Sustainable Checklists Amanda Gallagher Consultant, BRE Scotland
Introducing…. BRE • Extensive work with LPAs, regional bodies, developers and building professionals, • BREEAM Standards (Offices, Retail, Industrial, Bespoke, Schools) - over 220 licensed assessors in the UK • EcoHomes (HC and EP standards) - over 450 site assessments covering over 1150 dwellings (2004) • BRE Charette Service • Design Consultancy • Sustainability policy advice, guidance and checklists
BRE in Scotland Based in East Kilbride for over 30 years
Today’s session • Presentation • What is sustainability and is there a need for it? • What is a sustainability checklist? • What approach is most suitable? • Break out group: • How could sustainable checklists be implemented into projects and developments you are involved in at the moment? • Feedback/ Discussion
Why sustainability guidance? • Definitions are not always that helpful in practice: • Sustainable buildings definition (SBTG): “…as small an eco-footprint as possible, economic to run over its whole life cycle and fits well with the needs of the local community” • Need to define what you want to achieve in your context • Education, training and awareness raising • Means of assessing design options and applications • Level playing field for developers • Showing the future direction of policy
Who are Checklists for? • Development commissioners: - Prompts thought beyond the visible design and location. Should help to answer questions like: • What do you want from your building? • Will it operate easily, efficiently and economically? • What sort of contribution will it make to the wider community? • What happens when you have finished with the building? • What kind of statement are you making - what kind of organisation are you?
Who are Checklists for? • Developers / architects / design teams: - For the less sustainably aware in particular: • What is the range of issues to consider? • How are they linked together? • What standards and advice are out there? • What might decision makers expect? • What does good practice look like – marketing opportunities? • How can I do more – simple “wins”? • What might I have to consider in the future?
Who are Checklists for? • Planners / Decision makers - Especially where there may not be a broad range of expertise: • What issues should I consider? • What does good practice look like? • What has the developer said they will do? • How does the proposal perform overall? • How does it compare to other proposals? • Does it meet the requirements of my organisation / funders?
What can checklists cover? • Site choice • PPS25 • Development design and layout • Regional Sustainability Checklists / Climate Change Tool kits / DQIs • Individual building performance • BREEAM / Ecohomes • Elements of construction process • ICE Demolition Protocol • Procurement • The OGC Achieving Excellence Procurement Guide • Post-build operation and management • Action Energy guides … and any combination!
Types of guidance: • Four main types: • Simple information • Sustainability ticklist • Scored sustainability checklist • Scored guide
1. Simple information: Strengths: • Good information and teaching / training aid for all sectors • Provides information in non-threatening way • Can link systems (water, energy, waste) together • Does not restrict creativity of designers and architects Weaknesses: • Impossible to measure sustainability of development on level playing field • Whole design and planning application has to be reviewed – and each is different • No means of comparison
Simple information: • “Landscape features and greenspace associated with development should be considered as an integral part of the design process. As well as providing a setting for the buildings, landscaped areas and greenspace can provide useful areas for amenity and wildlife, infiltration areas for surface water and an opportunity to retain existing features such as trees and hedgerows.”
Simple information: Source: Leeds City Council
Simple information: Source: Ecohouse 2: Sue Roaf
2. Sustainability Ticklist: Strengths: • Presents everything for consideration • Easy reference for those who know what they are doing • Does not restrict creativity of designers and architects Weaknesses: • False sense of security - considering something does not mean it has been done well – or done at all! • Impossible to measure sustainability of development on level playing field • If used for assessment, do you reward for the most ticks? • What happens if it is not applicable? No commentary
Sustainability Ticklist: Source: HIE Guide to Sustainable Community Buildings
3. Scored sustainability checklist: Strengths: • Ensures everything is considered • Enables comparison of design options • Does not restrict creativity of designers and architects • Can look at performance on a range of issues to get overview • Can be audited Weaknesses: • Subjectivism can still creep in when no quantifiable standards. Needs to be transparent scoring and weightings • More time consuming to prepare - and to fill in, can require auditing • Not as good at joining elements up • Assessor needs to know if technologies / designs used will perform to the stated standard (or degrees of performance) • It scores what you need to address, but does not usually say how to do it
Scored checklist – sliding scale example: Source: London Borough of Enfield
4. Scored guide (composite of 1&3): Strengths: • Comprehensive – from policy through to scored objectives • Advantages of its composite types Weaknesses: • Size! • More time consuming to prepare - and to fill in • May replicate existing “how to” info – and cannot cover all eventualities
Scored guide: Source: Index21
Summary of guidance types: • Simple information “How to” and “why”holistic and educationalno measurement • Sustainability ticklist “Which issues have you looked at?”good for expertsno measurementfragmented • Scored sustainability checklist “What have you achieved in all these issues”more measurablecan be fragmented (needs to be quantified as far as possible) • Scored guide “What, why and how”holisticmore measurable (needs to be quantified as far as possible – people might not read all of it…)
Size matters! The larger the development, the more it has to take into account. Therefore the more guidance that needs to be provided, and the more questions that a developer needs to consider in their design answer in any checklist. Conversely, the cumulative impact of lots of small developments can be very large –eyesores, crime hotspots, floodwater, carbon emissions… They need guidance and checklists too! May need to “rural proof” quantitative standards
What we have learned in other work: • Checklists are an increasingly common approach. • SEEDA/BRE regional checklist recognised as part of the Sustainable Communities agenda – Egan Commission and SBTG recommended that it should be rolled out to all regions (extensive tailoring now underway in each region). • Developers will not fill them in unless required to – must be a level playing field. • Need to quantify what you want – or specify a process. Ecobuild conference reiterated this from both architects and developers. Level playing field issue again. • Minimum, good and best practice scoring enable higher standards to be easily specified for more sensitive sites.
Sustainable Checklists in Scotland • Organisations already using sustainable checklists -
Over to you Group Discussion – How could sustainable checklists be implemented into projects and developments you are involved in at the moment? Please make sure you capture your thoughts on the flipchart paper provided