Technical Design to deliver BREEAM Outstanding Certification: The Role of Lead Designers

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Technical Design to deliver BREEAM Outstanding Certification: The Role of Lead Designers

Understanding BREEAM Outstanding and the Role of Lead Designers

Sustainable design practices have become essential in the field of architecture and construction. The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is one of the most widely recognized and respected sustainability assessment methods. With less than 1% of new non-domestic buildings managing to achieve an Outstanding BREEAM rating, the significant effort required to achieve the rating is clear. Achieving the highest BREEAM rating of "Outstanding" requires meticulous attention to detail, innovative thinking, and a high level of collaboration among project stakeholders. OSG are currently working on the technical design for a commercial project with a requirement to deliver this challenging rating. In this article, we explore the crucial role of lead designers in delivering the technical design of a project to meet the requirements for BREEAM Outstanding certification.

understanding BREEAM outstanding

BREEAM is a comprehensive sustainability assessment method that evaluates the environmental performance of buildings across various categories, including energy, water, materials, waste, pollution, and management. Achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating signifies that a building significantly surpasses requirements for sustainability, demonstrating exceptional environmental performance.

the role of lead designers

As lead designers for the technical design and delivery, our responsibility extends beyond creating the visual and functional design of the spaces. We play a pivotal role in integrating sustainable design principles throughout the project lifecycle. Our expertise, creativity, and technical knowledge are instrumental in ensuring that the project meets and exceeds the requirements for BREEAM Outstanding certification.

collaboration and co-ordination

Achieving BREEAM Outstanding requires close collaboration and coordination among the project team, including architects, engineers, contractors, and sustainability consultants. As lead designers, we facilitate this collaborative effort by establishing effective communication channels and developing a shared vision of sustainability. Through regular meetings and workshops, we encourage open dialogue, enabling all stakeholders to contribute their expertise and insights towards the achievement of BREEAM Outstanding.

innovative design strategies

To attain BREEAM Outstanding, lead designers must employ innovative design strategies that reduce the environmental impact of the building. This includes integrating renewable energy systems, maximising energy efficiency, optimising water usage, utilising sustainable materials, and implementing effective waste management practices. By staying up-to-date with the latest sustainable technologies and design trends, we can develop innovative solutions that align with the BREEAM requirements.

performance-based design

Meeting the BREEAM Outstanding criteria necessitates a performance-based design approach. Rather than relying solely on prescriptive measures, lead designers employ advanced modelling and simulation techniques to assess the building's performance throughout its lifecycle. Through energy modelling, daylight analysis, and thermal simulations, we can optimise the design to achieve high levels of energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and overall sustainability.

monitoring and verification

The journey towards BREEAM Outstanding certification doesn't end with the completion of the design phase. As lead designers, we play a crucial role in monitoring and verifying the implementation of sustainable design strategies during the construction and operational phases. Regular site visits, performance monitoring, and post-occupancy evaluations help ensure that the project adheres to the intended sustainability goals and remains on track for achieving the coveted BREEAM Outstanding rating.


As lead designers, we bear a significant responsibility in delivering the technical design of a project that meets the requirements for BREEAM Outstanding certification. Our role extends far beyond aesthetics and functionality, encompassing innovative design strategies, collaboration, and performance-based approaches. By leveraging our expertise and coordinating efforts with the entire project team, we can create buildings that push the boundaries of sustainability, delivering a positive impact on the environment and the communities they serve.

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