The BRE Environmental Assessment Method is the world’s most widely used approach to rating buildings; setting standards for best practice in sustainable design, it has become the de facto measure used to describe a property’s environmental performance.

A BREEAM assessor should be involved in a project as early as possible. As the majority of BREEAM schemes include a design stage assessment, it is important to implement details into the plans from the outset. By doing so, it will be easier to attain the higher ratings, and a more cost effective result.  Ideally an assessor should be brought on board at the concept design stage.

BREEAM provides clients, developers, designers and others with:

  • market recognition for low environmental impact buildings
  • assurance that best environmental practice is incorporated into a building
  • inspiration to find innovative solutions that minimise the environmental impact
  • a benchmark that is higher than regulation
  • a tool to reduce running costs, improve working as well as living environments
  • a standard that demonstrates progress towards corporate and organisational environmental objectives

BREEAM employs a straightforward scoring system that is based on evidence supported research, in enabling developers and their consultants to prove the environmental credentials of their buildings to planners and clients.

It has a positive influence on the design, construction and management of buildings, while setting a robust technical standard, with rigorous Quality Assurance and certification targets. Thus the industry has become used to seeing projects earn overall assessments as being either a PASS, GOOD, VERY GOOD, EXCELLENT or OUTSTANDING.

Materials for BREEAM assessments are sourced through information obtained from BRE Global’s Green Guide, which allocates an alphabetical score to different product groups.

In cases where a section of a building or a component is made up of various sub elements, 80% of the total area of these elements must be A rated for the appropriate number of credits to be awarded. For example, the party walls and internal partitions are considered part of the internal wall element. Therefore 80% of the total area of these sub elements must be A rated for credits to be awarded.