Sustainability rating schemes help projects deliver better outcomes

Created: May 24, 2017. Updated: January 25, 2018.

For a small cost a sustainability rating scheme can help construction and infrastructure projects deliver not only better environmental outcomes but also better social and economic outcomes. “By setting a series of standards and targets the rating scheme encourages projects to innovate and produce a better project,” says Chris Broadbent at building science centre BRE.

Sustainability rating schemes such as CEEQUAL and BREEAM are often argued to be a great cost for construction or infrastructure projects. But the cost is actually less than 0.5 percent of the total project cost for smaller projects and very much less for larger projects.

“There is a cost but there is also a gain. And the gain, we would argue – if properly managed, can be greater than the cost,” says Chris Broadbent, Managing Director at CEEQUAL Ltd and Director, BREEAM Infrastructure, in the latest episode of Construction Climate Talks.

A rating scheme gives projects an opportunity to use the scheme to understand and manage a whole range of sustainability and environmental impacts that are relevant to the project to achieve the best overall outcome.

“It helps them to use that as a framework to manage all of those impacts to deliver a better project. And through all that there is a process of learning about sustainability, of applying it effectively, innovating to get better outcomes and at the end having a really good result to show to the world by way of an independently verified award certificate”.