The BREEAM rating system (short for Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) gives points for lifts and escalators in buildings that have been newly constructed. Essentially, it assesses and then rates the sustainability of a building project.
Throughout the world, more than 550,000 buildings have been BREEAM-certified, and over two million are registered in more than fifty countries. If you’re new to sustainable development and want to learn more about BREEAM-rated buildings, this guide aims to have you up to speed by the end of it. It covers:
- What BREEAM is
- Why your lifts should meet the BREEAM standards
- The benefits of energy-saving lifts
What Is BREEAM?
BREEAM is the longest established and most effective way of ensuring sustainable buildings in terms of lifts and escalators. The more credits building owners earn, the higher the rating level and overall score.
The assessment itself is carried out by independent licensed assessors who use sustainability metrics that cover a whole host of environmental issues, including:
- Health and wellbeing
- Water use
- General environmental performance
The purpose of the assessment is to raise awareness amongst building owners and the design team about the importance of implementing a sustainable approach at the design stage. The benchmark criteria acts as a framework, which helps them to consider scientifically based sustainability metrics and methods in a manner that is cost effective and energy efficient. Ultimately, the aim is to reduce the negative impacts of construction projects, especially in relation to the environment.
BREEAM for Lifts
In terms of the way that BREEAM ratings apply to lifts specifically, any lifting device that reaches a minimum speed of 0.15m/s needs to be assessed under the BREEAM criteria, including goods, vehicle and passenger lifts. Evacuation lifts only need to be assessed if they are used regularly and during the normal operation of the building, otherwise they can be excluded from the aforementioned criteria.
‘BREEAM New Construction’ is the standard by which the sustainability performance of buildings that are new and non-residential is assessed in the UK. Escalators, lifts and moving walkways can reach a total of three BREEAM points by complying with the Ene06 criteria, whereas a maximum of two credits is possible where only lifts, escalators or moving walks are present.
Lift Traffic Analysis
In order to reach your first credit, you must show that an analysis of the lift transport demand has been undertaken. In this, you must show that the number and size of the lift have been planned and based on the anticipated demand. This process is known as a Lift Traffic Analysis and works via a simulation that works out the ideal number, size and speed of lifts for your specific building type and purpose.
This first credit is based on energy consumption and is essentially trying to deduce the most sustainable design and specify the lift that will have the lowest energy consumption possible.
You can gain up to two additional credits for energy-efficient features. Here are some of the minimum standards for lifts specifically:
- A standby option for off-peak periods.
- The lift car lighting and display lighting provide an average luminous efficacy across all fittings in the car of under 70 luminaire lumens per circuit watt.
- Use of a drive controller capable of variable speed, variable voltage, and variable frequency control of the drive motor.
Why Should Your Lifts Be BREEAM Rated?
There has been much debate about the idea that sustainable building developments are more costly to design and build than those that only adhere to other regulatory requirements. Research by the Sweett Group into projects undertaken using BREEAM, however, has shown that the overall price on sustainability adds little or no cost to projects such as responsible construction management of commercial buildings.
Where sustainable housing refurbishment projects, for example, do incur costs, these are generally paid back through the cheaper running expenses that sustainable buildings are designed to achieve, overall leading to saving money over the lifetime of the building.
Further research has also demonstrated the extra value and added quality of sustainable buildings. Achieving the core standard that is set out by BREEAM takes a lot of design stage assessment and additional planning in the construction stage. Surveys undertaken by various electric companies suggest that these qualities in themselves can result in better buildings and domestic refurbishment without the act of a specified assessment criteria or neighbourhood sustainability assessment in action.
This next section is going to look at the importance of eco considerations and why they can be beneficial for your business.
Lowered Carbon Footprint
With corporate carbon footprints becoming more prevalent, it’s becoming essential for companies to look at the effects of construction and take the steps to meet the exemplary performance criteria set out by BREEAM. If you’re thinking about lowering your carbon footprint, reviewing the energy efficiency of your lift is one task you can’t afford to forget about.
Cambridge University states that a 15-second hydraulic lift journey consumes as much energy as a 60W light bulb does in an hour. Although you might not think that the energy performance of your lift is going to do much to reduce your carbon footprint, a lift doing hundreds of trips a day is going to add up and have quite the environmental impact.
