The highest ever BREEAM score awarded to a building in Northern Ireland has been achieved by South Eastern Regional College (SERC) for their new Environmental Skills Centre building, based in Newtownards.
The ‘Excellent’ assessment was given to the College’s Environmental Skills Centre which was built in 2010 using the latest techniques and materials. The building is part of the Colleges drive to provide industry with the latest training in renewable technologies and this has begun with this state of the art facility.
BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 200,000 buildings with certified BREEAM assessment ratings and over a million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building's environmental performance.
Director of Corporate and Economic Development, Thompson Keating said, ‘We are proud to achieve this highly sought after recognition, and to get the highest mark of any building in Northern Ireland shows the foresight which the project has shown. This facility is unique in its building credentials and now in its use as a dedicated training venue for local businesses.’
The Environmental Skills Centre has already won a number of Awards for the building design, including a Green Gown Award. The building was part of a £3.7 million renovation and extension project which demonstrates the application and benefits of environmental technologies, including biomass boiler, PV panels, low energy sensory lighting, and energy efficient heat-reflecting double glazed windows.
The Excellent rating is the highest standard available under the Environmental Accreditation systems and at the time of award the building achieved the highest score awarded under the assessment process for any building in Northern Ireland.