Changes to Hea 06 Security in the draft BREEAM NC 2018

I've acted as SQSS for BREEAM Hea 06 Security Needs Assessments on a good number of BREEAM NC 2014 projects, so I wanted to take a look at how the security component of the BREEAM New Construction scheme has changed from the current version to the recently released draft 2018 version.

Security and sustainability professionals, please let me know what you make of the changes.

Hea 06 - Security

Firstly and most obviously, security now has its own section. In NC 2014 security and safe access were both found under Hea 06 and the title of safety and security. For me, this always felt like security was a bit of an afterthought, so I'm pleased to see that security now has its own section (still Hea 06) and that the relationship between security and sustainability and wellbeing is made more explicit.


That leads us to the 'Value' section, which is a new element across NC 2018. I don't think there's anything controversial here, and its good to see the emphasis on risk and phrases like 'considered specification' as well as the aforementioned link to wellbeing.


Here's where things start to get interesting... As in NC 2014, there is a single credit for completion of a Security Needs Assessment by a Suitably Qualified Security Specialist. But NC 2018 also brings in an Exemplary Performance credit, which is achieved by using a 'compliant risk based security rating scheme'. 

This will come as no surprise to those who know that BRE has launched just such a scheme in the form of SABRE, which develops the risk based approach of the SNA into a comprehensive rating scheme for buildings. It's going to be very interesting to see how this extra credit affects the take-up of SABRE and vice-versa.

The Security Needs Assessment

The scope of the SNA is essentially the same in NC 2014 and 2018: site survey, consultation and risk assessment for the new development in order to allow the identification and evaluation of security solutions. 

Recommendations or Controls?

In NC 2014, the SNA concludes with a set of recommendations that address the issues identified by the SQSS. NC 2018 looks to improve on this slightly vague and reactive approach by swapping out recommendations for controls, which include 'design and layout', physical security' and 'technological security'. In the end, this probably won't change the content of SNAs very much but I'm pleased that the wording reflects a more deliberate approach to security design.

The Suitably Qualified Security Specialist

Anyone involved in producing Security Needs Assessments, certainly in London in the last couple of years, will note that NC 2018 no longer lists the Crime Prevention Design Advisor or similar as the first option in who can act as SQSS. As limited police crime prevention resources are now focused on delivering Secured By Design and have been unwilling to act as SQSS, this should remove some confusion.

BRE have rightly left the door open to police CPDAs etc to act as SQSS (if they meet the other qualification criteria) so if you're lucky enough to have a project in a force area that will support you in that way, you may be on your way to a free credit. 

Reflecting the increasing professionalisation of security design, NC 2018 notes that any practising security professional can act as SQSS provided they meet the experience, qualification and membership criteria. Those criteria are largely unchanged, but again watch this space with regard to SABRE certification.


For me the changes to Hea 06 in the draft NC 2018 have improved the bits that needed improvement and retained the bits that brought benefits in NC 2014. I'm really interested to see how the market for SABRE certification has developed by the time NC 2018 goes live, and to see whether that Exemplary Performance credit will be picked up.