Significant advances in understanding, measurement, calculation and data quality have occurred since BREEAM started evaluating the change in ecological value in 1998. These changes have been taken into account in determining the methodology set out in this document, which replaces BREEAM’s previous change in ecological value methodology based on plant species.

The methodology has been developed with input and guidance from a range of public and professional bodies, practising ecologists and other relevant experts and stakeholders. The approach and calculation methodology in this note was developed by WSP, with input from Balfour Beatty and Footprint Ecology, under contract with BRE.

It builds on the work of Defra and Natural England in calculating Biodiversity Units and as such, is supportive of government policy in terms of environmental protection and enhancement of biodiversity.

This approach is being increasingly adopted by developers, local authorities and others, and relates well to other requirements and processes required of project teams through planning and elsewhere. However, the methodology is intended for use within the BREEAM, HQM and CEEQUAL assessment schemes used in the UK and should not be used for other purposes without careful consideration of its relevance.

This webinar will take you through the new calculation methodology exploring the background to its development, how it works, its practical application and explore its feasibility and possible approaches in different situations. It will also summarise the BREEAM family of schemes it applies to and its possible future development to promote continued alignment with industry development activities (DEFRA metric).

GN36 is available here:


I have gained a brief knowledge about how 2018 BREEAM regarding Ecology criteria will change.

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Course Author(s)

Alan Yates

Associate Director

Alan is the Technical Director of Sustainability for BRE Global, BRE’s accredited certification body. He is responsible for overseeing the Group’s work relating to the sustainability of buildings, communities, materials and components. In particular, Alan has led the technical development of BRE’s BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) methodologies and its variants for over 23 years. Over this time he has worked closely with a range of Government departments on their application of BREEAM, including the Department of Communities and Local Government on the development of the Code for Sustainable Homes. He has also worked with a range of cross-industry bodies to drive sustainability in the construction and property sectors, as well as leading or contributing to a wide range of environmental and sustainability-focused research and dissemination projects connected to the design, construction and management of the built environment.

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