Environmental Assessments For Buildings
Environmental assessment schemes for buildings include BREEAM and LEED.
BREEAM – The Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method, is widely used in non-domestic buildings.
LEED – LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is another assessment method for non-domestic buildings. It was developed in the USA by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
BREEAM has 10 assessment categories. Credits are awarded in each along with a set of environmental weightings to produce an overall score.
Our products can contribute to compliance in the following sections of BREEAM:
Our products can contribute to wall and floor solutions to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.
Health & Well-being
Our blocks can be used to construct walls that provide enhanced levels of sound insulation to suit the needs of different buildings.
There is now an urgency to design and build structures that can cope with predictions for future climate change. It is therefore entirely appropriate to consider passive technologies that can be used instead of energy-intensive air conditioning.
As a result, design teams are increasingly incorporating the use of thermal mass into their structures. All of our products have the potential to contribute to a BREEAM-compliant solution that can prevent overheating and provide a more comfortable internal environment. However, the benefit of thermal mass can be maximised by using fair-faced products. These products provide high thermal mass and are better able to thermally interact with the surrounding environment.
The Materials section of BREEAM can be supported by our products as follows:
Environmental impacts from construction products: Credits can be gained from Environmental Performance Declarations, which are available for our whole product range.
Responsible sourcing of construction products: Credits can be gained based on the BSI-certified Responsible Sourcing scheme to BES 6001.
Basic Operating Principle
For non-domestic buildings, a sustainable solution to combat the risk of overheating is to use high thermal mass elements together with night cooling.
This approach, also known as fabric energy storage (FES), typically focuses on the building’s thermal mass, which is optimised by using fair-faced blockwork as well as exposed concrete floor slabs. The walls and floors absorb heat, helping to reduce overheating and ensure a more stable internal temperature. Night-time cooling purges the stored heat from the walls and the slabs, preparing it for the next cycle.
The below publications provide authoritative information on the benefits of incorporating thermal mass into a structure:
- Thermal Mass Explained – Thermal mass: What it is, how it is used, and how it is measured. Reference TCC / 05/11.
- Thermal Mass – A Concrete Solution for the Changing Climate. Reference TCC / 0505.
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