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Lidl pilots new BREEAM approval process

20 March 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Retailer Lidl was one of a number of companies involved in a new pre-approval process developed by sustainability assessment body BREEAM.

The new process is supposed to make it easier for clients to achieve their sustainability goals more quickly and cost-effectively by allowing a general specification that is applicable to multiple projects to be evaluated by BRE Global up-front.

Over the past year, several clients, including Lidl, have been involved in the pilot scheme to evaluate the process. They have offered input about their building types, and how they have embedded BREEAM requirements into the design. That has provided the basis for agreeing the specific credit issues which could be evidenced by non-site-specific documents to form the pre-approval.

Dr Shamir Ghumra, BREEAM director, said: “BREEAM acknowledges that the business model of some clients involves developing a standard design and specification that is then used on multiple developments. Through the introduction of the pre-approval process we are demonstrating we are both listening to and acting upon the market’s requirements, whilst maintaining the integrity of the world’s leading sustainability assessment and certification method for buildings.”

Mattias Tas, construction project manager, for the retailer, said: “We are very pleased with the pre-approval process. It has facilitated and streamlined our work in projects and given us the opportunity to manage several similar projects in parallel in a smooth way.”

Elsa Hagdahl, of COWI, the BREEAM assessor who worked with Lidl, said: “[Pre-approval] allowed the project team to focus on and spend more time on carrying out pre-studies and analysis to find the most suitable and efficient system solutions for the concept store…’ and ‘significantly reduced the time spent on assessor BREEAM report writing at design stage’.”

Dr Ghumra added: “Clients involved in the pilot scheme have seen real value in being able to ‘bank’ credits and in the knowledge that a percentage of the overall BREEAM score has already been achieved before embarking on the assessment process for a specific building. This provides due recognition of the general specification the company has adopted across its portfolio, and enables it to focus its attention to improve performance in other areas.”

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