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  • Writer's pictureEvolusion Innovation

Sustainable Construction

Updated: Jun 15, 2019

Apex House
Evolusion achieved BREEAM "Excellent" rating for Apex House. Image courtesy of Vision Modular.

Evolusion Innovation’s Building Physics department provide a range of expert sustainability services. Whether you need to improve the marketability of your development and/or comply with minimum specified standards our BREEAM, LEED and Passive House qualified sustainability team can help.

What is sustainable development?

A report published more than 30 years ago (1987) by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission), which was titled Our Common Future, described sustainable development as being

‘development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.

32 years later that definition continues to be in common use. In that time the concept and importance of sustainable construction and development have been widely established and accepted, while the issues that need to be addressed have multiplied as understanding of the factors that affect sustainability and the complexities involved became better understood.

Striking a reasonable and pragmatic balance between the need for economic and societal progress with protecting and improving the natural environment is a continuous challenge and meeting this challenge must include understanding/exploring possible unintended consequences. It is essential to recognise and account for interactions amongst sustainable development goals, and the 2018 edition of the OECD’s Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development demonstrates the importance of interconnected and coherent policies.

Minimum Sustainability Standards

Clearly sustainable buildings and developments are desirable, and actions to ensure such outcomes are required. Currently in many countries minimum sustainability requirements are specified for certain categories of buildings and developments, and it can be reasonably anticipated that more categories of buildings will be added in future.

In the UK public projects are generally required to achieve a BREEAM “Excellent” rating or equivalent. Furthermore, the National Planning Policy Framework suggests a presumption in favour of granting planning permissions for sustainable developments, and local planning authorities may impose environmental standards as planning conditions.

Approved assessment methodologies (such as BREEAM, LEED, Passivhaus etc) are generally used to demonstrate compliance with specified minimum sustainability standards.


BREEAM is a leading sustainability assessment method for projects, infrastructure and buildings. It addresses a number of lifecycle stages such as New Construction, Refurbishment and In-Use. As of mid-June 2019, there have been more than 568,500 BREEAM certificates issued, and almost 2,279,000 buildings registered for assessment in 83 countries.


LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a program run by the non-profit US Green Building Council and is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. 2.2 million+ square feet is LEED certified every day with more than 90,000 projects using LEED in over 165 countries and territories.

Evolusion are fully certified Accredited Professional BREEAM design and assessment practitioners, and in our team we also have LEED AP® Building Design + Construction Professionals (LEED Accredited Professional BD+C). We can support you in achieving targeted levels of BREEAM and/or LEED certification.

We use the best available methods to ensure the client's desired assessment outcome is achieved, including Dynamic Modelling, Daylighting Analysis and Overheating Analysis.

Our Sustainability Team has delivered BREEAM “Excellent” rating on several projects, and Ludwika Balinska, our Sustainability Team Leader, has recently successfully passed the BREEAM International New Construction Competent Persons Examination Evolusion to enable us to offer BREEAM assessment services internationally, including in Ireland.

The BREEAM International New Construction 2016 scheme is a performance-based assessment method and certification scheme for new buildings. This performance is quantified by a number of individual measures and associated criteria stretching across a range of environmental issues.

Table 1 from BREEAM Manual

BREEAM International New Construction 2016 environmental assessment issues

Our team of construction technology and offsite construction experts at Evolusion Innovation has been involved in over €2 billion worth of offsite construction projects across Ireland, the UK and Europe over the past 15 years. The company is growing quickly, and we recently opened our newest office in Birmingham in the UK. Brochures describing our various expert services are available for download.

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