All About BREEAM

All About BREEAM

25th July 2016

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) was published by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and is the world’s longest established method of assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability of buildings.  So far more than a quarter of a million buildings have been BREEAM certified and more than a million have been registered for certification here in the UK and in more than fifty other countries around the world.

BREEAM was established in order to raise awareness amongst designers, owners, occupiers and operators of buildings of the benefits that are to be derived from ensuring sustainability.   The first version of BREEAM was launched in 1990 and was designed for assessing new office buildings.  This has been followed by many other versions of BREEAM for other types of buildings, including industrial unites, superstores and existing offices.  BREEAM enjoys regular annual updates and variations for other building types as they are introduced.

While BREEAMs original focus was on individual new buildings at the construction stage, the regular revisions and updates are driven by an ongoing necessity to improve sustainability, respond to feedback and support the UK’s sustainability strategies and commitments in the 21st Century.  The current BREEAM standard is so flexible that it can now be applied to virtually any building and location and there are versions available for new buildings, existing buildings, refurbishment projects and larger developments.

A detailed update of all BREEAM schemes in 2008 has resulted in the introduction of mandatory post-construction reviews, minimum standards and innovation credits, along with the introduction of international versions of BREEAM. 

BREEAM New Construction is now used to assess and certify all new buildings here in the UK – it’s the standard against which the sustainability of all new non-residential buildings is assessed, with the developers and project teams using the scheme at key stages in the design and procurement process to measure, evaluation, improve and reflect the performance  of buildings.

BREEAM International New Construction is used to assess the sustainability of new residential and non-residential in countries across the world (apart from the UK).  The scheme uses assessment criteria that take into account the priorities, circumstances, codes and standards of the country in which the development is located.

BREEAM In-Use is the scheme that enables building managers to reduce the running costs and improve the environmental performance of existing buildings.  It comprises of three parts:  Part 1 (Building Asset) and Part 2 (Building Management) are both relevant to all non-domestic, commercial, retail, industrial and institutional buildings.  Part 3 (Occupier Management) is used by members of the International Sustainability Alliance (ISA) and provides a platform for certification against the scheme,

BREEAM Refurbishment is a design and assessment process for sustainable housing refurbishment projects aimed at improving sustainability and environmental performance of existing buildings in a cost-effective manner.

BREEAM Communities is used to masterplan whole communities and is aimed at helping construction industry professionals to design places that people enjoy living and working in, are beneficial to the environment and economically successful.