Landmark ecologists acting as the Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE) for BREEAM ecology assessments have helped to secure impressive BREEAM Accreditations for mixed-use developments in Bristol and Swindon.

The first, Aurora at Finzels Reach, is part of the £250 million regeneration of the former Courage Brewery in central Bristol. The 4.7 ha site will include a diverse mix of office, residential and leisure uses. The seven storeys Aurora scheme comprises 95,000 sq ft of ‘Grade A’ office space with a glass atrium, landscaped roof terraces, basement car and bicycle parking and a link to the adjacent Grade II listed Generator Building. Landmark also provided Landscape Architecture support for the scheme (see:

The second, a new NHS Health Centre, is part of the wider Kimmerfields Development in central Swindon. The Health Centre will sit alongside a completed 850-space multi-storey car park and assisted living residences. Kimmerfields will include a range of retail and leisure space, a hotel, a new bus interchange, office space and new dwellings as well as public open space to be delivered over a number of phases. The new Health Centre will provide a full range of community and enhanced primary care services including a walk-in centre, with plans to include a pharmacy, two GP practices, dental, podiatry and other community health services.

Value of high BREEAM ratings

Since BREEAM was launched in 1990, early fears that the system represented an unnecessarily unwieldy and costly ‘greenwash’ have been dispelled by streamlining the accreditation protocol, and by solid commercial experience and reputable research.  The 2015 RICS report ‘Going for Green’ provided detailed evidence that alongside environmental and social benefits environment-friendly buildings offer high returns on investment and improve productivity.

Today, the majority of developers, development contractors and tenants recognise the benefits of BREEAM constructed buildings, not least in terms of their environmental benefit and reduced operating costs. The key drivers to secure higher ratings are now planning policy, with the majority of planning authorities seeking at least High BREEAM accreditation for major development, and in house procurement policies that recognise the benefits of BREEAM badging to promote the sustainable credentials of the scheme.

Ecology Support

As experienced Suitably Qualified Ecologists, we work alongside the project BREEAM assessor and design team to help our clients to identify effective opportunities for ecological benefits. At Aurora and Swindon Health Centre Landmark supported Carbon Consult (the BREEAM Assessor) to quantify the ecological value of the site, developing an appropriate strategy to encourage sustainable land use, habitat protection and creation, and improvement of long-term biodiversity for the site and surrounding land.

This work helped secure BREEAM ratings of ‘Outstanding’ (85.74%) for Aurora Finzels Reach and ‘Excellent’ (74.40%) for Swindon Health Centre. ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Excellent’ are awarded to less than 1% and 10% respectively of all new non-domestic buildings in the UK. The ‘Outstanding’ classification is the highest possible – Aurora is currently the only office building outside London, and one of only six in the UK, to achieve this accreditation.

For further information about Landmark’s BREEAM services, contact Nick Hargreaves or Andy Spargo