Sustainable Design and Construction

BREEAM major impact on design and construction management

BREEAM is comprised of ten major categories which contain numerous credits which are awarded following proof of achievement in the design and construction stages of project. Credits are awarded in the ten categories according to performance. These credits are then added together to produce a single overall score on a scale of Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.

The overall aim of BREEAM environmental accreditation is to:

  • To mitigate the impacts of buildings on the environment
  • To enable buildings to be recognized according to their environmental benefits
  • To provide a credible, environmental label for buildings
  • To stimulate demand for sustainable buildings

Design Implementations

A summary of specific project management decisions and design implementations of the CEU Campus Redevelopment Project which were influence by the BREEAM process can be found below.

Health and Wellbeing

This standards set forth in this category aim to ensure that a building provides a comfortable and healthy working environment for potential users. Key issues include:

  • The assurance of abundant natural light in all work and study spaces, including the reduction of glare in light spaces
  • Comfortable and energy efficient artificial lighting
  • Rich circulation of natural air, and high indoor air quality
  • Inclusion of interactive building controls which maintain thermal comfort
  • User activated windows and access to outdoor space
  • Access to fresh drinking water

Management, Community Consultation and Educational Outreach

Consultation with internal and external community members has helped shape the vision and design of CEU’s future campus. Key issues addressed within this category include:

  • Significant input with internal stakeholders in designing the layout and functionality of campus space; a commitment to holding periodic public events to outline progress of the project
  • Comprehensive consultation with all local building and historical authorities
  • The inclusion of accessible public space which has benefit to the local community
  • A commitment to use the project as an educational resource which promotes sustainable building


CEU’s location in the heart of Budapest makes it an ideally accessible venue for community members, guest and visitors. Compliance with the Transport section of BREEAM ensured that the University takes steps to ensure safe and functional access to campus buildings and local public transport options, while promoting environmentally friendly forms of transport. Specific design elements include:

  • Abundant protected bicycle parking with showering and storage facilities
  • A specific on campus community travel information point
  • Full accessibility to and within the campus for disabled guests and community members

Land Use and Ecology

Concerns for increasing the ecological value of campus space are not lost within CEU’s urban environment. The Land Use and Ecology section of BREEAM outlined required the enhancement of the ecological value of campus space. CEU was able to accomplish specific requirements of this section by:

  • Incorporating a fully accessible rooftop garden within the project
  • Including indigenous plant species which are bird and bee friendly
  • Adding additional educational value to roofspace by including a specific area for edible crop planting
  • Designing a rainwater collection system to reduce reliance on fresh water for irrigation

Materials Selection

Responsible sourcing of construction materials, decorative items and furniture have a significant impact on the environmental footprint of buildings. Specific design innovations which help CEU earn credits within the Materials category of BREEAM include:

  • Significant reuse of the existing interior structure of the Nador 13 building
  • Reusage of original brickwork to minimize the necessity to procure virgin building materials
  • Responsible sourcing of all building materials which comply with set production, pollution control and durability standards

Construction Impacts Reduction

The impacts of the construction of the new campus have relevance within multiple BREEAM categories. Specific steps taken to reduce the environmental impact of construction, while also ensuring that the concerns of the surrounding community during construction were addressed include:

  • Significant consultation with community members and local authorities leading up to and during construction
  • The establishment of a construction management plan which maintained health and safety standards, selective waste management, pollution control strategies, and energy efficient construction practices

Energy Efficient Design and Building Management

The consumption of energy required to maintain comfortable working conditions within the future campus will have the largest impact on CEU’s environmental footprint throughout the lifespan of the new buildings. Significant focus during the design stage of the project prioritized energy efficiency and a reduced reliance on mechanical heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting systems in the new campus. The BREEAM Energy category is weighted the most heavily in the generation of the overall score awarded to project. Specific design elements included to ensure an energy and resource efficient future CEU campus include:

  • Increasing the robustness of the exterior of the building and all openings to ensure more efficient insulation of the building during all weather conditions
  • Utilizing exposed concrete structural elements to benefit from thermal massing properties which reduce the necessity of mechanical heating and cooling
  • Including courtyards covered with glass atriums to provide functional space in all seasons while aiding in circulating fresh air throughout the building
  • Linking all HVAC, lighting, and water circulation systems with building management system (BMS) software to ensure efficiency of operation while increasing the ability to accurately monitor resource consumption, and provide greater control over systems which impact interior conditions throughout the year
  • Including energy efficient elevators which have power regeneration capacity and low consumption standby modes
  • Incorporating high efficiency and low consumption artificial lighting sources which are also linked to the BMS system