As the global construction industry now recognizes the importance and value of pursuing sustainable and environmentally friendly development projects, more and more builders are relying on BREEAM assessment services. Possessing unique skills and expertise, a BREEAM assessment plays a crucial role in the industry. Their everyday work helps 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, those responsible for BREEAM assessments write assessment reports for submission to BRE, register projects with BRE Global (depending on the scheme), and apply for certification on a client’s behalf. They can examine and evaluate a wide range of development projects, including refurbished or newly constructed commercial and public buildings, as well as 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 individual differs from that of a BREEAM AP (Accredited Professional). As discussed earlier, this person will generally assume 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 aspire to become involved in BREEAM assessments.
1. Who can be an assessor?
If you aspire to pursue a career in BREEAM assessment, relevant industry knowledge and experience are essential. This is one of the main reasons why many professionals in the construction sector are either already involved in this field or are seeking qualification. These professionals encompass real estate service providers, builders, designers, architects, and engineers. Energy and environmental consultants also excel in the role of BREEAM assessment specialists.
Someone involved in BREEAM assessments can also become a BREEAM AP and fulfill both roles. However, in this situation, they must be capable of identifying and managing potential conflicts of interest to prevent complications while ensuring the success of a project.
2. Obtaining the qualification and licence
To achieve qualification in this role, an individual must complete the appropriate training courses and successfully pass the corresponding exams. For example, there are distinct training programs available for both newcomers and those with experience, with a focus on new constructions, refurbishments, fit-outs, and other relevant schemes.
Once someone has acquired the required qualifications, their organization must enter into an agreement with BRE Global to obtain an assessment license for them. This license allows them to register, conduct assessments, and apply for certification. It also guarantees that BRE Global will publicly list them as a licensed participant.
3. Maintaining competency
Being involved in BREEAM assessments involves an ongoing learning process. As building technologies and processes evolve, and BRE schemes are constantly updated, those participating must continue to sharpen their knowledge and skills to stay competitive. This will enable them to fulfill their roles and responsibilities as accurately and efficiently as possible.
To ensure competency, those involved in assessments 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 gained global recognition, experts can conduct assessments worldwide, provided they meet certain requirements. To become an international specialist, candidates must successfully finish the BRE Academy’s BREEAM International New Construction Assessment training course. Subsequently, upon completing the course, they must pass the accompanying exam to acquire their international license.
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 assessment specialist holds a pivotal role in ensuring the sustainability and environmental compliance of your development projects. Consequently, selecting a dependable and extensively trained specialist becomes essential. Collaborating with a credible, well-informed, and seasoned BREEAM expert guarantees that your assessment outcomes will be both precise and unbiased, providing you with peace of mind.
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.