Flood Risk Assessments for BREEAM


What is BREEAM?

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a sustainability assessment methodology that is used to plan and oversee projects, infrastructure and buildings. It establishes standards for the environmental performance of buildings during the design, specification, construction, and operation phases and can be applied to both new developments and refurbishment projects.

The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) evaluation must include a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA). It is a thorough assessment of the risk of flooding at a location where development is being considered, taking into account both the probability of flooding and any potential negative effects on people, the environment, and property.

The Purpose of a Flood Risk Asssessment for BREEAM.

The purpose of a flood risk assessment for BREEAM is to pinpoint any possible dangers connected to a construction project, and include management strategies for lowering the risk of flooding.

The location of the planned development should be investigated, with reference to any relevant flood risk information, such as flood maps, models and any historical data. All potential causes of flooding, including groundwater, surface water, and flooding from rivers and the coast, should be evaluated. The risk should be assessed and determined, also considering factors such as the site topography and elevation, distance from watercourses and any existing drainage systems.

The next step is to establish how flooding could impact the planned development, and how it might affect the occupants, the environment, and the property.

Following the risk assessment, mitigation measures for managing the flood risk are proposed, which may include flood prevention techniques like installing flood barriers, or using sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to control surface water flow. Alternately, the suggestions might concentrate on lessening the effects of flooding, like the use of building materials that are flood recoverable, or the provision of flood warning systems.

The possible effects of climate change on flood risk are taken into account in BREEAM flood risk assessments. Flood risk is set to increase with climate change, and therefore the assessment must also consider future flood risks, and if the development will be safe across its expected life span. This may include aspects such as increased river flows, rainfall, or sea level rise.

Building Regulations: BREEAM certification is not required for building regulations, however, can assist in demonstrating suitable energy efficiency and water conservation.

Planning Permission: Some local authorities may require new developments to achieve a certain level of BREEAM certification as a condition for planning permission.

Government Funding: In some cases, government funding for building projects may be contingent on achieving a certain level of BREEAM certification.

European Directives: The European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) requires member states to establish minimum energy performance requirements for buildings. BREEAM certification can help buildings to comply with these requirements.

Local Standards: Some local authorities have established their own sustainability standards and require buildings to achieve a certain level of BREEAM certification to comply with these standards.

In conclusion, a flood risk assessment for BREEAM is a thorough analysis of the flood risk connected to a location of potential development. The assessment takes into account all possible flooding causes and assesses how they might affect people, the environment, and property. The risk of flooding is then reduced using suggestions that take into consideration how climate change may affect future flood risk. Developers can contribute to sustainable development and lessen the likelihood of damage and harm from flooding by performing a flood risk assessment for BREEAM to make sure their developments are resilient to flood risk.

Should your BREEAM project need a Flood Risk Assessment, do not hesitate to speak with our experts at FPS Environmental Ltd.

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