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BREEAM news and happenings

by Mel Starrs on September 11, 2006

in BREEAM

I hate when blogs apologise for not having posted in a while, so I won’t. I’ve done a little housekeeping around the site – an upgrade to WordPress (my blogging tool) and a new RSS feed button (above and on my sidebar). If anything is broken, let me know. Now back to the regular posting:

A BREEAM flavoured post to set the week off.

I like to keep an eye on which companies offer BREEAM and what they offer. There has recently been a flurry of newcomers to the fold recently, including Robinsons Architects, Watkins Payne, Blackpool Council, Greenwich University, Brian Warwicker, Barton Wilmore and Ferguson Brown.

Ferguson Brown’s BREEAM is headed up by Matt Grace (ex-Scott Wilson and I believe ex-BRE) and they are offering Offices and Industrial. Located in London and Bristol, their website isn’t quite up and running yet and it looks like a fairly new company (incorporated at Companies House 6/3/06). I’m beginning to see more small independent companies offering BREEAM.

Incidentally Scott Wilson have a new website, and under ‘career’ have a section called ‘Joy of Engineering’. What exactly are they trying to say?
Others have extended their capabilities – generally adding schools to their offerings.

Interestingly, two contacts have been added for Gifford – they do appear still to have assessors in Southampton and Manchester. The bizarre sponsored link thing is still going on though.

BREEAM is becoming easier and easier for independent consultants to offer as a service. First the requirement for a second signature on reports was removed earlier this year (meaning the QA system was now more akin to EcoHomes). Secondly, it is now proposed that report templates will be mandatory by 1 November 2006. We have also been promised a new logo. The assessor meeting is at the beginning of October, so no doubt all this will be expanded on then.
The expansion is obviously being driven by the increasing number of authorities requiring BREEAM as a planning or other requisite. I am interested in investigating what the geographic location of each assessor currently is. The BRE spreadsheets are organised by company rather than assessor, so it can be hard to gauge where they are based. From both a competition and recruitment point of view, this information would be very useful. The geographic reach of most offices is generally within 50-100 miles, depending on local infrastructure (although I have personally ventured as far as the northernmost coast of Scotland). I’m investigating generating a google map using EditGrid but have run into some problems with postcode recognition. If I get it working I’ll publish it.

Finally, news that BREEAM is expanding into the Middle East – buildings in the region are not the most likely candidates for low energy exemplars given indulgences such as ‘The World’ at Dubai, but if any more proof was needed that sustainability is flavour of the month, look no further.