BREEAM Overview

BREEAM aims to reduce the negative impact of new and existing buildings on the environment. Find out how platform lifts can reduce your BREEAM score below.

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BREEAM Overview

BREEAM stands for “Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method” – a bit of a mouthful which BREEAM define as:

“The world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It addresses a number of lifecycle stages such as New Construction, Refurbishment and In-Use”

Founded in 1990, BREEAM was the world’s first sustainability assessment method for buildings – with new alternatives including LEED and Green Star. The main purpose of the scheme is to reduce the negative impact of buildings on the environment – as they make up around 40-50% of the worlds emissions.

A BREEAM advisor (called a BREEAM Champion) reviews your BREEAM rating and runs through the project with you to determine your score:

  • 1-10: Unclassified
  • 11-24: Acceptable
  • 25-39: Pass
  • 40-54: Good
  • 55-69: Very Good
  • 70-84: Excellent
  • 85+: Outstanding


What areas count towards BREEAM?

BREEAM is a self-assessment system whereby elements of a building design are given a score based on their sustainability features.

The categories that these fall under are shown in the table below, with the weighting/importance that they are given. Different types of building (new build, renovation, community) have minor differences in weighting.

Category Weighting (%)
Water 6%
Materials 12.5%
Waste 7.5%
Energy and Emissions 19%
Pollution 10%
Management 12%
Transport 8%
Land Use and Ecology 10%
Health and Wellbeing 15%

As the table shows, the most importance is placed on energy and emissions, so this is the key focus area. Platform lifts can help with your BREEAM requirements in a few areas.


BREEAM and Platform Lifts

When platform lifts are specified on a project, a total of 2 points are held against the platform lift under category “Energy Efficient Transportation Systems”. At present BREEAM only assesses the installation of conventional lifts, not platform lifts, that form an integral part of the building within the energy section.

Although this excludes platform lifts from the assessment criteria, if you specify a platform lift, the 2 points relating to the lift section are wavered reducing the total BREEAM target score by 2 points. This is because the platform lift is not a permanent part of the building structure.


How to improve your BREEAM score

Generally to improve your BREEAM score in any segment, the following will be required:

  • Ensuring lowest energy consumption product chosen of available options
  • Electronics and powered items to have a good/efficient standby mode
  • Local, non-hazardous, recycled/recyclable material use
  • Efficient or simple building construction methods
  • Efficient, simple management systems with low emission or energy use
  • Consideration of building occupants wellbeing – lighting, temperature, safety, comfort
  • Reduction of waste and consideration of future requirements to reduce landfill additions
  • Sustainable or renewable sources of energy, water and heat

Gartec platform lifts tick the boxes for most of the above requirements. Visit the BREEAM website for more information about BREEAM for all sorts of building projects.


BREEAM criteria for Platform Lifts

The following features and design criteria are relevant to the BREEAM assessment in relation to platform lifts:

  • First Impact: No hazardous materials are used in the lifts production and there is no hazardous emission in its use.
  • Installation: Installation does not involve environmentally unfriendly activities. No significant power is required.
  • Commissioning: Commissioning the platform lift does not result in any emissions or require any excessive power.
  • Power Usage: the lifts’ prime power source is a 3 phase 2.2 kW electric motor which is only energised when the lift is operating. Normal running current is 4.7 Amps. The lift is fitted as standard with ability to set the lift into a quiescent state after a settable interval following use. In this state the lift draws less than 10 watts.
  • Lighting: Impact is reduced by the use of LEDs in the lift.
  • Consumables: These are limited to lubricating oil and conventional cleaning materials for the lift. An automatic lubrication system is fitted that can be adjusted to prevent waste whilst reducing the possibility of over oiling and maintaining optimum low friction running conditions.
  • Lift Maintenance: A digital control system is fitted to the lift which allows rapid fault finding and can also be interrogated as an aide for efficient lift maintenance.
  • End Of Service: The platform lift contains virtually no hazardous materials, the vast majority is recyclable (steel). The power to dissemble is minimal as this can be carried out with the use of hand tools. If required the lift can be economically re-sited/relocated.
  • Life Span: Low total cost over the lifecycle of the lift. For normal usage the life expectancy of the major components is around 10 years.

Gartec platform lifts have been designed to fall into all of these, and create a lift that makes sustainability simple. To find out more about BREEAM assessments, please visit the BREEAM website or speak to your BREEAM Champion for specific site information