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CO2 assessments for surgeries

Andrew Cooper explains environmental and energy benchmarking assessment for new surgeries.

BREEAM healthcare applies to all buildings housing medical facilities (Photograph: Newsteam.co.uk)
BREEAM healthcare applies to all buildings housing medical facilities (Photograph: Newsteam.co.uk)

The UK faces binding European targets to reduce CO2 emissions and energy shortages by 2016/17, and the NHS has its part to play in conserving energy and reducing CO2 emissions.

To demonstrate energy efficiency, a benchmarking system is used: the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).

BREEAM Healthcare applies to all buildings that contain medical facilities, including GP-owned developments. GPs working with their PCT to provide or extend surgery facilities are be expected to comply.

For a building where the capital cost exceeds £2 million, a BREEAM Healthcare rating is compulsory in England and Scotland.

For buildings costing less than £2 million a pre-assessment is still required.

In Northern Ireland the rating is compulsory for buildings costing more than £1 million. All buildings in Wales require an assessment.

Credit-based system
BREEAM uses a credit-based system. Percentage scores are given in 10 categories as well as an overall rating.

The 10 categories are: management, health and wellbeing, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, land use and ecology, pollution and innovation.

It is important to obtain a pre-assessment at the planning stages to avoid implementing costly improvements later to obtain the necessary BREEAM rating.

All healthcare projects are also required to achieve the travel plan credit covering public transport network connectivity, pedestrian and cyclist facilities, access to amenities, travel plans and information.

For existing buildings a self-assessment tool, BREEAM Healthcare XB, is available.

However, certification can be issued only after a licensed BREEAM Healthcare assessor has audited the assessment and sent a report to BRE Global, the administrator of all BREEAM schemes.

You can download a free BREEAM Healthcare manual at the BREEAM website.

Building Research Establishment www.bre.co.uk

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method www.breeam.org

NHS Sustainable Development Unit www.sdu.nhs.uk

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