As the global construction industry is now recognising the importance and value of pursuing sustainable and environmentally friendly development projects, more and more builders are relying on the services of BREEAM assessors. Possessing unique skills and expertise, a BREEAM assessor plays a crucial role in the industry. Their everyday work helps to promote the construction of more sustainable, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and usable development projects.
But what exactly is a BREEAM assessor? And what requirements must you fulfil if you wish to pursue this role?
The Role of a BREEAM Assessor
A BREEAM assessor will have undergone thorough training and, as a result, will have the necessary experience and authority to conduct assessments of projects or assets using measures or criteria established by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). They will gather evidence and rate buildings based on the following categories:
- Energy and water use
- Health and well-being
- Management processes
Furthermore, BREEAM assessors are responsible for writing assessment reports for submission to BRE, registering projects with BRE Global (depending on the scheme) and applying for certification on a client’s behalf. They can examine and evaluate a wide range of development projects, such as refurbished or newly constructed commercial and public buildings and multi-residential properties.
The Difference Between an Assessor and a BREEAM AP
Despite the similarities in terms of knowledge and expertise, the role of an assessor is different to that of a BREEAM AP (Accredited Professional). As discussed earlier, an assessor will generally take on the role of an “auditor”, evaluating and rating a project’s viability and sustainability based on established BRE criteria and guidelines.
Meanwhile, a BREEAM AP will primarily work as an “advisor” to builders and developers to help them meet their desired rating and sustainability goals. They are responsible for providing a builder’s design team with expert advice on key development areas, such as the sustainability of the built environment, environmental design and assessment. Moreover, an AP will help the team schedule activities, set priorities and carry out other essential tasks to achieve the target BREEAM rating.
Becoming a BREEAM Assessor
Similar to important roles in other industries, an applicant must possess the necessary skills and qualifications if they wish to become a BREEAM assessor.
1. Who can be an assessor?
If you want to become a BREEAM assessor, relevant industry knowledge and experience is essential. This is one of the main reasons why many professionals in the construction sector are either already an assessor or are looking to qualify as one. They include real estate service providers, builders, designers, architects and engineers. Energy and environmental consultants also make excellent BREEAM assessment specialists.
An assessor can also become a BREEAM AP and carry out both roles. However, in this scenario, they must be able to identify and manage potential conflicts of interest to avoid complications while ensuring a project’s success.
2. Obtaining the qualification and licence
In order to become a qualified assessor, an individual must take the appropriate training courses and pass the corresponding exams. For instance, there are separate training programmes for new and existing assessors focusing on new constructions, refurbishments and fit-outs, as well as other relevant schemes.
Once an assessor has obtained the necessary qualifications, their organisation must enter into an agreement with BRE Global to secure an assessment licence for them. This licence will enable the assessor to register, undertake and apply for certification of an assessment. It also ensures that BRE Global will publicly list them as a licensed assessor.
3. Maintaining competency
Being a BREEAM assessor involves a continuous learning process. As building technologies and processes evolve, and BRE schemes are constantly updated, assessors must continue to sharpen their knowledge and skills in order to remain competitive. This will enable them to perform their roles and responsibilities as accurately and efficiently as possible.
To ensure competency, assessors are advised to:
- Maintain their assessment licence.
- Secure and maintain professional indemnity insurance for specific scopes of work.
- Regularly demonstrate competency through retraining or via quality assurance audits of assessments previously submitted to BRE.
4. Becoming an international assessor
As BREEAM has now been recognised globally, assessors are able to carry out assessments all over the world, provided they meet specific requirements. To become an international assessor, candidates must complete the BRE Academy’s BREEAM International New Construction Assessor training course. Then, upon completion, they must pass the accompanying exam to obtain their international licence.
Although the BRE Academy’s training course has no formal requirements, it is suitable for designers and construction professionals.
Always Choose a Reliable BREEAM Assessor
A BREEAM assessor will play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability and environmental compliance of your development projects. For this reason, choosing a reliable and highly qualified assessor is vital. By working with a trustworthy, knowledgeable and experienced BREEAM professional, you can have peace of mind knowing that the results of your assessments will be both accurate and impartial.
If you require expert advice from a BREEAM assessor or AP, our team at Encon Associates will be only too happy to help. Simply contact us at your convenience and we will provide you with all the professional assistance and guidance you need to achieve your target BREEAM rating and ensure your project’s sustainability.