16 August 2023

Building envelope design to meet LETI, LEED and BREEAM in warehouse development?

How can taking a holistic approach to building envelope design help to meet LETI, LEED and BREEAM targets in warehouses

Taking a holistic approach to building envelope design ensures that the walls and roof of warehouses work together to meet the criteria of LETI, LEED and BREEAM, which not only results in a cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally conscious design but also facilitates an effective goods delivery and logistics facility that is adaptable to future climate changes.

As these building attributes are a key part of schemes such as LETI, LEED and BREEAM, taking a holistic design approach can help to meet sustainability targets as well as deliver a building that meets your client’s requirements. 

Credits are available in sustainability schemes to reward the design and construction of buildings that meet health and wellbeing targets. In the context of building envelope design and construction, a sustainable boost might include incorporating energy efficient technologies, using renewable energy sources, optimising material usage to reduce waste, promoting recycling and waste management, enhancing indoor air quality, acoustic comfort, and thermal comfort, and adopting environmentally responsible practices throughout the lifecycle of the building.

What is best practice for holistic warehouse building design to help meet LETI, LEED and BREEAM targets sustainability targets?

The key to producing a successful warehouse design that meets with LETI, LEED and BREEAM targets is to take a holistic systems approach. 

As laying the concrete floor sits on the critical path for warehouse projects, speed of construction is an important consideration. By employing a holistic system approach from one manufacturer, where installation techniques of the walls and roof have been optimised, can offer the wind and water-tight envelope required earlier in the build programme than using a mix and match approach from different manufacturers. 

Building envelope system manufacturers can offer metal panel solutions for both the walls and roof where the interfaces between them are correctly detailed. Well-designed junction details from an experienced manufacturer will help to ensure that on-site performance of airtightness and thermal performance matches that of the design. Choosing different solutions from multiple manufacturers risks performance being compromised by gaps or areas where insulation is not continuous across the envelope. 

Having independent testing details for systems allows specifiers to be able to make more informed choices when choosing the most appropriate building envelope for a project.  In situations where noise control is needed, systems tested for their acoustic performance can help specifiers. Moreover, to ensure that the building envelope will meet fire performance requirements of the building regulations, systems that have undergone full scale fire testing to recognised standards such as LPCB or FM Approvals will bring reassurance to both the client and specifier. 

As individual projects have specific client requirements, seeking guidance from the system manufacturer is beneficial. This guidance helps find the best ways to adapt, specify and install wall and roof solutions to meet both project performance and aesthetic requirements. The external appearance of the final warehouse can be tailored to suit individual client preferences. However, seeking guarantees for the external finish of the metal panels is essential. It should not only offer an appealing visual appearance but also ensure long-term protection against weathering and corrosion damage. This becomes particularly significant when considering the retrofitting of solar panels on the roof, which places extra demands on the roof’s durability. Therefore, specifying a roof finish with protection guarantees in such a situation is worth considering.

With LETI, LEED and BREEAM in mind, the sustainability and environmental impact of the wall and roof panels plays an important part in when selecting the most appropriate solutions. Check that product specific EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) are available for wall and roof solutions where a life cycle analysis has been used to assess their environmental impact. Look for manufacturers who can offer sustainable system solutions where additional carbon benefits are available for your project.

How can specifiers maximise their building envelope design to meet LETI, LEED and BREEAM targets sustainability targets? 

Specifiers can maximise their building design by working with system manufacturers who offer sustainable building envelope systems that deliver the building performance required and provide additional sustainability benefits to meet LETI, LEED and BREEAM targets.

The Tata Steel Trisobuild® site assembled roofing and cladding system from Building Systems UK offers a system approach that can meet the requirements of warehouse projects. Our customers can use OptemisTM Carbon Lite certified low CO2 steel for their projects. This gives immediate scope 3 emissions savings towards LETI, LEED and BREEAM sustainability targets.

If Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® pre-finished steel is specified, the durability of the finish is covered by a 40-year Confidex® guarantee that includes its use under PV panels and for extra reassurance a Platinum® Plus 25-year building envelope guarantee is also available.

If you would like to see how we can help meet your sustainability goals by taking a holistic systems approach to design please contact the Building Systems UK building envelope team for more information.

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