The BREEAM certification, or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is a building sustainability assessment system that was developed in the United Kingdom in 1990.
Currently, it has become one of the most widely used sustainability certification systems in the world. It assesses a range of categories such as energy efficiency, water consumption, material quality, indoor air quality, management systems, health and well-being, and ecological land use.
Different evaluation and certification metrics are used to measure environmental performance in each category, and points are awarded based on performance. Buildings that achieve a minimum score in each category are considered BREEAM-certified.
There are different levels of BREEAM certification, ranging from Pass (approved) to Outstanding (highest level).
The BREEAM methodology is highly valuable for building owners and managers who want to improve the sustainability and environmental performance of their properties. It can also be used by governments, organizations, and other stakeholders to assess the environmental performance of buildings and promote sustainable construction.
The BREEAM certification process consists of several stages, which include:
There are different BREEAM schemes depending on the type of building and its lifecycle phase. For example, there are schemes for new buildings, existing buildings, homes, offices, among others.
Before starting the construction or renovation of the building, an initial assessment is conducted to identify sustainability goals and areas for improvement. This assessment can be carried out by a BREEAM assessor or the project team.
During this stage, the planned sustainability measures for the building are implemented. The project team must ensure compliance with the sustainability requirements established in the selected BREEAM scheme.
After completing the building design, the predicted environmental performance of the building is measured. The assessment is conducted by a BREEAM assessor and is used to identify areas for improvement before the building is constructed.
Once construction has begun, the BREEAM assessor monitors the project progress to ensure compliance with sustainability requirements. Upon completion of construction, a post-construction assessment is conducted to measure the actual performance of the building.
If the building meets the requirements of the selected scheme, a BREEAM certificate is awarded. The certificate can be at different levels of approval based on the building’s total score.
The BREEAM certificate must be renewed periodically to ensure that the building continues to meet sustainability requirements. The frequency of reassessment depends on the selected BREEAM scheme.
There are several types of BREEAM certificates that are tailored to the characteristics of each building and its lifecycle.
Here are some of the most common ones:
The BREEAM Urbanism certificate is used to assess and certify the sustainability of urban development projects, such as new neighborhoods, residential areas, commercial and service areas, and urban renewal.
The aim is to promote sustainability and quality of life in cities and improve the relationship between the built environment and the natural environment.
The BREEAM Residential certificate is a certification scheme designed to assess and certify the sustainability of residential projects, including both single-family homes and multi-family residential buildings.
Its goal is to promote sustainable construction practices and reduce the environmental impact of residential buildings.
The BREEAM New Construction certificate is used to assess and certify the sustainability of new buildings during their design and construction phase.
It focuses on promoting sustainability and improving energy efficiency, responsible water use, waste management, transportation, and the health and well-being of people working or living in the building.
The BREEAM Bespoke certificate is a certification scheme designed for construction projects that do not fit into any of the existing BREEAM schemes.
This scheme allows owners and project developers to customize the sustainability assessment according to the specific needs of the project.
The BREEAM In-Use certificate is used to assess and certify the sustainability of existing buildings during their operational phase.
This scheme includes two parts, one to evaluate the building’s performance and another to evaluate the building management’s performance.
BREEAM certification offers numerous benefits to building owners, users, and developers, as well as to urban development projects. Here are some of them:
In summary, BREEAM certification provides economic, social, and environmental benefits by promoting sustainable and responsible construction and operation practices.