CASE 6 BREEAM AND THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD'S SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICY
F T Y O ERSI D V I N U OR OXF
DIFFICULTY OF IMPLEMENTATION
In February 2009, the University of Oxford's Buildings and Estates Sub-Committee agreed that all new university buildings and major refurbishments should aim for a rating of BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Assessment Method) 'Excellent' for a trial of one year, which was then extended yearly. Nineteen major projects are currently undergoing or have undergone BREEAM assessments, including three refurbishments and four projects that commenced prior to February 2009, and which subsequently adopted the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ target. Evidence suggests, however, that a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating does not guarantee that the given building will be a low energy or low carbon building. In response to this shortcoming, University of Oxford's Environmental Sustainability Team created the Sustainable Buildings Philosophy in 2011 to complement the guidelines in BREEAM certification . This is a set of documents that aim to help the university’s Estates Services deliver sustainable buildings with a particular focus on low carbon outcomes. For universities with a key focus on reducing carbon emissions, a BREEAM 'Excellent' target (or equivalent) for broad sustainability gain coupled with a focus on carbon emissions through mechanisms, such as the Sustainable Buildings Philosophy serves to tailor the BREEAM standards to the university. Year after year, the methodology has become more embedded in the university’s design process, and now design teams, project managers, and Project Sponsor Groups consider sustainability in building design.