BREEAM In-Use – Version 6 update

BREEAM In-Use – Version 6 update

BREEAM In-Use – Version 6 update 563 563 Greengage Environmental

Earlier in the year the BRE launched its updated BREEAM In-Use (BIU) Version 6, replacing the 2015 version with a new and improved environmental standard for existing buildings.

Version 6 introduces a host of new and improved features including an increased emphasis on resilience to climate change, social value and circular economy principles. With an eye of filling a niche in the industry, Version 6 also introduces a new technical manual for existing Residential assets.

The update sees a revision to the BREEAM In-Use certification cycle, streamlining the process with an emphasis on delivering the value more efficiently. It will also allow the BREEAM In-Use scheme to better respond to market drivers and align with other certification and reporting systems.

In this article, one of Greengage’s BREEAM In Use Assessors, Sam Luker, summarises the key changes.

Operational Update

The certification cycle within Version 6 has been updated to increase the length of the initial certification period to 3 years and to provide flexibility to modify an assessment whilst the assessment is certified. Increased flexibility with Version 6 allows:

  • The modification of an assessment whilst the assessment is certified,
  • The ability to increase the length of the certificate’s validity, and
  • Enhance performance of the asset throughout if desired.

Transition from 2015 to Version 6

Registrations for BIU 2015 can still be made for up to a year after the launch of Version 6. The timing of the registration or re-certification will dictate which scheme can be used.

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Updates to Part 2 and Part 3

Part 2 has been renamed as ‘Management Performance’ (previously ‘Building Management’) to better reflect its aim and overall purpose. Part 3 has been excluded from the updated Version 6 scheme, with Some of the criteria within Part 3 (Occupier Management in BIU 2015) merged into the updated Part 2.

Introduction of ‘Resilience’ & ‘Resources’ categories

Two new categories, Resilience and Resources, have been introduced in the updated scheme which will replace the Materials and Waste categories in the BIU 2015 scheme.

The new Resilience category validates the recognition that resilience is becoming a key aspect in understanding the sustainability of a building. This category encourages the consideration, and consequently, proactive management of any physical or climate-related risks to the asset.

Similarly, the addition of the new Resources category acknowledges the importance of the move towards a circular economy in the built environment.  An element that is becoming a key aspect in understanding the sustainability of a building. BIU Version 6 has brought the issues previously in the ‘Materials’ and ‘Waste’ categories together into a single ‘Resources’ category to better address these circular economy principles.


Significant updates to the ‘Health & Wellbeing’ & ‘Energy’ categories

The Health and Wellbeing category has been updated within BIU V6 to ensure that these reflect current good and best practice for existing buildings. Further guidance has been added in order to make the question set more robust and to provide clarity. Different performance levels have been introduced to many of the existing assessment issues.

The Energy category was comprehensively reviewed as part of the Version 6 update to:

  • Reflect current good and best practice for existing buildings,
  • Improve the accuracy of the assessment,
  • Extend the scope of energy efficient features and practices,
  • Update the energy benchmarks as well as the associated carbon factors,
  • Introduction of new issues for both Part 1 and Part 2.
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Category weightings

An update to the weightings has been included as part of the overall Version 6 update. The new weightings are outlined in the table below:


Introduction of minimum standards & exemplary-level credits

As part of the update, the minimum standards have been reviewed for Version 6 and, where necessary, new minimum standards have been introduced.

Additionally, exemplary-level credits have been introduced in the updated scheme to recognise developments that go beyond best practice in a particular aspect of sustainability.

If you would like to find out more information, please contact Sam Luker.

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