credits)
  • LZC feasibility study (1 credit)
  • Daylight modelling (up to 2 credits)
  • Indoor air quality plan (1 credit)
  • Passive design analysis (1 credit)
  • Life cycle costing (up to 3 credits)
  • Life cycle analysis (up to 2 credits)
  • Thermal modelling (1 credit)
  • Adaptability for a projected climate change (1 credit)
  • Acoustic design and consultancy (up to 5 credits)
  • Sustainability Champion (up to 3 credits)

Post Construction Credits:

  • SBEM (up to 12 credits)
  • Building User Guide (1 credit)
  • Post Occupancy Evaluation (1 credit)
  • Air tightness test plus thermographic survey (1 credit)
  • Acoustic testing (up to 5 credits)
  • Indoor air quality testing (1 credit)

Useful links:

Thermal Comfort Modelling »
Thermal Modelling »
Thermographic Surveys »
Indoor Air Quality Plan & Testing »
Acoustics »

For more information on any of the above services call 0800 030 4391 / email and one of the HRS team would be happy to help you. Budget costs for the above services can be provided on request.

Key to achieving your specified BREEAM rating:

Early Planning – don’t miss the early credits

Understanding – what BREEAM target has been set i.e. Good, Very Good, Excellent?

Mandatory credits – what are the mandatory credits for the rating needed?

Registration – i.e. registered under BREEAM 2011 or 2014?

Understanding how you can gain Extra Credits –  in addition to HRS having a team of BREEAM assessors to work along side you throughout the life of your project, HRS can also provide you with a range of in-house services to help you gain those much needed extra BREEAM credits.

For more information please contact a HRS BREEAM Assessor on 0800 030 4391 or email

BREEAM credits for acoustic performance are awarded under two issues, Hea 05 and Pol 05, concerning internal acoustic performance and the control of noise pollution, respectively.

Depending on the scheme type, up to four credits are available through achieving the requirements of Hea 05. One credit is available through Pol 05, and is not dependent upon scheme type.

In some instances, such as for school design, the requirements of Hea 05 can be met by working to the standards required for Building Regulations compliance. Other instances such as residential developments award credits on the basis of exceeding the baseline performance standards required by Building Regulations and will require specialist design input from an early stage.

To find out more about BREEAM requirements specific to your scheme call HRS, or view our spreadsheet detailing the specifics of the Hea 05 and Pol 05 credits.

BREEAM 2014 Hea 05 – BREEAM Credits by Building Type

Download Excel Spreadsheet »

Feasibility Study – Low and Zero Carbon (Ene 04 LZC)

What is a Feasibility Study and why should I have one?

A feasibility study can provide you with a much needed BREEAM credit. It is an independent energy study looking at all aspects of site, such as site location, building design and building materials. Recommendations are then put together detailing what can be done to achieve a low or Zero Carbon development.

HRS are Energy and BREEAM experts in sustainability, and so by asking HRS to carry out a feasibility study you would be ensuring that you achieve your BREEAM credit and that you are being made aware of the most appropriate, cost effective solutions in sustainable products. HRS keep up to date on all the latest developments in renewable energy sources so we can recommend the best ones for your project.

A feasibility study is mandatory to achieve BREEAM 2011 Excellent.

If you would like any advice, more information or a quote, please contact HRS, visit our KNOWLEDGE Hub or  request a quote.

0800 030 4391

“I‘d like to thank you for the drive that you have brought to this process, the strides that have been taken through the hard work shown has completed a tricky task in a short space of time.”
Site Manager, Willmott Dixon
“The BREEAM service was second to none, thank you again.”
Project Manager, Balfour Beatty
“Thank you very much, your help and patience regarding this project has been highly commendable.”
Design Manager, Robert Woodhead Ltd

HRS can provide you with a complete range of building environmental and sustainability services, meaning you can save time and money, avoid inconvenience and your risks are minimised.

From concept design stage to completion, HRS can work alongside you every step of the way. You and your project would be supported by HRS’s extensive knowledge that has been built up over 30 years, whether you need consultancy or on site advice and guidance, HRS’s large team of consultants and on site technicians are here to support you to make sure that your project hands over on time and within budget.

At HRS we believe strongly in being pro-active and customer focused, providing you with innovative cost-effective solutions.

All you need to do is make one phone call to 0800 030 4391 or email: sending one set of drawings stating what services you require, and HRS will take it from there.

Building and Enviromental Services from HRS

Case Studies & Gallery

Please hover over an image and click the ‘Link’ icon to view Case Study information, or Click the ‘Magnifying Glass’ icon to see a larger photo.

Relevant Accreditations

To see the wide range of accreditations that HRS Services hold, please visit our Accreditations page »

Need advice or a quotation? Give HRS a call on:
0800 030 4391 or email: