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BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method), published in 1990 by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). The latest international version of the label has been launched in 2016. 

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Certification operator: BREEAM was first published by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), UK.

Date of creation: 1990

Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is the world’s longest established method of assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability of buildings. It is an international standard that can be locally adapted. The assessment process evaluates the procurement, design, construction and operation of a development against targets that are based on performance benchmarks. The measures used represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy to ecology including health & well-being. Within every category, developments score points – called credits – for achieving targets, and their final total determines their rating.

Number of projects: at the end of 2017, BREEAM has been used to certify more than 560,000 developments, with 2,274,522 buildings registered for assessment across 77 countries around the world since it was first launched in 1990.


Different BREEAM versions over time:




As showed on the graphic above, several schemes exist within the BREEAM Family as follows:

  • According to the lifecycle stage/project type

CEEQUAL for new infrastructure projects

BREEAM Communities for the master-planning of a larger community of buildings

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

  • According to the country

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has partnered with local organization to create and operate local BREEAM versions. For instance, there are national BREEAM schemes for the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Spain, etc. National Scheme Operators translate the International version of BREEAM to tailor it to local standards and practices within their country. Outside of these countries and the UK projects are assessed under the BREEAM International version operated by BRE.


BREEAM International New Construction 2016

The BREEAM International New Construction 2016 scheme can be used to assess the environmental life cycle impacts of new buildings at the design and construction stages. It covers different kind of buildings notably:




BREEAM Scorecard

BREEAM International New Construction 2016 comprises 10 assessment categories (management, health & wellbeing, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, land use & ecology, pollution and innovation) and credits are awarded in these categories based on the performance of the building assessed:



Each of the above categories is ‘weighted’ differently and in addition there is an adaptation of weightings for local conditions.  


Ranking system

Credits are then aggregated to produce a single overall score on a scale of Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding. The number of credits and percentage scores vary to a degree between schemes as they relate to the opportunities that exist within that sector and life cycle stage but as an example, a project assessed under BREEAM International New Construction 2016 can achieve up to a maximum of140 credits; Innovation provides opportunities for up to 10 bonus credits. But the minimum percentage to be BREEAM certified is 30%. Higher levels of compliance are possible, leading to different rankings, as shown in the table below.


For more information:

 BREEAM Website: http://www.breeam.com/

BREEAM International New Construction 2016 :http://www.breeam.com/BREEAMInt2016SchemeDocument/