At Sheridan Lifts, we provide bespoke lifts to suit your refurbishment schemes and perform more efficiently. Every lift that is installed by Sheridan Lifts includes the following energy-efficient features that embody the aim of innovation credits:
- LED lights are used in place of more traditional light bulbs such as fluorescent tubes and incandescent lights. LED bulbs are better for the internal environment than these alternatives and have a longer life span too.
- The impact design of the lifts ensures that they go into standby mode when demand is low, meaning that when the lift isn’t being used, it isn’t wasting energy by being kept active for no reason.
- Regenerative drive systems that feed energy back to the network are used with Sheridan Lifts, so you’ll also save money in the long term.
When it comes to your business, it’s important to remember that companies who show their commitment to reducing the impact their operations have on the environment lifecycle are more likely to gain and retain customers. This is because more and more consumers are looking for long-term partnerships with brands that share and champion the same values as they do.
Lowered Energy Bills
One guaranteed way to lower your energy bills is to introduce energy-efficient lift technology to your business. This can help you to use up to 80% less electricity than more traditional lifts, which is not only beneficial for the environment and your carbon footprint but will make your wallet a little happier too.
The team at Sheridan Lifts is made up of highly trained engineers who are all fully experienced in lift installation. Not only do energy-efficient lifts help to reduce the energy usage of your company, but they also ensure that your business is compliant with all legislation, alongside reducing your energy consumption. We have made it our mission – since beginning in 1979 – to provide the most energy-efficient lifts available on the UK market in line with BREEAM requirements.
Further, we carry out lift traffic analysis in order to ensure that these standards are kept and that the manmade environment is having minimal impact in terms of energy bills and general elevator efficiency.
Better for the Environment
BREEAM aims to reduce the impact of construction materials and construction industry professionals on the environment for wildlife. With the inclusion of mandatory credits, BREEAM ensures that at least some species are protected, making sure that any impacts on the existing ecology are minimised. With an overall goal of promoting site ecology, BREEAM supports wider environmental groups in the fight to protect the environment.
One of the main benefits is that, during the construction of a building, BREEAM does what it can to minimise the amount of waste that is produced by providing baseline targets and reducing the impact that the development has on the environment. The credits encourage resource efficiency and urge contractors to recycle materials that are already available to reduce waste. As a result, waste is minimised, and the cost of materials is greatly reduced too.
Additionally, BREEAM-rated buildings reduce the cost of operating and refurbishing for landlords, which brings down running costs. Energy-efficient equipment and components that consume less water are some of the credits targeted as part of the BREEAM assessment to minimise costs.
Energy-Saving Lifts with Sheridan Lifts
The team at Sheridan Lifts work with design teams to develop a custom and energy-saving lift that will meet all the operational requirements. We secure top-quality manufactured equipment to meet the building research establishment environmental assessment method and criteria that is set out by BREEAM to guarantee an economic sustainability performance.
When a lift is in regular use, a lot of the electricity you’re paying for is being used up. High operational costs can work out to be a large proportion of a business’s budget, but luckily these can easily be brought down by assessing the efficiency of the building’s lifts in regard to a single sustainability rating scheme. Switching to energy-saving lifts decreases the amount of energy that is consumed during non-housing refurbishment projects, which will bring costs down and have great benefits for the environment.
Energy-saving lifts from Sheridan Lifts feature LED lighting, built-in standby mode and regenerative drive systems, as well as adhere to the guidelines set out by BREEAM to provide the very best lifts possible.
If you are interested in finding out more about how Sheridan Lifts’ energy-saving lifts can modernise the effectiveness of your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.
Learn More about BREEAM from our Team of Experts
If you’re after a reliable and independent lift company that is as passionate about efficiency as they are about the lift industry, look no further than Sheridan Lifts.
Our company has over 40 years of experience within the lift industry and provides a comprehensive range of lift services including refurbishments, lift installation, callouts and repairs.
Our southern branch’s regional office opened in 2020 and is located near Watford, which makes it easy for those from London and Hertfordshire to reach. Thanks to our Head Office and northern hub, which is based in Manchester, we are proud to be able to operate throughout the vast majority of the UK. That’s right, our services are available nationwide.
We operate a busy company and install between 150 and 39,000 lifts each year – something we are proud to have done over the past six years. Over the years, as new lift technology emerges, more types of lifts are added to our selection – so keep your eyes peeled for even more energy-efficient lift options in the future.
As a nationwide business, Sheridan Lifts is easy to access, and even easier to contact. Get in touch today with any enquiries or questions you may have about BREEAM or to get a tailored quote for an upcoming lift project.