UK building refurbishment and fit-out projects to become more effective courtesy of the BRE

Energy management and efficiency, as well as long-term sustainability across UK building refurbishment and fit-out projects are likely to receive a much-needed support from the BRE via it latest assessment tool, the BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit-Out 2014.

The scheme’s flexibility derives from a new four part modular approach, giving a range of certification options. Part One deals with the building fabric and structure, Part Two is concerned with core services (e.g. centralised M&E plant), Part Three deals with local services and Part Four with interior design. Refurbishment and fit-out projects can be assessed against one or all of the four parts, or any combination, depending on which are relevant to a particular project.

The scheme also introduces assessment criteria that have been adapted for refurbishments and fit-outs, to reflect the split between tenant and landlord responsibilities and the limitations and opportunities for improving existing buildings. It sets new performance benchmarks that reward improvements to the poorest performing buildings, whilst also giving recognition for buildings that already perform well. There are also a number of new criteria aimed at making existing buildings fit for the future such as issues focusing on climate change resilience and functional adaptability.

“This new scheme comes at a really important time where there is an increasing focus on non-domestic retrofit” says Gavin Summerson, Future Products Manager at BRE Global. “This is driven by minimum EPC targets for the private rented sector as well as the need to drive down operating costs and reduce risk for aging property portfolios.”

The new scheme has been tailored to take account of the challenges of improving existing buildings ensuring projects are assessed against the issues that each project can reasonably be expected to influence and not on factors outside of their control. However this does not mean it is easy – stretching targets focus on getting project team to work together to meet requirements for issues such as the re-use of materials on site”.

Efficient and effective Building Energy Management Systems are capable of delivering extensive monitoring and control options, compared to basic controls. They typically employ data from a variety of sources (boiler flow and return sensors, internal and external temperature sensors, occupancy sensors, humidity sensors, etc.), and enable the perfect optimization of a building’s boiler-based central heating system.

If you’d like to find out more about the savings enabled by the HeatingSave Building Energy Management System, just contact our dedicated product team, they’ll be more than happy to answer all of your questions and queries.

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