Win More Shopfitting Business with BREEAM Certification

As the drive to sustainability continues, construction clients are placing more and more emphasis on BREEAM certification. Find out why that matters to your business

Many retailers and business owners planning a major build or refurbishment project can add a new task to their growing ‘must-do’ list & BREEAM compliance.
BREEAM is now the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, setting the benchmark for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation. You can read more about BREEAM here.
With sustainability high on the agenda of all responsible organisations, BREEAM certification is seen as a reliable and well-recognised indicator of a company’s environmental credentials, ranging from the use of recyclable materials and energy-efficient heating through to responsible waste management.
So How Does That Affect Shopfitters?
If you’re in the shopfitting industry and looking to build your business, BREEAM can have a real impact on growth & most major organisations are now demanding that their projects are delivered with BREEAM certification.
Take top retailer John Lewis Partnership, for instance. In its Responsible Development Framework, the company stated its commitment to the scheme for any future developments it would undertake:
€œFrom 2013, 100% of our major projects will be measured and certified to recognised sustainability standards. Our current standards are BREEAM ‘Excellent’ for new construction and BREEAM ‘Very Good’ for major refurbishments.€
John Lewis is not alone in its commitment. More than a million buildings have applied for BREEAM certification since the scheme started in 1990, so it’s well worth being a BREEAM-aware shopfitting company.
Isn’t Compliance a Cost Issue?
With cash flow still a major concern in the construction industry, many shopfitting specialists are anxious about the potentially higher costs associated with BREEAM certification.
However, construction consultants Sweett Group and the Building Research Establishment found that while office developers typically invest up to 2% more when targeting higher BREEAM ratings, they recover that additional investment in two to five years through energy and water savings.
That said, BREEAM’s own report The Value of BREEAM shows higher costs are not a given when it comes to achieving a good rating & while just under half of clients said they had incurred significant extra costs, 41% said they had not.
So depending on the project, BREEAM may or may not be more expensive during the construction phase & but in the long term, the operational benefits can be huge, as demonstrated by the following examples:
BREEAM’s Benefits & The Co-Op Way
The Cooperative Group’s new headquarters in Manchester, built by BAM Construction, are BREEAM-compliant. As part of its ‘outstanding’ BREEAM certification, the building features energy-efficient earth tubes, a ventilated glass fasade, and flooring and wall products containing a high level of recyclable material. Read more about how the building achieved BREEAM perfection.
Biggest Bookshop Shows the Way
In another project, the biggest bookshop to open in the UK this century & Foyles of 107 Charing Cross Road, London & won the Retail, Refurbishment & Fit-Out category at the BREEAM Awards 2015. The building warms and cools its 3,437 sq m of retail space with air source heat pumps, and its retained fasade has been thermally upgraded.
Creating Innovative Retail Space
Major independent furniture retailer Barker and Stonehouse wanted something special for its new £4m retail headquarters in North Yorkshire. The answer lay in achieving a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating with the help of a unique lighting system, natural ventilation and a mini-meadow on the roof.
Lush Way to be Eco-Friendly
Cosmetic company Lush places a huge emphasis on environmental credentials for its retail outlets around the country. Among other measures, the company is using innovative eco-friendly strawboard instead of plasterboard in its super-green stores. Watch the video.
How to Get the Skills
The BREEAM certification scheme provides a training and development framework for individual workers, and includes a formal examination. It also features a Competent Person element, which can help address any skill shortages. Learn more about the scheme.
As the global drive to greater sustainability continues to gain pace, it is likely that demand will grow & and shopfitting experts with a good knowledge of sustainability, recycling and responsible waste management will have a valuable competitive edge. In other words, it’s well worth your time and effort – for your customers, your own business growth, and for the sake of the planet.

Sustainability in retail construction is on the increase & Lush says green is crucial.
Construction clients such as award-winning Foyles want BREEAM integrated into projects.
BREEAM training can help your company skill up to the standards required by top clients.

Find out how you can drive best practice throughout your shopfitting business. Download: The Ultimate How-To SWMP guide for the Circular Economy