BRE Global, the company that hands out BREEAM green building certificates, has launched a new BREEAM Domestic refurbishment standard at the Housing 2012 exhibition, which opened in Manchester on Tuesday.
BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment is available for use on projects ranging from home improvements such as replacing windows and fitting new insulation, through to developments ranging in size from multiple to single dwellings.
BRE Global said that 'to ensure the new standard drives real change, the process has been independently peer reviewed and extensively trialled in a pilot scheme involving more than 200 properties.'
BRE went on: "The scheme has also been developed to align with the Government's Green Deal due for launch in autumn 2012 which will make grants available to householders to make energy efficiency improvement to their homes."
Carol Atkinson, chief executive of BRE Global, said: "The new scheme helps building owners and occupiers to save operating costs and reduce the environmental impact of refurbishments. It pinpoints those elements of the refurbishment that will bring the greatest returns and provides a methodology, software tool and certification for those responsible for the delivery of sustainable domestic refurbishment projects. As well as addressing overall sustainability issues, the scheme can help specific initiatives to tackle fuel poverty, reduce flooding and security risks, and enhance the health and wellbeing of tenants and householders. Certification under the scheme will provide market recognition for residential buildings that have had sustainable and higher quality refurbishments."
One of the projects involved in the piloting of the scheme was the refurbishment of the Cornbrook Court care home in Manchester, architect on the project.
Pozzoni said: "The economic downturn, coupled with increasing energy prices, has brought refurbishment and retrofit to the fore. We need to do everything we can to reduce the energy demand of our existing housing stock to deliver affordability. Measuring these improvements and ensuring the right works are carried out can only be done with an assessment method specifically designed for this purpose. The new BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment assessment method is a bespoke, robust tool to benchmark future refurbishments and has filled a gap in a growth sector."
The BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment technical manual is now available on the BREEAM website at www.breeam.org/domrefurb, along with case studies from some of the pilot projects. The scheme will be live for project registration on 2 July 2012, with the race already on for the first projects to gain certification under the scheme. Anyone wanting to qualify as a BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment Assessor can attend a training course – details of which can be found on the website.