BREEAM is an environmental rating scheme that awards credits based on sustainability considerations. On completion of a review by a BREEAM accredited assessor, a building can be awarded Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent, or Outstanding rating. British in origin, the scheme has inspired international equivalents.
Initially developed as a marketing tool for green office buildings, BREEAM has raised awareness of environmental sustainability, rapidly expanding into sectors such as healthcare, eco-homes and retail.
How BREEAM works
BREEAM rewards performance above regulation which delivers environmental, comfort or health benefits. BREEAM awards points or ‘Credits’ and groups the environmental impacts as follows:
– Energy: operational energy and carbon dioxide (CO2)
– Management: management policy, commissioning, site management and procurement
– Health and Wellbeing: indoor and external issues (noise, light, air, quality etc)
– Transport: transport-related CO2 and location related factors
– Water consumption and efficiency
– Materials: embodied impacts of building materials, including lifecycle impacts like embodied carbon dioxide
– Waste: construction resource efficiency and operational waste management and minimization
– Pollution: external air and water pollution
– Land Use: type of site and building footprint
– Ecology: ecological value, conservation and enhancement of the site
What does BREEAM do?
Due to its credit-based structure, BREEAM assessment is clear, easy to understand, transparent and flexible. Clients can easily see areas in which they have either excelled or failed. Moreover, it is supported by evidence-based science and research, has a positive influence on the design, construction and management of buildings, and defines and maintains a robust technical standard with rigorous quality assurance and certification. Therefore, BREEAM addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues, and enables developers, designers and building managers to demonstrate the environmental credentials of their buildings to clients, planners and other initial parties.