Industry voices concern at 2013 launch date of standard for non-domestic buildings

The launch of a BREEAM standard for retrofit in non-domestic buildings has been delayed by a year.

At the launch of its most recent iteration of BREEAM for new buildings in July last year, the BRE said that it would develop the standard by 2012. But it is now not expected to be ready until mid to late 2013.

Gavin Summerson, manager of BREEAM Refurb at the BRE, said it had taken longer to develop the standard than expected. “I think people would like it to be fully tested,” he added.

But Sunil Shah, director at consultant DPP, complained that it left only the 2008 BREEAM standard applicable to refurbishment projects, which he pointed out was not much higher than current Building Regulation requirements.

“It makes a mockery of what BREEAM standards are,” he said.

He added that the delay made it challenging to benchmark refurbishment projects against new build projects because of the differing metrics in different standards.

Sarah Cary, head of sustainability at British Land, said: “It [the delay] does cause some areas of concern; for example, knowing what to include in policy documents.”

She added that she wished the BRE had been more engaged with the industry when the standard was in its development stage.

Partick Brown, assistant director at the British Property Foundation, said: “From a marketing perspective, it is a source of some irritation that there’s a delay, but from a technological perspective there are other standards you can use in the meantime.”