Healthy living and staying climate

The ambition: BREEAM-NL Excellent

The bar was set high in terms of BREEAM for this ambitious real estate project in Deventer. The goal was to achieve BREEAM-NL Excellent certification. We, along with the stakeholders, explored the potential credits we could obtain for this project to achieve a score of over 70% and make BREEAM-NL Excellent certification possible. What did we find? The contribution of credit HEA 02 Emissions of Building Products and Finishing Materials with an Exemplary Performance (EP) point of 1% towards the total score gave us the confidence that we can achieve BREEAM-NL Excellent. The choice of building products and finishing materials plays a crucial role here. Let's get to work!

Setting requirements for building products and finishing materials

For HEA 02 emissions of building products and finishing materials, you must ensure that at least four of the five included material groups meet the specified requirements for the interior. To achieve the EP point, you must adhere to even stricter guidelines. The described material groups are:

  1. Interior paint and varnishes*
  2. Wood-based panel materials
  3. Floor finishes*
  4. Suspended ceilings* (partition walls plus acoustic and insulation materials)
  5. Adhesives and sealants, including floor adhesives*

*Applied in the PLUS project

Maintaining Look & Feel while making sustainability improvements

PLUS has multiple logistics locations. Their desire? That we preserve their own consistent Look & Feel (think of brand-specific interior details) while also meeting the requirements of HEA 02 EP. As a team, we are eager to take on this challenge.

However, the list of suitable suppliers we could work with became significantly shorter due to the requirements. We observed that many suppliers were still relying on HEA 09 from BRL 2014, the predecessor of HEA 02 BRL 2020, and therefore (not yet) meeting the new, stricter requirements. Thus, they could not provide certified products and materials (yet). We are proud that we were still able to meet PLUS's requirements to the maximum extent, despite this.

Kantoor 20220728

What helped us in our search

How do you best justify what you have done to contribute to a healthy living and staying environment? Opting for products certified with labels such as Indoor Air Comfort Gold or GUT for flooring applications is your first win. If a product has this label, you instantly know it meets all the requirements for the Exemplary Performance point for HEA 02. Using various platforms, we found a filtered selection of products that meet these criteria.

Of course, you can also justify each emission value separately, but in practice, these values are often not available at suppliers. Particularly, composite products, such as a door or wall panel with an HPL layer glued to a substrate, pose challenges in terms of providing evidence. This makes sense, considering the composition of these products is often difficult to ascertain. Therefore, we did not pursue this material group.

Further anchoring sustainable design

It is worth considering always applying HEA 02 EP as a design guideline, even when there are no BREEAM-NL ambitions. This approach aligns well with Quadrant4. We have become highly experienced in project management related to BREEAM-NL. We know all the ins and outs. It is clear to us and everyone that sustainability is always a top priority nowadays. Emissions may not be visible, but they directly impact the well-being of the user. Therefore, let's consciously design for a better future.

Operating completely within the Look & Feel of PLUS has been successful!