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BREEAM – Energy

BREEAM ENERGY icon Energy – Ene 01

Aim: To minimise operational energy demand, primary energy consumption and CO₂emissions.


  • Reduce operational energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.
  • Promote energy performance beyond regulatory requirements including recognition of net zero carbon solutions in line with World Green Building Council (WGBC) policy.
  • Encourage consideration of operational aspects in determining optimal energy strategy.
  • Provide a route to verification of building performance post occupation.
  • Help reducing the performance gap between predicted and actual performance.
  • The energy model can be used to provide energy use data and explore energy savings.

Context: Emissions from buildings account for 37% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. These are made up of 45% direct emissions due to the burning of fossil fuels for heat, and 55% indirect emissions related to electricity use. Factors such as the thermal insulation, air permeability, shading and glazing areas should be carefully considered early as they can be used to reduce heating, cooling and lighting demands. Systems efficiency and carbon intensity of the selected energy source are also important and all are included in the BREEAM assessment.
Detailed and accurate energy modelling can take into account factors like occupancy, weather scenarios and management of building services as well as any contributions from renewable and low carbon technologies. More detailed modelling helps the design teams predict the expected energy performance and take appropriate actions to reduce the performance gap where they are involved post occupation. Actual usage patterns are changing over time and it is possible that predicted energy consumption will not be that close to the actual energy consumption. However, with the use of accurate modelling any areas of difference can be identified and appropriate actions can be taken to optimise energy performance.

Rooflights: Ene 01 The cost of energy required to light a building through artificial lighting is far greater than the heat lost through rooflights. This results in both higher costs and CO2 emissions. Making efficient use of natural daylight using rooflights can reduce the need for artificial lighting systems. Incorporating rooflights can contribute to minimising operational energy demand, primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Content references the BREEAM Technical Manual for New Build Non-Domestic Buildings – https://www.breeam.com/NC2018/ 

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