Every year, the Dutch Green Building Council organises the National BREEAM Congress. At this year’s AFAS Experience Centre in Leusden, the main opportunities and challenges presented by BREEAM were highlighted. Which BREEAM projects stood out? Our consultants were there and present an overview of the highlights.
> Read the entire review of the congress on the website of DGBC [in Dutch]
How can we properly prepare the built environment for an evolving climate? The answer at the National BREEAM Congress was loud and clear: adaptation. Themes such as EU taxonomy, biodiversity and health play an important role in this context. BREEAM addresses all these issues and is widely used to make existing buildings and homes demonstrably sustainable, to minimise the environmental impact of new construction and to develop green areas.
Last year, the number of BREEAM-NL certifications issued rose to almost 1,200. That is double the previous year’s figure. In 2023, this number will increase exponentially, as last month marked the largest BREEAM certification in the world.
“DGBC issued nearly 1,200 BREEAM certifications last year, more than half of which were carried out by CFP Green Buildings. We were also involved in Vesteda’s largest certification in the world, certifying nearly 27,500 homes in one batch. I am extremely proud that with CFP we have been able to make such a big impact over the past year.”– Pien ter Beek, consultant at CFP Green Buildings
This new world record was comprehensively highlighted. Vesteda had almost its entire housing portfolio of 27,444 homes certified in one batch. A huge achievement, as this is unprecedented worldwide. An important milestone not only for Vesteda but also for CFP Green Buildings, BREEAM NL and Longevity, who were involved in this project. Stephan de Bie, sustainability programme manager at Vesteda, was called on stage and received an award for this exceptional achievement.
Another important development that came up during the conference was the EU taxonomy. As of 1 January 2022, parties offering green financial products, such as green bonds, are required to report the extent to which investments are sustainable and the environmental targets they impact. DGBC will soon issue an interpretation of EU taxonomy specifically for the Dutch market, explaining the requirements to be met. An EU taxonomy statement will also soon be available with a BREEAM-NL In-Use certificate.
The congress was concluded by Floris Alkemade, former Chief Government Architect. How should we deal with a world facing climate change, declining biodiversity and economic crisis? “Even a small country like the Netherlands must take responsibility. It’s time for a fundamental change. For example, take a look at the existing housing stock. We need densification and inner-city building. This is the time for a new way of building. Revert to wood, densify neighbourhoods by 10 per cent and add 10 per cent more greenery and you’ll also achieve one million homes and a healthier living environment.” The time for change is now because, according to Alkemade, any delay is a source of gigantic waste.