New scheme will assess environmental performance of retail outlets

The assessment, which is currently used for assessing offices and industrial and residential buildings will rate the environmental performance of the construction and refurbishment of all retail premises.

Work has started on developing BREEAM Retail, a new version of the Building Research Establishment’s (BRE) Environmental Assessment Method for buildings, for out of town and high street shopping centres, stand alone shop units and units in malls and superstores. Around 400 major office buildings have been rated by BRE, the UK’s main centre for testing and information services in the construction industry, but until now only retail food outlets and out of town retail park developments were assessed in the retail sector.

BREEAM is now the world’s most widely used means of reviewing and improving the environmental performance of buildings including their consumption of energy, water and building materials and the health and comfort of their occupants. The scheme assesses buildings against a range of issues and awards credits where the building achieves a benchmark performance for each. The scheme being developed will cover the design, maintenance and management at both functioning and incomplete retail units.

“The resulting scheme will help those involved in the development, design, management and operation of retail premises too lessen their environmental impact and give them a marketing and competitive advantage,” said BREEAM manager, Alan Yates. “It will also help in achieving compliance with planning regulations, reducing risks from future environmental legislation, reducing utility costs, and meeting environmental management reporting requirements.

BRE aims to have BREEAM Retail developed, trialed and fully operative for launch in January 2003 for use by developers, planners, landlords and tenants and has been sponsored by leading companies such as the British Retail Consortium, Marks & Spencer PLC and Tesco. Since the scheme was launched in 1990 it has been increasingly accepted in the UK construction and property sectors as offering best practice in environmental design and management.

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