8-10 Berkeley Square refurbishment rated excellent

The Grade II and Grade II* refurbishment of 8‐10 Berkeley Square has achieved a rating of ‘Excellent’ under the BREEAM UK environmental performance standard.

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) was first launched by the Building Research Establishment in 1990 in the UK. It is the world’s longest established and probably the leading method of assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability master-planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. Independent assessors measure sustainable value across a series of categories, including energy, materials, pollution, transport and water.

An 'Excellent' rating is often beyond the reach of refurbishment projects, and this historic building had numerous conservation restrictions and limitations. After being short‐listed at the BREEAM 2016 awards for the project’s environmental performance at the design stage, there has been a real determination from the design, construction, managing and client team to achieve ‘Excellent’ at the post-construction review and included an ‘Innovation credit’.

The University worked very closely with its sustainability advisors and set its sights on a rating of ‘Very good’ with an aspiration for ‘Excellent’, under the internationally recognised BREEAM benchmark for environmental performance. The team worked hard to find solutions that added value, selecting materials responsibly by considering extraction and processing costs of the raw material, as well as transportation to the site. They also ensured the refurbishment can evolve to accommodate usage changes over its lifetime, rather than having to undergo significant and potentially wasteful changes in the future; and worked with users to avoid over-specification and reduce long term maintenance.

Achieving a good building means so many things to different people. Some straightforward attributes would be functional and reliable; and affordable and maintainable. More difficult is to achieve better buildings that are stimulating and enjoyable; sustainable and of high environmental performance. The University of Bristol 8-10 Berkeley Square has all of these within the charm of its Listed Grade II and II* mid-Georgian period former town houses.  

The team’s skill and determination was finally rewarded by achieving a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.

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