The selection and procurement of construction materials makes a major contribution to the life cycle impacts of a building across the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. Much is talked about materials selection and many sources of information are available, although these are mostly at the level of an individual material or products.
A new briefing paper “The Strategic Approach to the Selection and Procurement of Construction Materials and Products” is now available in the Resources section of the BREEAM website.
The document sets out the direction that BREEAM and associated standards such as the Home Quality Mark will adopt moving forward in relation to the evaluation and specification of construction materials. The document focuses on strategic direction rather than specific criteria, methodologies or benchmarks, as these will be developed for specific schemes as they are created or updated. The paper does, however, include a useful table of the current coverage within the various BREEAM schemes of these issues. This helps put BREEAM materials-related issues into the context that the strategy describes.
There are a number of other briefing papers available at the same location which may also be of interest covering health and wellbeing, resilience and energy/carbon, the latter published to coincide with the recent COP21 conference.