fishing for BREEAM

So I hear that BREEAM is to be pronounced as in the fish not as some 1950’s airline (BREE-AM). When did this happen – and is it a clever piece of viral marketing to give BREEAM a lift?

BREAM is never far from discussion in the work that I do, and over the last two weeks has cropped up as usual, but its mention has raised a number of worrying thoughts in my mind.

Firstly on a workshop, discussing the need for BREEAM on a new project, the comments, how “we know all about BREEAM, just means we will have more cycle sheds” “nothing to do with us its a design thing”.  And there was the genuine perception that nothing different need be done.

Secondly, I have talked or communicated with three people, all UK based, who are taking the LEED assssor course. The reason, mentioned by all was that their clients are starting to look at LEED as an alternative to BREEAM . This led, on one occasion to a discussion between the two, with the conclusion that LEED postively encourages innovation more so than BREEAM and encourages or enables more collaboartively working across the project teams to acheive the standard.

A while ago I posted an item cracking the codes relating to the USA Architecture 2030 movement which undertook a study of all the USA based codes in relation to achieving the 2030 objectives, and highlighting the gaps – the codes or standards didnt quite go far enough.

I would love to see a similar mapping exercise in the UK – a gap analysis betwen all of our codes (and I would include BRREAM, Regs, Considerate Contractors etc ) against the objectives set for the sector – (CSH, Construction Strategy, proposed Code for Sustainble Non-Doms etc).

Related posts:

on the future of sustainability standards

out breeam’d ?

blue is the colour…

For those who have asked “why blue” for the Architecture 2030 No Coal campaign, here is the response from Peter over at BYOBlue:

Blue is for clear, clean skies without coal!

The genesis of this theme also comes from the Earth Day Network “Sky Petition” which Architecture 2030 collaborated on, demanding that (the US Congress):

1. Impose an immediate moratorium on the building of all new conventional coal-fired power plants, and require a phase out of 30 percent of existing coal plants by 2030.

2. Require that all utilities generate 30 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.

3. Require that all new buildings, renovations and developments immediately reduce fossil-fuel energy consumption by 50 percent, and that all new buildings become ‘carbon neutral’ by 2030.

4. Protect the poor and middle class from unfairly bearing the cost of solving the climate crisis.

(thanks Peter)

Meanwhile here in the UK, in Sundays Observer Climate Change special edited by Thom Yorke of Radiohead

  • Drax coal power station emits more CO2 than the 100 least industrialised countries – combined – (22.8 million tonnes annually)
  • Burning fossil fuels for electricity contributed one quarter of the worlds CO2 emissions
  • It was the closure of coal mines that enabled Britain to meet Kyoto reduction pledges
  • There is enough CO2 in coal to take us far beyond the danger level of creating a different planet ( James Hansen, Nasa)

Consider all this in the context of the built environment – the demand it places on energy from coal powered stations and the energy it wastes through poor design, construction, maintenance and the slow speed in which we seem to be moving to low carbon thinking …