This new BREEAM scheme helps planners and developers to improve, measure and independently certify the sustainability of development proposals at the planning stage.
In the drive to improve the sustainability of our built environment, there is now a strong focus on communities – especially communities in which people can work, shop, learn and play near their homes, and not have to drive miles from residential areas to distant business districts, shopping centres, schools and other facilities.
BREEAM Communities targets the planning stage of developments, and assesses the eight categories that are used in the Regional Sustainabilty Checklists and already familiar to many local authorities and developers. These are:
- Climate change and energy - flooding, heat island, water effciency, sustainable energy, site infrastructure.
- Community - promoting community networks and interaction, involvement in decision making, supporting public services, social economy and community structure, and community management of the development.
- Place making - efficient use of land, design process, form of development, open space, adaptability, inclusive communities, crime, street lighting/light pollution security lighting.
- Buildings – EcoHomes / BREEAM or Code for Sustainable Homes.
- Transport and movement - general policy, public transport, parking, pedestrians and cyclists, proximity of local amenities, traffic management, car club
- Ecology – conservation, enhancement of ecology, planting.
- Resources – appropriate use of land resources, environmental impact, locally reclaimed materials. water resource planning, refuse composting, noise pollution, construction waste.
- Business – competitive business, business opportunities, employment, business types.
The scheme provides a dialog tool that will assist in order to independently measure and certify the overall potential sustainability of a developer’s masterplan proposal during the planning stage of the development control process.