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Comparing the fit between BREEAM assessment and design processes

Schweber, L. ORCID: and Haroglu, H. (2014) Comparing the fit between BREEAM assessment and design processes. Building Research and Information, 42 (3). pp. 300-317. ISSN 1466-4321

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2014.889490


This paper explores the mapping of the environmental assessment process onto design and construction processes. A comparative case study method is used to identify and account for variations in the ‘fit’ between these two processes. The analysis compares eight BREEAM projects (although relevant to LEED, GreenStar, etc.) and distinguishes project-level characteristics and dynamics. Drawing on insights from literature on sustainable construction and assessment methods, an analytic framework is developed to examine the effect of clusters of project and assessment level elements on different types of fit (tight, punctual and bolt-on). Key elements distinguishing between types include: prior working experience with project team members, individual commitment to sustainable construction, experience with sustainable construction, project continuity, project-level ownership of the assessment process, and the nature and continuity of assessor involvement. Professionals with ‘sustainable’ experience used BREEAM judiciously to support their designs (along with other frameworks), but less committed professionals tended to treat it purely as an assessment method. More attention needs to be paid to individual levels of engagement with, and understanding of, sustainability in general (rather than knowledge of technical solutions to individual credits), to ownership of the assessment process and to the potential effect of discontinuities at the project level on sustainable design.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:36183
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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