In 1990, the UK created the Building Research Establishment‘s Environmental Assessment Method. This resulted in more than 250,000 building certifications and more than a million registered BREEAM certification schemes.

What is BREEAM?

BREEAM is a sustainability assessment method for planning building projects and infrastructure. Using third party certification, BREEAM will rate your project based on how:

  • It can enhance the wellbeing of its occupants
  • It can help protect the community’s natural resources
  • It can be attractive as a property investment

What are the BREEAM criteria and the credits you need to achieve?

1.    Health and wellbeing

The glass windows and doors you install can help you obtain seven credits under the health and wellbeing category.

  • Daylighting – The glass materials should ensure that at least 80% of the building’s floor area receives enough daylight. Glass is also used as doors and partitions, both outside and inside the buildings. It’s an essential material that maximises the natural light input.
  • View out – The building’s working space and desks must be within seven metres’ distance of a window or permanent opening with an adequate view. While glass is transparent by nature, you can customise your choice based on:
    • Colour
    • Degree of reflection
    • Light transmission
    • Neutrality
  • Glare control – To obtain this specific BREEAM credit, the building’s glazed doors, roof lights, and windows must be equipped with a user-controlled shading system.
  • Volatile organic compounds – Since glass and glazing are considered inert materials, it’s unlikely that they’ll release any VOCs.
  • Thermal comfort – You can obtain two credits for this category:
  • The building should provide thermal comfort in both winter and summertime.
  • The second credit will require the presentation of the building’s thermal modelling and analysis.

The use of high-performance glass and glazing windows can greatly contribute to the occupants’ thermal comfort both in summer and winter.

  • Acoustic performance – Glass windows, doors, and roofs can significantly reduce outside noises, such as loud music or traffic.

2.    Energy

Many high-quality glass materials used for windows, facades, and skylights are layered with energy-efficient coatings. This category is essential since it helps you obtain 15 BREEAM credits.

3.    Materials

According to this article, your material is one of the key factors in a BREEAM assessment. You can obtain credits for the following:

  • Materials specification – Construction materials, including glass and glazing, should have low environmental footprints during the entire building’s life cycle. To determine if you have earned the credits, make use of the following tools:
  • Carbon Footprinting tool
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Responsible sourcing – The calculation is based on four levels of sourcing responsibility.

4.    Waste

This category aims to encourage the use of recycled construction materials. You can obtain BREEAM credits by proving that the recycled glass cullet was added to the finished glass products.

5.    Innovation

You can obtain a maximum of 10 credits for innovation if the building can meet the required performance criteria for existing BREEAM issues. For instance, you can have one innovation credit if your daylighting assessment is above the standard requirements.

Conclusion

Glass windows, doors, and sky roofs can help you obtain plenty of credits during BREEAM assessments. Glass materials can also qualify in various categories, including health and wellbeing, energy, materials, waste, and innovation. You can quickly determine the likelihood of your glass products passing the assessment. Check and see if your items can pass the requirements.

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