Security as part of Sustainability and Planning Submissions

  • Do you require credit points towards your BREEAM rating?
  • Do you require support in discharging a security related planning condition?
  • Did you know that security can provide credits towards your BREEAM rating as well as smooth the path through the planning process?

A Security Needs Assessment

BREEAM grants a single credit point towards a development’s rating if a Security Needs Assessment (SNA) is completed by a Suitably Qualified Security Specialist (SQSS) and the recommendations from that report are implemented. Hea 06 defines a SNA as “the project and site specific assessment of security needs” and requires:

  • A visual audit of the site and surroundings;
  • Formal consultation with relevant stakeholders;
  • Identification of risks specific to the use and user groups of the building; and
  • Identification of any detrimental effects the development may have on the existing community.

The SNA should be completed during RIBA Stage 2; however, it is possible to complete the SNA in later design stages providing an SQSS confirms that the implementation of security measures has not been adversely affected as a result of their later involvement.

A Security Needs Assessment is a relatively quick, flexible and affordable mechanism to gain a credit point towards your BREEAM rating and can also be used to satisfy some of the more straight forward security related planning conditions within your planning application.

Security Assessment BRE – SABRE

SABRE can achieve two credit points under Hea06, rather than the single credit point offered for an SNA or other schemes such as Secured by Design. This more comprehensive scheme requires greater levels of security documentation but may prove to be an easier and cheaper route to gaining two credit points than other project sustainability options, particularly for developments targeting an Excellent or Outstanding BREEAM rating.

SABRE is the new global security risk management standard for new and existing buildings, infrastructure assets and managed space. The scheme, managed by BRE and aligned with BREEAM, provides the development industry with a framework that can be used during the design, construction and operation of assets to achieve better security outcomes and return on investment.

While this undoubtedly brings benefits throughout project design stages, we have found that SABRE is most valuable to clients where BREEAM certification is a primary driver or where planning challenges have been encountered. While the updated national planning policy framework calls for safety and security to be considered in all development, each planning authority can interpret that requirement differently. Clients are often faced with what may appear to be onerous or highly specific security-related planning conditions; there is often ambiguity as conditions may vary considerably across the country. SABRE provides clarity through this process.

Pursuing SABRE demonstrates a client’s commitment to security best practice and communicates their ability to manage security risks, providing valuable assurance to tenants, insurers, investors, regulators, planning authorities and other interested parties. Additionally, the process is independently third-party verified and certified by BRE.

We are finding that SABRE is warmly received by planning authorities and police Designing Out Crime Officers due to the comprehensive documentation required by the scheme. This is a compelling position for clients who seek certainty and a trouble-free path through the planning approval process.

BB7 Capability

Our security team comprises licensed SABRE Professionals, SABRE Assessors and Suitably Qualified Security Specialists, enabling us to deliver all forms of support to your sustainability and planning needs. BB7 is now also the leading provider of SABRE services in the UK.

Recent examples include:

BB7 is contracted to provide a Security Needs Assessment for a unique student accommodation development in Cambridge.


BB7 was contracted to set the foundation for security design in order to discharge a security-related planning condition for this luxury hotel in London. The process and documentation also met the requirements of a Security Needs Assessment.


BB7 is contracted to provide SABRE assessment services across 7 new sites for a leading national secure, self-storage company, using the first portfolio approached supported by BRE. The client selected BB7 for our knowledge of the SABRE process and our ability to ensure a smooth transition through planning; satisfying the range of security related planning conditions that vary considerably across the different planning authorities in the UK. All sites have achieved a SABRE Excellent Design Rating.