BRE acquires CEEQUAL in move to develop new sustainability rating scheme for infrastructure

BRE and CEEQUAL are announcing today, 23 November 2015, plans to bring together two successful schemes – BREEAM and CEEQUAL – to create a single, science based sustainability standard and certification tool for civil engineering and infrastructure projects in the UK and around the world. From today, CEEQUAL will transfer its business operations to BRE Global after which CEEQUAL will be delivered by the BREEAM certification team with continued support from members of the current the CEEQUAL scheme management team.

The move is supported by the Institution of Civil Engineers, through which CEEQUAL was developed in the first place, and has been prompted by the industry’s desire for a single sustainability rating scheme that addresses the challenges that infrastructure clients, professions and contractors currently face in delivering more-sustainable and resilient infrastructure. The new scheme will also address the need for integration with building related schemes so that clients with mixed developments can have a single combined rating for their asset.

BRE Chief Executive Peter Bonfield said “Our long term aspiration with a single scheme is to bring together the significant experience and expertise behind the two rating systems to deliver enhanced environmental and social benefits for civil engineering works and better economic outcomes that benefit society, and broaden up-take in the UK and international markets.”

Over the next two years BRE will, with the involvement of the current CEEQUAL and BREEAM delivery teams and communities, combine the best elements and features of both approaches into a new and improved holistic scheme for industry that combines CEEQUAL’s team and process-focussed approach with BREEAM’s more asset-based scientific methodology. During this development period CEEQUAL will remain open to new project registrations and current and prospective users are encouraged to bring forward further CEEQUAL assessments, the contracts for which will be fulfilled to their completion.

CEEQUAL’s Roger Venables said “CEEQUAL is an internationally respected rating and awards scheme and has been applied to – and positively influenced – some of the UK’s most successful infrastructure projects like Crossrail and the London 2012 Olympics. It is increasingly used outside the UK, especially in Sweden and, most recently, in Qatar. I and colleagues look forward to working with BRE to develop the next generation rating scheme that will address the significant challenges faced by those working in the sector.”

BREEAM will now launch an open pilot of its new BREEAM infrastructure methodology to verify the science based metrics that have been developed. This, together with the development work and new metrics behind the planned upgrade of CEEQUAL (to Version 6) will inform the next generation scheme which BRE plans to launch in 2017.

What happens next with CEEQUAL
During the transition period CEEQUAL will continue to operate as normal, with the existing Verifiers and continued support from the Scheme Management Team. It will continue to provide benefits to project and contract teams striving to deliver the evolving sustainability aspirations of the construction industry. Commitments and contracts with current customers of CEEQUAL will continue unchanged.

CEEQUAL will continue to be available for new project and term contract teams, who we encourage to apply for new CEEQUAL assessments, particularly as the new Version 5.2 is soon to be released. CEEQUAL Verifiers will continue to provide the important skills needed for the completion of CEEQUAL Assessments, while members of the current CEEQUAL scheme management team, TAG and Subject Experts will, we trust, maintain their support during the future operational and development period.

CEEQUAL Assessors will be able to transition their qualifications to the new scheme when it is launched, currently envisaged to be in 2017/18. CEEQUAL certificates will continue to be signed by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and this role will extend to include infrastructure certificates issued by BREEAM.

At a practical level, we can also tell you that:

  • Roger Venables will have a continuing role in marketing and promotion of CEEQUAL, briefing / training of new members of the BRE-based CEEQUAL team, and in explaining the new arrangements to current and prospective users and other stakeholders;
  • Ian Nicholson, supported by his colleagues at Responsible Solutions, is continuing as CEEQUAL’s Technical Director on a consultancy basis to BRE, and Ian will also continue to lead on Assessor and Verifier training, with Philip Charles also continuing to run some of the Assessor Training Courses;
  • Sadly, the involvement of CIRIA will come to an end as the current team will shortly hand over their administration, finance and training activities to BRE and the BRE Academy respectively;
  • Melanie Manton has transferred to BRE staff to continue to work on CEEQUAL;
  • From today there will be a new telephone number at BRE for the functions previously carried out for CEEQUAL at both CIRIA’s and Crane Environmental’s offices– that number is +44 (0) 333 014 7880;
  • Should you ring 020 3137 2379 or 020 7549 3302 out of habit, you will have a reminder message and be automatically or personally re-directed to the new number;
  • Ian Nicholson, Phil Edwards and Charlotte Baker will remain on +44 (0)1509 363101.

For further information on CEEQUAL and future registrations under the scheme please refer to the CEEQUAL website (www.ceequal.com).

For further information on BREEAM Infrastructure please refer to the BREEAM website (www.breeam.org.uk/infrastructure).

For press enquiries please contact Linda McKeown (01923 664569, mckeownl@bre.co.uk).

Roger Venables, former CEEQUAL Chief Executive, can still be contacted at roger.venables@ceequal.com.