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Outlook A round-up of publications, research and technical news

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New BREEAM sweeps offices

breeam 98 for Offices is an updated version combining assessment of new and existing offices, writes Miles Attenborough of ecd Energy and Environment. This provides greater flexibility in benchmarking building portfolios, and means that buildings can be rated at any stage of their life. It can also be used as an auditing and reviewing tool within environmental management procedures.

breeam has become the industry standard for assessing environmental issues in buildings, setting out best practice criteria for building design and operation. bre-licenced assessors rate designs and management policies, with certificates of overall performance graded as 'pass', 'good', 'very good' or 'excellent'. Ratings can be adjusted as changes are made to design or management.

Improvements in the new version for offices include:

a weighting system for issues to ensure the targeting of efforts in priority areas at an early design stage, allowing issues to be addressed in an integrated, cost-effective way

comprehensive life-cycle assessment for material selection, including embodied energy, emissions, use of resources, recycled content/recyclability, and toxicity. This assessment is based on the bre/Post Office green guide - see opposite.

more emphasis on location and transport. (For some buildings, energy used by staff in commuting can equal the energy of building use)

most performance levels have risen, while means of meeting them are less prescriptive

Licensed assessors can offer early guidance on meeting the breeam criteria as well as final certification.

To commission a breeam assessment, or to become an assessor, contact the breeam office, at bre. Tel 1923 664462, fax 664103, Email breeam@ bre.co.uk.

'breeam 98 for Offices'. Roger Baldwin, Alan Yates, Nigel Howard and Susheel Rao. bre. From crc, 0171 505 6622. 36pp. £25.00; launch price £20.

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