Contributing to BREEAM


    Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method
    Is a widely known environmental assessment method for buildings. The system sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation.

The Benchmarks

  • Outstanding

  • Excellent

  • Very good

  • Good

  • Pass

  • Unclassified


The Categories

A BREEAM assessment uses recognised measures of performance, set against the established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use. Credits are awarded across ten categories based on the outcomes of the building assessed. The credits are then combined to provide a single score, achieving either a Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent or Outstanding overall BREEAM rating.

Mat 01

Aim: To reduce the burden on the environment from construction products by recognising and encouraging measures to optimise construction product consumption efficiency and the selection of products with a low environmental impact (including embodied carbon), over the life cycle of the building.


  • Help project teams to understand the overall environmental impact of the building design.
  • Ensure that all life cycle greenhouse gas emissions are taken into account in the design, not just operational emissions.
  • Reduce the impact of the construction industry and construction product industries.
  • Assess the environmental impacts at the building level to provide flexibility when specifying construction products, to take into account project-specific conditions and priorities.
  • Allow optimal solutions to be identified and adopted to reduce overall environmental impacts arising from
    construction product use.

The use of construction products leads to a wide range of environmental and social impacts across the life cycle through initial procurement, wastage, maintenance and replacement. Taken together, construction products make a highly significant contribution to the overall life cycle impacts of a building. In some cases they may even outweigh operational impacts (such as energy consumption). The introduction of Part L into the building regulations has led to reductions in the operational energy consumption of buildings and these regulations are being progressively tightened As a result, greenhouse gas emissions from other aspects of buildings, such as embodied emissions, are becoming increasingly important in terms of reducing the overall emissions in terms of reducing the overall emissions that lead to climate change and arise from the procurement, maintenance and replacement of construction products over the building’s lifetime. In addition to climate change, there are several other embodied environmental impacts associated with construction products and the processes that occur during and after construction that should be considered during design, for example corporate social responsibility and other regulatory obligations.

Rooflight: Rooflights that have a LCA that has been assessed using a tool recognised by BREEAM.

Mat 02

Aim: To encourage availability of robust and comparable data on the impacts of construction products through the provision of EPD.


  • Improve the accuracy of building life cycle assessment (LCA).
  • Improve the availability if robust and comparable data for designers and specifiers to aid construction product selection and specification.
  • Increase the consistency in the information requested from manufacturers.
  • Increase the uptake of EPD by construction product manufacturers.
  • Increase the accuracy and comparability of building level LCA so helping to reduce the overall life cycle impacts arising from the building.

Context: A variety of construction product environmental claims are offered by manufacturers, other industry sources and in guidance, but the results presented are often inconsistent and therefore not suitable for making comparisons. In addition, even comparable information is difficult for a non-specialist to understand. Such information will often be biased towards presenting the benefits of a construction product and avoid or reduce the emphasis on negative impacts. This risks designers, clients and constructors being misled by the information provided, leading to incorrect decisions being taken that could result in increased environmental impacts. As a result, available information can often be misleading to designers and specifiers.
Specifiers can make better informed decisions using comparable EPD and generic LCA data in a recognised building LCA tool, that presentsresults at the building level and over the life cycle of the building. Increasing numbers of EPD are being produced by construction product manufacturers. However, many construction products do not have an EPD, meaning generic LCA data must be used when carrying out a building LCA. While helpful in making basic construction product choices at the early design stage, this does not assist in specifying lower impact construction products during detailed design and construction stages. Further accuracy can be gained when carrying out LCA or specifying construction products by using EPD specific to a manufacturer’s product range or, better still, the specific construction product.

Rooflights: Rooflight manufacturers that have a BRE assessed Environment Product Declaration (EPD) can contribute 1.5 points. Only a Product EPD can deliver this value of points.

Zenon Rooflight EPD BRE Approved Logo

Mat 03

Aim: To facilitate the selection of products that involve lower levels of negative environmental, economic and social impact across their supply chain including extraction, processing and manufacture.


  • Promote more economically,socially and environmentally responsible practices across the construction products, component manufacturing and supply sectors.
  • Encourages the construction industry to identify risks and reduce the environmental, economic and social issues in the supply chain of construction products.
  • Encourages the use and the improvement of credible and comparable schemes to evaluate the responsible sourcing of products.

Context: Most construction products involve long and complex supply chains that result in a wide range of impacts locally and globally. These might include environmental (e.g. toxicity or biodiversity), economic (e.g. corruption) or social (e.g.slave labour, equality) issues and can occur during the extraction, processing, manufacturing or supply chain stages. The increasing globalisation of supply chains increases the difficulty of tracing the supply chain and mitigating negative impacts caused by it. Credible certification schemes exist to increase confidence to specifiers that risks are being minimised or avoided and their use ensures that specifiers are able to demonstrate the responsible nature of their selection decisions.

