Introducting BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit-Out

BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit-Out is a new scheme, unveiled in October 2014, that sets out to help improve the sustainability and environmental performance of existing buildings.

The scheme allows developers, owners and occupiers to save running costs and demonstrate their environmental credentials

Refurb and fit-out covers such things as energy, water, pollution, materials, waste, health and wellbeing, and management. Included in that remit are things like green roofs, living walls and landscaping.

Aims of BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit-Out

The UK is comitted to cutting CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. That's a lot! and it includes emissions from housing as well as from schools, hospitals, offices, industry and vehicles. An estimated 78% of current UK homes will still be here in 2050 it is important that they will all be as energy efficient and environmentally sustainable as possible.

The new scheme aims to highlight the importance of a whole range of issues and to encourage people to futureproof their properties by

  • Identifying sustainability issues ie using long-lasting materials from sustainable sources and ensuring that they are easy to maintain
  • Tackling fuel poverty - oil and gas are running out. Our homes need to use as little energy as possible, which means better insulation, better use of natural light, and more efficient appliances
  • Reducing the risk of flooding - maximising the use of rainwater storage and natural drainage - these are one of the biggest benefits of a green roof
  • Support initiatives to enhance the health and wellbeing of occupants. Green space, landscaping, living roofs and living walls all have strong associations with improved wellbeing.

Gavin Somerson from The Building Research Establishment said BRE hoped the new scheme wouldencourage more people involved in retrofits and refurbishments to gor for BREEAM accreditation. "We've included criteria to get people to consider biodiversity. That might be things like green roofs and green walls, and how you can improve the landscaping around a building. There's a lot of opportunity to bring biodiversity into existing landscapes."

Supporting new standards for the private rented sector

The new scheme has been driven by new minimum EPC standards for the private rented sector which come into force from April 2018. From then, it will be unlawnful to let properties with low energy efficiency.

For More Information

BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment leaflet

Benefits of green roofing

Green roof costs vs benefits