Monday, August 11, 2008

BREEAM - the UK equivalent to LEED - toughens up

A bit of news for you all: A tougher version of BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method), the UK's most popular method of measuring a building's green credentials, was released last week. A summary of the changes made are:

  • The weightings given to each area of credit were changed to give more emphasis on energy efficiency
  • Mandatory credits were introduced (the equivalent of LEED prerequisites)

  • A second stage was brought into the certification process, so that certification occurs post construction as well in addition to design stage review.

  • Introduction of shell only assessments

  • A BREEAM Outstanding rating has been introduced (above Excellent rating)

The change making most waves in the UK press is the introduction of more credits relating to energy efficiency. Previously projects could have been awarded BREEAM excellent but still been energy inefficient buildings. The new credits include benchmarks for CO2 emissions, which will align with the the new Environmental Performance Certificates (previously written about on this blog here) introduced in the UK.

I have carried out a quick analysis of how the new credit weightings of BREEAM compare to LEED. See charts below:



Previously Energy was lumped in with Transport in BREEAM (which was 25% of total credits), now Energy stands alone at 19% of available credits it will make it fundamental for buildings to be energy efficient in order to attain a high BREEAM rating. For a breakdown of BREEAM credits go to the BRE website.

It will be interesting to see whether the changes to LEED next year mirror any of the changes made to BREEAM, or in fact go further. As always, I'd welcome your views from across the Atlantic!

7 comments:

Millennial 4 Earth said...

sorry for posting right on top of you!

Green London said...

he he, no worries!!

PhilClark said...

Hi there from across the Pond,
As a blogger and buildings journalist over in the UK it's interesting to see the growing relationship between LEED and BREEAM. The latest version of BREEAM has taken on board some elements of LEED, such as measuring the in use measurment of how a building actually performs after completion. Yet there are still doubts that BREEAM is really tough enough in relation to energy. As the world gets smaller you will see more competition - and more similarities - between these different systems.

PhilClark said...

Me again. Bit of a plug - you can find out more or discuss this at my blog - www.zerochampion.com or the Building Sustainability website - www.building.co.uk/sustainability. Thanks.

Ben said...

I work as a Sustainability Consultant in the UK and use BREEAM regularly to assess building projects. I was looking to get in touch with some LEED assessors to discuss some of the differences that exist between the schemes. Please get in touch with me (benjs42@gmail.com)

Peter said...

Given differing standards between LEED and BREEAM, it is important to also recognize the similarities across both green certifications. Earlier this month, a LEED instructor from Everblue Training Institute visited the U.K. to correspond with various BREEAM instructors. To read more, visit: http://www.everblue.edu/blog/leed-and-breeam-midlands-uk.

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