Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, or BREEAM, was the world’s first widely used green building certification system. Developed in the 1990s in the UK by Building Research Establishment (BRE), today BREEAM is used in over 80 countries.1 BREAAM certification demonstrates a building project’s sustainability and its commitment to protecting natural resources and enhancing the well-being of the people who live and work there. BREEAM can be applied to new developments or refurbishment projects, whether for individual homes or commercial buildings, community master planning, or infrastructure projects. It has been used for building projects from offices, retail spaces, and industrial facilities to data centers, educational and healthcare institutions, and residential spaces. Projects are assessed throughout the building life cycle. BREEAM works with independent third-party certification bodies to ensure that the process meets quality and performance standards. These certification bodies assess projects using a series of environmental, social, and economic sustainability benchmarks developed by BRE.2

Projects can be assessed and certified at various phases in the built environment life cycle, from design and construction to operation and refurbishment. There are two stages in the evaluation process. The first of these, the design stage assessment, awards an interim certificate. A final certificate and rating is issued following the second, post-construction assessment. Projects are evaluated for certification across nine categories: energy, health and wellbeing, innovation, land use, materials, management, pollution, transport, waste, and water. Each category is divided into various criteria, addressing factors like reduced carbon emissions, adaptation to climate change, protection of biodiversity, design durability, and low-impact design. When a certifier determines that a project has achieved a target, it earns credits. A category score is determined according to the sum of credits earned, and the category’s weighting. The final performance rating is calculated by adding the weighted category scores. Qualifying projects are certified according different tiers, which include pass, good, very good, excellent, and outstanding. For buildings that are already in use, BREEAM offers a personalized action plan for improving management and performance. Building projects that don’t easily fit in any of BREEAM’s technical standard categories can use BRE’s Bespoke customizing service. Project managers can opt for a pre-assessment evaluation to determine the areas in which their proposals need improvement and prepare for the real assessment.2

  1. BRE

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