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BREEAM & Waste Hierarchy



At RMF sustainability has been a key focus for many years prior to the governments commitment to Net Zero Carbon. We have been active members of the ‘Circular Economy’ for over 8 years since the inception of our RMF Eco Range and we are deeply proud of our contribution to date.

So how can we help you in terms of BREEAM and your observation of the Waste Hierarchy?

Since BREEAM (the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) launched in 1990, it has become a benchmark standard and is seen as a way of promoting environmental awareness and sustainable building. A strong focus on sustainability in the design, construction and use of buildings has become the norm in the UK. Many of England’s local authorities and large commercial and public sector organisations see BREEAM as a requirement in their procurement strategies.

At RMF we are proud to be fully BREEAM compliant and we have successfully completed multiple BREEAM projects over the years. Through ongoing discussions with the BREEAM team we can confirm that using the RMF Eco Range can contribute to the points achieved by BREEAM as follows;

MAT01 - Route 1: Using the Green Guide to Specification (elemental approach) - one credit

The guidance details as follows;

Where assessing four or more applicable building elements, the building achieves at least two points in addition to the total points required to achieve maximum credits under the standard BREEAM criteria (as outlined in the table above) OR

Where assessing fewer than four applicable building elements, the building achieves at least one point in addition to the total points required to achieve maximum credits under the standard BREEAM criteria.

This means that when assessing your project you can still claim one credit under the above route providing the standards are met, the flooring could contribute to one of the four elements being assessed.

MAT03 – Use of the RFO Tool

Route 1 is intended for use in the majority of situations where detailed information on quantities of materials is not readily available. In terms of referencing what item is being assessed the Raised floor is item number 7 as it is the floor structure.

The material elements of the raised floor being assessed are;

  1. Timber/timber-based products (TBP) – chipboard core of the raised floor
  2. Metal – galvanised steel top and base steel of the raised floor

The guidance doesn’t provide the exact calculation/point scoring as I expect the details need to be entered into the BREEAM calculator and that then produces the score.

Guidance notes CN 3.4 state;

CN3.4 

Specified reused materials

Where reused materials are specified for the project, these can be allocated ten points.

It is worth noting that the re-use of the raised floor contributes to the 10 points and the full points cannot be claimed simply for the reuse of the floor, consideration must be given to the reuse options for the building as a whole structure.

Waste Hierarchy  

The waste hierarchy gives top priority to preventing waste in the first place. When waste is created, it gives priority to preparing it for re-use, then recycling, then recovery, and last of all disposal e.g. landfill. 

The aim of both DEFRA and WRAP guidance is firstly, aim to reduce the amount of waste you create. If waste is created, identify ways you can reuse the materials. Finally, if materials cannot be reused then collect them to recycle. Only dispose of waste as a last resort. WRAP have created a handy guide for contractors and sub contractors that can be found here.

At RMF we are at the top of the hierarchy shown below as we re-use where possible raised flooring systems previously destined for landfill.

The benefits of reuse are not just environmental, in the case of raised flooring multiple parties can benefit from the re-use. With the core elements of a raised floor panel chipboard core and galvanised steel the incentive to shred or break apart each panel for sale is both timely and not cost effective (one tonne of dirty top and bottom steel is around £60 at weigh in). However, if the demolition contractor speaks to RMF they can save the fees, time, effort and transport costs of removing the raised floor as we will cover this cost for them. Also the end client can benefit from a cost saving on both demolition fees or for category B works we can install our RMF Eco Range at around a 20% cost saving vs new. The RMF Eco range comes tested, cleaned and fully warrantied installed onto an all new steel pedestal under structure for that peace of mind. 

To further discuss the benefits of the re-use of raised floor on your next strip out or fit out project then just give us a call on 01926 425289