Non-fitted, speculative new buildings (often referred to as shell only or shell and core buildings) can be assessed using the BREEAM International New Construction Version 6 scheme.
The BREEAM International New Construction Version 6 version can be applied to fully fitted, shell only and shell and core building projects. This section provides guidance to assessors and project teams on the application of BREEAM to shell only and shell and core projects.
A shell only or shell and core building project is defined as one where the developer's scope of works is the design and construction of the base building only, leaving a range of construction and fit-out works to be completed before the building is able to be occupied. This may include some or all of the following elements: the structure, building envelope, core building systems, including building servicing strategy and installations (such as HVAC) or plant support for installation of such systems and where present, fit-out of common areas.
In these projects, where areas of the development are not fully fitted, performance of the building and compliance with BREEAM is verified based on the developer's scope of works. This is measured using two standard project type options that in turn define appropriate assessment criteria applicable to that project type. While some projects will differ to some extent from the scope of these standard options, for the purpose of BREEAM, issues not included within the chosen option will be excluded from the assessment, even where they are within the developer's scope of works. This approach is necessary to ensure clarity, consistency and comparability within the property market. A fully filterable list of criteria or issues based on each individual project's scope would not enable comparability between BREEAM ratings, either in terms of performance benchmarking, or promotional or publicity purposes.
Defining the shell and core project type
For the purpose of defining the scope of assessment and BREEAM certification labelling, a non-residential new construction project that is not fully fitted out can be categorised in to one of the following types:
- Shell only assessment and certification
- Shell and core assessment and certification.
Shell only assessment
This assessment and certification option is available where the developer's scope of works covers new build works to the fabric, substructure and superstructure of the building only, including:
- External walls, windows, doors (external), roof, core internal walls, structural floors
- Hard and soft landscaping areas (where present and within the scope of works).
Shell and core assessment
This option is available where the developer's scope of works covers shell works, as described in option 1, plus core building services. Core building services relates to the installation of central or communal transport systems, water systems, fit-out of common areas, central mechanical and electrical systems, including HVAC, but without local fitting of systems within tenant areas. The systems will typically be centralised with capped-off distribution to each tenanted area (for future connection as part of a tenant's fit-out works).
The shell only and shell and core assessment options are available for all building types, apart from residential individual dwellings and apartment blocks, refer to Appendix E – Applicability of BREEAM New Construction to single and multiple dwellings, partially and fully fitted for a more detailed description of residential assessment options.
Assessing new-build shell and core projects
In the main, the assessment process and application of the majority of the BREEAM assessment issues will be unaffected by the scope of new build shell only or shell and core works. This is because most of the BREEAM criteria are concerned with impacts, processes and management procedures that occur with any new build development, regardless of whether it is a shell and core or fully fitted project. However, several BREEAM issues and criteria are tailored for the assessment of fitted out buildings, such as acoustic performance. Therefore, additional guidance is given within the assessment issues in the form of a compliance note. These shell and core compliance notes confirm whether the assessment issue applies to a shell only or shell and core project and, where it does apply, how to assess it for the options or project types defined above.
Shell and core building assessments and minimum BREEAM standards
All minimum BREEAM standards remain applicable to shell and core building assessments for the developer's scope of works. The only exception is minimum standards for BREEAM issues, credits or criteria which are not assessed in a shell only or shell and core project (confirmed by the shell and core compliance note in each relevant issue).
BREEAM International New Construction Version 6 and the BREEAM International Non-Domestic Refurbishment 2015 scheme
BRE Global have developed a standalone BREEAM scheme to cover the refurbishment and fit-out stages of the life cycle for non-domestic buildings. Under this scheme, only criteria that fall within the scope of the tenant's fit-out works would be assessed.
By having a two part assessment for the shell and core projects, where the shell and core parts and the fit–out parts are assessed separately, BREEAM provides a flexible yet robust way of assessing shell and core projects.
The diagram in Figure 6 outlines the relationship between the International New Construction and the International Refurbishment and Fit-out schemes.
The scope of the BREEAM International New Construction, Shell only and Shell and core options, and BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-out schemes have been defined using recognised industry definitions, such as the British Council for Offices definition of Category A and B fit-out as far as possible. However, in practice, there is no fixed industry standard definition of refurbishment and fit-out works, with a large degree of variability from project to project. Due to this variability and also the need to ensure a consistent definition is used for assessment comparability purposes, the BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-out scheme has defined a number of optional assessment 'parts'. The scope for each of these assessment parts has largely been based on setting boundaries around the key physical parameters of the building. Under that scheme, clients are able to seek assessment certification against any combination of parts according to the scope of their refurbishment and fit-out works, therefore providing a highly flexible scheme.
The scope of Part 1 of the BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-out scheme aligns with option 1, the shell only option of the BREEAM International New Construction scheme. Parts 1 and 2 combined align with option 2, the shell and core option of the BREEAM International New Construction scheme. Parts 3 and 4 then cover the scope of work that is covered under the tenants fit-out works and would, therefore, be used to 'top up' a Shell and Core Assessment post fit-out.
Assessment types of the BREEAM International Non-Domestic Refurbishment 2015 scheme:
- Part 1 - Fabric and structure: external envelope including walls, roof, windows and floor
- Part 2 - Core services: centralised mechanical and electrical plant including heating, cooling and ventilation
- Part 3 - Local services: localised services including lighting, local heating, cooling and ventilation
- Part 4 - Interior design: interior finishes, furniture, fittings and equipment.
Further information on the BREEAM International Non-Domestic Refurbishment 2015 scheme can be found on the BREEAM website (www.breeam.com).