Sustainable HomesBREEAM / Code for Sustainable Homes Ecology Assessments

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) are industry quality standards that are used to assess the environmental performance of new and existing buildings.

BREEAM assessment methods cover a range of building types including offices, industrial buildings, schools, and multi-residential developments. For new housing, the assessment process is known as the Code for Sustainable Homes. It is now mandatory for all new homes to be assessed using the Code.

Credit points are available in both the BREEAM and CSH assessments under different disciplines, including ecology. The overall performance is then rated as ‘Pass’, ‘Good’, ‘Very Good’, ‘Excellent’ or ‘Outstanding’ depending on the number of credit points achieved. Funding for projects by Housing Associations, and Regional Development Agencies is frequently dependent on a project’s ability to attain a set BREEAM rating, or planning permission only granted if a minimum rating is achieved.

In both BREEAM and CSH assessments, credit points are awarded within an Ecology category. Some of these credits are only available following a site visit and production of a report by a Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE).

Acer Ecology can provide the SQE to undertake a site survey and produce a report assessing the current ecological value of a site, describing how features of ecological value can be retained and protected, and if possible, how the biodiversity value of the site can be enhanced after development. Acer Ecology is experienced in all aspects of ecological appraisal for BREEAM and CSH and can ensure that you gain as many points as possible.

Acer Ecology can also provide management plans to ensure the steps taken to benefit biodiversity are sustainable for at least five years of post-development.

Acer Ecology has a wealth of experience of BREEAM and CSH projects covering developments ranging from individual homes to large-scale housing schemes and commercial developments. We work in close association with landscape architects to develop sensible planting schemes which maximise the credit points available.

For more information call us on 029 2065 0331.

BREEAM Technical Manual 2011 Code for Sustainable Homes Technical Guide 2010