BRE names winners of its awards for environmental excellence

The BRE has announced the winners of its BREEAM Awards for 2008, recognising the highest-scoring buildings certified that year under its BREEAM environmental assessment method.

BRE Global's director of BREEAM, Martin Townsend, was to give out the awards in a ceremony at the 100% Detail exhibition.

He said: “These developments are good examples of extremely high standards, showing the great strides the construction industry is taking to progress and be recognised for environmental responsibility.”

In order to be considered for an award, a development must excel in every BREEAM environmental category and secure a BREEAM “excellent” rating.

Until last month “excellent” was the highest BREEAM rating available but, since the introduction on 1 August of BREEAM 2008, a higher rating has been created - “outstanding”.

Bill Gething, chair of the BRE Global sustainability board and RIBA sustainability adviser, said: “With standards being raised across the industry generally, it is good to see that BREEAM has responded by introducing the 'outstanding' category to reward projects at the cutting edge. This is a major step forward in the drive to learn from the best and to cut through the green wash by demonstrating how well projects do what they say on the can in practice.”

As with all BREEAM-rated buildings, the award-winning designs have been independently assessed and certified.

The award winners are:

BREEAM Bespoke

Matthew Hay Building, Aberdeen
Client: University of Aberdeen
Architect: Bennetts Associates
Main contractor: Mansell
BREEAM score: 76.19%

The 3,310m2 teaching accommodation for undergraduate and postgraduate students fell outside the standard BREEAM schemes, so a bespoke assessment was necessary. The building features a highly efficient facade incorporating fixed louvres to control solar gain and a mixed-mode ventilation strategy.


Cabot Circus, Bristol
Developer: The Bristol Alliance
Architect: Chapman Taylor LLP, Stanton Williams, Alec French, Wilkinson Eyre and Benoy
Main contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine
BREEAM score: 72.59%

The 140,000m2 mixed-use scheme includes over 140 shops and 25 restaurant or cafe venues. Low-energy features include LED lighting to the streets, and natural ventilation of the unconditioned streetscape which is claimed to save 5m kWh of energy a year - equivalent to the energy consumed by 450 homes.

Cabot Circus
Cabot Circus

BREEAM Schools

Eltham Hill Technology College, London
Client: London Borough of Greenwich
Architect: Hawkins Brown
Project manager: Arup
BREEAM score: 74.95%

Part of the government's Building Schools for the Future programme, the school is designed to reduce carbon emissions by 32% compared with Part L standards. It includes a natural ventilation strategy applied to classrooms and a sports hall with night-time cooling and effective use of thermal mass.

BREEAM Multi-residential

Lancaster University
Clients: Lancaster University and UPP
Architect: Goddard Wybor Practice
Main contractor: Norwest Holst
BREEAM score: 71.4%

A purpose-built development to provide 800 new affordable student residential rooms, it includes high levels of insulation and airtightness, while mechanical heat recovery ventilation units deliver fresh, filtered air to all habitable rooms, with 80% heat-recovery efficiency.

Lancaster University student halls
Lancaster University student halls

BREEAM Industrial

Costco Warehouse, Croydon
Client: Costco Wholesale UK
Architect: Broadway Malyan
Main contractor: Miller Construction (UK)
BREEAM score: 77.45%

This 13,000m_ cash-and-carry warehouse includes space heating and cooling by ground source heat pumps, permeable paving to large areas of hard standing as well as on site recycling of aggregate.

BREEAM Offices

DEFRA Headquarters, Lion House, Alnwick
Client: DEFRA
Architect: Frank Shaw Associates
Design and build contractor: Kier Northern
BREEAM score: 80.72%

This is a flagship ultra-low-emissions office building project for the government's environment department. It uses natural ventilation supplemented with mechanical displacement ventilation, photovoltaic collectors integrated into solar shading and visible display of rainwater and energy consumption.

DEFRA offices
DEFRA offices

BREEAM Fit-out

16 Noel Street, London
Developer: Morgan Lovell
Architect: Morgan Lovell
BREEAM score: 76.22%

The refitted office covers two storeys of a multi-tenanted, six-storey office block. Initial reports show that energy use has been cut by 11% compared with before the refit. This comes from more efficient plant and the installation of intelligent lighting. Car park spaces have been given up and the space used for cycle racks, while a travel plan has been developed to encourage greater use of public transport.

Code for Sustainable Homes

Tewitt Close, Illingworth
Developer: Bramall Construction
Architect: WSM
BREEAM score: 69%

The first real homes to be certified against the Code for Sustainable Homes, this development achieved a 44% improvement on standard building regulations, giving a level four rating. The homes incorporate solar panels for water heating, thicker, 300mm cavity walls for improved insulation and water-saving measures.