Rooflights: Mat 03 ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) certifications are recognised as suitable evidence to contribute to Mat 03.

Content references the BREEAM Technical Manual for New Build Non-Domestic Buildings – 

Ene 01

Aim: To minimise operational energy demand, primary energy consumption and CO₂emissions.


  • Reduce operational energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.
  • Promote energy performance beyond regulatory requirements including recognition of net zero carbon solutions in line with World Green Building Council (WGBC) policy.
  • Encourage consideration of operational aspects in determining optimal energy strategy.
  • Provide a route to verification of building performance post occupation.
  • Help reducing the performance gap between predicted and actual performance.
  • The energy model can be used to provide energy use data and explore energy savings.

Context: Emissions from buildings account for 37% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. These are made up of 45% direct emissions due to the burning of fossil fuels for heat, and 55% indirect emissions related to electricity use. Factors such as the thermal insulation, air permeability, shading and glazing areas should be carefully considered early as they can be used to reduce heating, cooling and lighting demands. Systems efficiency and carbon intensity of the selected energy source are also important and all are included in the BREEAM assessment.
Detailed and accurate energy modelling can take into account factors like occupancy, weather scenarios and management of building services as well as any contributions from renewable and low carbon technologies. More detailed modelling helps the design teams predict the expected energy performance and take appropriate actions to reduce the performance gap where they are involved post occupation. Actual usage patterns are changing over time and it is possible that predicted energy consumption will not be that close to the actual energy consumption. However, with the use of accurate modelling any areas of difference can be identified and appropriate actions can be taken to optimise energy performance.

Rooflights: Ene 01 The cost of energy required to light a building through artificial lighting is far greater than the heat lost through rooflights. This results in both higher costs and CO2 emissions. Making efficient use of natural daylight using rooflights can reduce the need for artificial lighting systems. Incorporating rooflights can contribute to minimising operational energy demand, primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Content references the BREEAM Technical Manual for New Build Non-Domestic Buildings – 

BREEAM HEALTH and WELLBEING icon BREEAM – Health and Wellbeing
Hea 01

Aim: To encourage best practice in visual performance and comfort by ensuring daylighting, artificial lighting and occupant controls are considered.


  • Support building occupier health, mental wellbeing and productivity.
  • Help to provide a connection to nature by maximising natural daylight and encouraging an external view out.
  • Help to reduce energy costs and environmental impact by reducing the need for artificial light

Context: Visual comfort is an important part of ensuring building occupant health, comfort and well-being. Reducing glare that can cause discomfort and distraction, and enabling occupant lighting control, the building can increase productivity of its users. By reducing the impacts of glare that can cause discomfort and distraction, and enabling occupants to have a level of control over their visual environment, the building can increase productivity of its users. Maximising exposure to natural daylight and providing an external view out provides users with a connection to nature. This can in turn support mental wellbeing, for example by improving people’s mood and reducing the symptoms of depression. Increasing the level of daylight within the building also reduces the need for artificial lighting, which can reduce operational costs and environmental impacts of the building. Further to this, naturally lit environments increase occupant productivity and support the regulation of circadian rhythms.

Rooflights: Rooflights can make most efficient use of available daylight. Diffused light through translucent material such as GRP makes efficient use of the available light by spreading it over a far greater area, reducing the apparent difference between light and shade. GRP rooflights can support your glare control strategy by maximising daylight levels in all weather and offer internal daylight uniformity.

Content references the BREEAM Technical Manual for New Build Non-Domestic Buildings – 

Hambleside Danelaw are the first UK in-plane GRP rooflight manufacturer to achieve an independently verified Environmental Product Declaration from BRE,  This means that when specifying Zenon rooflights, they can contribute a minimum of 1.5 points, in addition to the metal roof system, towards the building’s overall BREEAM rating. These EPD points fall under the category of Material – Criterion Mat 02.

Over and above the metal roof system, rooflights can also contribute to two other categories, Energy and Health and Wellbeing, and two other criterion for the Material Category.

When rooflights are incorporated at Concept Design RIBA stage 2 (essential for any calculation based credits such as Ene 01 and Mat 01), the contribution is easy to apply and are low to no cost. Rooflights can, however, be considered at a later stage of procurement and can help to recover credits lost unexpectedly from the initial plan.

To download our A5 BREEAM brochure summarising how rooflights can contribute to BREEAM, please click here.

For more detailed information on how Zenon GRP rooflights can contribute to your project’s BREEAM rating, visit our ‘Contact us‘ page and contact our Zenon team.