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Even their roots are ‘green’

Since the inception of the ‘Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method’ in 1990, BREEAM has become recognised as the world’s longest running, and most widely used, third-party sustainability assessment method. Issuing over 560,000 certificates in over 80 countries worldwide.

We regularly work with project teams and principal contractors in contributing to several BREEAM credits; further maximising rating potential for many different projects. Often a key component of many internal fit-out projects, glass partitions and doors can affect the credits awarded for several BREEAM issues and consequently have influence on the final project ratings.

 

Listen to the specialist

Glass partitions and doors contribute to many BREEAM credits across different categories. For example, environmental impact of materials (Life Cycle Assessments), responsible sourcing of materials, reuse of materials, recycled content and others.

In addition, one key subject is the increasing awareness of health and wellbeing issues, such as indoor air quality. This is driving concerns to reduce, or eliminate, products that emit harmful chemicals into the internal built environment. For instance, these products include paints, adhesives and sealants.

Paul Gooden, our Environmental and Sustainability Lead states, “Clients and contractors are growing increasingly concerned with limiting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). In addition, these VOCs can have negative effects on human health. We provide full product and component information including data on VOC content and other health and environmental concerns including REACH statements. In addition, we track and report on the VOC content of products we use. Similarly, the installation of our products such as acoustic and fire-rated sealants are also tracked. Product data sheets and statements are provided to the contractor as part of any BREEAM submission.”

When working on a project…

It is fundamental to the success of any BREEAM project that sustainability is embedded into the earliest concept design stage and continued as a key driver throughout the detailed design and construction stages. It is not something that can be ‘bolted-on’ at the end of a project.

A BREEAM Outstanding rating is typically only achieved by the best 1% of all assessed buildings, demonstrating innovative design and construction quality. The decision to target such a rating requires the highest level of commitment, cooperation and design. Furthermore, construction excellence from the client, design team, contractor and sub-contractors.

We are proud to have contributed to both the award-winning Deloitte and Bloomberg projects that recently achieved this celebrated rating.

Most importantly, both environmental sustainability and human well-being issues were high on Deloitte’s agenda for 1 New Street Square. Further, setting the goals to achieve both BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Building Gold ratings at the start of the fit-out project. The importance of developing both the environmental and social sustainability of the workplace was a priority for the client. The intention of achieving these goals was hard-wired into the fit-out design and was continuously monitored during construction.

The Deloitte project successfully became the first UK project to simultaneously achieve both accreditations, receiving the world’s highest BREEAM rating (94%) in the process and also becoming the largest WELL Gold interior project at the time of certification.  This has now been overtaken by Bloomberg’s BREEAM Outstanding score of 98% .

We are proud to have contributed to both these major achievements through our product design, installation and provision of information across a number of credits and features to support the assessments.

We continually undertake work on projects targeting and achieving BREEAM Excellent ratings and demonstrating sustainability ‘Best Practice’, including AECOM, KPMG and Holloway Road projects.

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Our future with BREEAM

As an international company, we feel it is responsible to continue to develop and improve our environmental and sustainability performance in both our business operations as well as our products. Working closely with clients, our suppliers and the BREEAM standards allows us to consistently achieve high standards in environmental product reporting and identify opportunities to reduce the impacts of our products. One such example is the development of our new reusable Door Stillage Trolleys with increased carrying capacity, providing better protection to products, enabling fewer deliveries to construction sites and reducing transport emissions and congestion impacts.

In addition to being known for the quality of our partitioning design solutions, we are developing a reputation for reliability and cooperation through the provision of high quality robust BREEAM assessment evidence. This includes standard certifications such as ISO 14001 and FSC®. We also provide Environmental Product Declarations – describing the life cycle impacts of our partition and door products, VOC and REACH statements, and timber usage and delivery transport information. Individual Sustainability Statements are available for each partition product for the main assessment schemes including BREEAM.

“Moving forward I think we will see many more fit-outs going for higher sustainability credentials, and rightly so,” says Paul Gooden, previously a BREEAM assessor and design consultant with ten years’ experience. Furthermore, clients and businesses are seeing the benefits of achieving the highest BREEAM ratings in both environmental performance and reputational enhancements.

 

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