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Westminster environment guidance - Section B

Find information on carbon and pollution reduction, as well as urban greening.

Section B – environmental assessment methodologies

In order for the council to know and understand the impact of the impact of a building it is necessary to assess the environmental performance of the building. BREEAM (Built Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) is the most established environment assessment methodology that rates and certifies the performance of buildings. The standard is set out in both London Plan and City Plan polices. This assessment methodology can be applied to a range of buildings from residential to office. There are environmental assessment methodologies on the market including LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), WELL and PassivHaus. If consideration is being given to a non BREEAM methodology a pre-application discussion should be undertaken for the council to understand how BREEAM equivalent standards will be achieved.

All developments are encouraged to aim to achieve the highest possible BREEAM standards.

Typically, we will require evidence to be submitted at two stages to demonstrate compliance with BREEAM standards:

  1. Planning application stage: development proposals should include a BREEAM pre-assessment estimator as part of the energy or sustainability strategy, undertaken by an accredited BREEAM Assessor. This pre-assessment provides a narrative on the design approach, sets out the targeted credits and proposed measures in the scheme (in accordance with different BREEAM methodology themes) and provides an indication of the likely score (and associated BREEAM rating) to be achieved. This will be reviewed by planners at the application stage.
  2. Pre-occupation: we would usually attach a condition to the application to be discharged prior to occupation. This is evidenced by a final BREEAM certificate demonstrating that the development has achieved a BREEAM rating of no less than ‘Excellent’ standard.

Further information about BREEAM certification

Published: 23 April 2021

Last updated: 23 April 2021