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Maximising BREEAM ratings with pre-finished steel cladding systems

11 February 2010 No Comment

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) is the UK’s leading environmental assessment for buildings. The scheme is based on many years of construction and environmental research and is validated by input from the construction and property industries, the government and building regulators. The sustainable attributes of pre-finished steel roof and wall cladding systems can contribute to achieving a higher overall BREEAM score and maximise the credits assessed under the energy, materials and waste categories.

How are different cladding materials assessed within BREEAM?

Of the seven materials categories considered under BREEAM, three are relevant to the specification of the building envelope. These relate to the environmental impact of the materials used, Mat 1 and Mat 6, and responsible sourcing of products, Mat 5. Under BREEAM, the environmental impacts of construction products are assessed under Mat 1 using the BRE’s Green Guide to Specification. The Green Guide gives a rating for a range of specifications of major elements of different buildings types. Specifications are rated on a scale of A+ to E. For more information visit www.thegreenguide.org.uk

What rating is given to profiled roof and wall cladding?

Pre-finished steel building envelope specifications incorporating Colorcoat® products achieve the highest ratings of A+ within the Green Guide enabling top BREEAM credits to be achieved under this category. The rating is derived using the BRE’s Environmental Profiles life cycle assessment methodology. Using this approach, 13 different environmental impacts are normalised, weighted and aggregated to give a single score.
Selecting either a built-up or factory insulated  composite steel cladding specification manufactured with Colorcoat® pre-finished steel for the roof and external walls scores a maximum of 6 points i.e. 3 points for the external cladding sheet and 3 points for the internal liner. This translates into 2 BREEAM credits.

How can I ensure that a steel cladding system is responsibly sourced?

For steel products, compliance is demonstrated by specifying products that have been produced by companies that have a certified environmental management system (EMS). This applies both for steel production or the ‘key process’ and for finishing i.e. roll-forming of roof and wall cladding profiles.
Corus have 100% of their sites certified to the EMS standard ISO 14001, as are all of the Colorcoat® supply chain partners and accredited distributors. Within BREEAM a maximum of three credits can be awarded for demonstrating within category Mat 5 that materials have been responsibly sourced.

For more information, download the Colorcoat® Technical Paper: Introduction to BREEAM for pre-finished steel

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