Why choose BREEAM?

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Credible worldwide and now available to the US market, BREEAM USA In-Use can serve up to 85% of the existing buildings in the US that don’t meet the criteria for a LEED EB. How does it do that – you ask.

In a word, F-L-E-X-I-B-I-L-T-Y.

No prerequisites

Unlike LEED, all credits and even topic sections are optional. This means the system can adapt to client requirements, allowing the client to pursue those issues which are of most value.

If you want to check this out in more detail, here’s a link to the Technical Manual.

Available to a wide-range of building types

BREEAM goes beyond office buildings. It applies to any existing non-residential building type.  Hotels, Industrial, Schools, Labs, Hospitals, Retail, Adaptive Reuse – you name it.  

The first two buildings certified in the US were a shopping mall and a school. Internationally, there are a vast assortment of building types.  The City of Stockholm is benchmarking their real estate portfolio. They have completed over 59 assessments of building types ranging from a sports hall/gym complex to a bakery originally built in 1912.  The prominent pan-European real estate investment company, Redevco, has certified 88% of their 400 predominantly retail properties.

Certification is available to lower performing assets

Buildings don’t have to be considered “green” to certify. BREEAM is applicable to buildings of all ages, sizes, and performance levels. Six levels of certification are available; ranging from Pass (just above compliance) all the way to Outstanding.  Achieving lower-level ratings can be done with little cost.

BREEAM is focused on year-over-year improvements and can serve your building where it is – right now. It’s all about getting on the ladder of self-improvement. BREEAM In-Use is a journey to understand and improve the performance of a building or portfolio.

Building operations and asset performance are assessed and certified separately

BREEAM recognizes that not all buildings fit into neat categories. BREEAM In-Use is divided into three parts that are considered independently and can be combined in a variety of ways:

  • Part 1: Asset performance: The asset’s built form, construction, fixtures, fittings, and installed services

  • Part 2: Building Management: The management and operation of the building

  • Part 3: Tenant’s Operations: The policies and activities of the tenant within the building.

So, any given building can choose to certify only the characteristics of their building, only how they manage the building, or both. And Part 3 is available to tenants who want to assess their operations.

Parts of a building can be rated individually

Applicants can choose to certify only those portions that 

  • are occupied by non-residential uses
  • for which they have consumption data 

So, if you have mixed-use buildings or don’t have consumption data for all the spaces in your building, don’t fear - BREEAM has you covered.

With flexibility and credibility, BREEAM In-Use is the right choice for a variety of situations.  If you have: tenants or investors interested in green building, a desire to improve your GRESB score, corporate sustainability goals, buildings that don’t qualify for LEED, or if you just want to manage your assets better - BREEAM In-Use could be the solution for you.

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Hat tip to Barry Giles blog of the same title. Though we offer different spins.

Julia Craighill

Ensight Consulting, 6911 Maple Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815