BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method) is the world's first sustainability rating scheme for the built environment and has contributed much to the strong focus in the UK on sustainability in building design, construction and use. BREEAM is now an international standard that is locally adapted, operated and applied through a network of international operators, assessors and industry professionals. Through its application and use BREEAM helps clients measure and reduce the environmental impacts of their buildings and in doing so create higher value, lower risk assets.
To date, BREEAM has been used to certify over 530,000 building assessments across the building life cycle and it is being applied in over 70 countries.
Aims of BREEAM
- To mitigate the life cycle impacts of buildings on the environment
- To enable buildings to be recognised according to their environmental benefits
- To provide a credible, environmental label for buildings
- To stimulate demand and create value for sustainable buildings, building products and supply chains.
Objectives of BREEAM
- To provide market recognition of buildings with a low environmental impact
- To ensure best environmental practice is incorporated in the planning, design, construction and operation of buildings and the wider built environment
- To define a robust, cost effective performance standard surpassing that required by regulations
- To challenge the market to provide innovative, cost effective solutions that minimise the environmental impact of buildings
- To raise awareness among owners, occupants, designers and operators of the benefits and value of buildings with a reduced life cycle impact on the environment
- To allow organisations to demonstrate progress towards corporate environmental objectives.
BREEAM is developed and operated to meet the following underlying principles:
- Ensure environmental quality through an accessible, holistic and balanced measure of environmental impacts.
- Use quantified measures for determining environmental quality.
- Adopt a flexible approach that encourages and rewards positive outcomes, avoiding prescribed solutions.
- Use robust science and best practice as the basis for quantifying and calibrating a cost effective and rigorous performance standard for defining environmental quality.
- Reflect the social and economic benefits of meeting the environmental objectives covered.
- Provide a common international framework of assessment that is tailored to meet the 'local' context including regulation, climate and sector.
- Integrate building professionals in the development and operational processes to ensure wide understanding and accessibility.
- Adopt third party certification to ensure independence, credibility and consistency of the label.
- Adopt existing industry tools, practices and other standards wherever possible to support developments in policy and technology, build on existing skills and understanding, and minimise costs.
- Align technically and operationally with relevant international standards, including the suite of standards on the 'Sustainability of Construction Works' prepared by the European Committee for Standardisation Technical Committee CEN/TC 350.
- Engage with a representative range of stakeholders to inform ongoing development in accordance with the underlying principles and the pace of change in performance standards (accounting for policy, regulation and market capability).
The aims, objectives and principles of BREEAM are embodied within a Core Technical Standard owned and managed by BRE Global Ltd. This is applied through a suite of BREEAM schemes covering aspects of the built environment life cycle. These schemes are locally developed and operated by a number of different organisations, called National Scheme Operators (NSOs), across a range of countries.
For a full list of BREEAM NSOs and Schemes visit:www.breeam.com.
The BREEAM Schemes
BRE Global Limited is the NSO of BREEAM in the UK. We develop and operate a number of BREEAM Schemes for the UK and internationally, each designed to assess the environmental performance of developments at various stages in the life cycle, and these include:
- BREEAM Infrastructure for new infrastructure projects
- BREEAM Communities for developments at the neighbourhood scale or larger
- BREEAM New Construction for new-build domestic (international only) and non-domestic buildings
- Home Quality Mark for new-build domestic buildings (UK only)
- BREEAM In-Use for existing non-domestic buildings in-use
- BREEAM Refurbishment for domestic (UK only) and non-domestic building fit-outs and refurbishments.
Independent BREEAM Assessors, trained, qualified and licensed by BRE Global Limited can undertake a BREEAM assessment using this scheme document and associated reporting and calculation tools.
Once an assessment is complete and quality assured BRE Global Limited will issue a BREEAM certificate. The BREEAM certificate provides formal verification that the Assessor has completed an assessment of a building in accordance with the requirements of the scheme and its quality standards and procedures.
A BREEAM certificate provides assurance to any interested party that a building's BREEAM rating, at the time of certification, accurately reflects its performance against the BREEAM standard.
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