Every year at EcoBuild, the UK's Building Research Establishment announces awards for the highest scoring buildings certified under BREEAM. This year, the awards were given out to everything from shopping centers to industrial parks, schools, and even prisons! These buildings showcase the best in environmental design, demonstrating that any building can be beautiful and green. So which one's were our favorites? Read on to find out!
In order to receive a BREEAM Award, a project must meet rigorous green building standards and achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating or higher. As anyone who has been through a BREEAM assessment will certainly tell you, that is no easy feat.
First up is the Centrum Galerie, the largest shopping center in Dresden, Germany. It also has the distinction of being the first building in Germany and in continental Europe to be awarded a BREEAM Excellent rating.
Amongst its achievements are a comprehensive lighting and energy saving mode. More importantly, daylight is used as much as possible. The high-quality design of the building means that it can achieve a 40% improvement over Germany’s 2004 green building requirements. In addition, the center has a substantial green roof and a comprehensive transport plan. This project shows that good building design and commercial priorities can clearly work hand in hand.
Another of our favorite BREEAM award winners is the British Embassy building in Berlin, which opened in the summer of 2000. This high performance building signifies a commitment by the British Government to green all of its UK foreign and Commonwealth offices. To measure the embassy’s built performance, BRE launched BREEAM In-Use. Thanks to Johnson Controls, the building’s facilities managment, the building was awarded a ‘Very Good’ rating in the scheme, making it the first project outside the UK to achieve this rating.
Rogiet Primary School in Monmouthsire is a single-storey timber-framed building that features good access to daylight, responsibly-sourced timber, rainwater harvesting, solar hot water, and a very clever heating and cooling system.
G.Park Blue Planet was the first building in the world to score a BREEAM Outstanding rating, the highest honor a building can achieve in the BREEAM scheme. The project is powered by a biomass plant with photovoltaics providing additional power. As if that were not enough, kinetic plates are located within the internal roads of the site. Water-wise, the project features a rainwater recycling roof that will aid in the creation of additional wetlands on-site. To top it off, all waste will be recycled on-site.
Another BREEAM Outstanding project is the new Cardiff office of Stride Treglown. The project achieved a 55% improvement in energy efficiency over building code thanks to roof mounted photovoltaics and a biomass boiler that is used for heating. The project is naturally ventilated, comes with a green roof, and has full cyclist facilities for staff. The toilets use greywater and contain a number of other water efficiency measures. To maximize its green credentials, the project will be created with materials that qualify for the BRE Green Guide Grade A or A+ rating.
For more information on these projects, and other award winners, check out the BREEAM website.