BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a voluntary measurement rating for green buildings that was established in the UK by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). Since its inception it has since grown in scope and geographically, being exported in various guises across the globe. Its equivalents in other regions include LEED North America and Green Star in Australia, and HQE in France. BRE and CSTB (the French Building research centre) have signed a memorandum of understanding committing them to the alignment of BREEAM and HQE.


BREEAM was established in 1990 as a tool to measure the sustainability of new non-domestic buildings in the UK [1]. It has been updated regularly in line with UK building regulations and underwent a significant facelift on 1 August 2008, called BREEAM 2008[2].

Building typesEdit

The standard covers these main building types[3]:

  • Retail
  • Offices
  • Education
  • Prisons
  • Courts
  • Healthcare
  • Industrial
  • Specialised buildings assessed under the BREEAM Bespoke method
  • Multi-Residential

BREEAM 2008Edit

The main changes in the new version of BREEAM are:

  • A new two stage assessment process: Design stage and Post Construction
  • Introduction of mandatory credits
  • A new rating level of BREEAM Outstanding

International growthEdit

The BREEAM standard is now being exported under the responsibility of a division of the BRE called BREEAM international. The standard is set to be used in regions such as the Gulf (BREEAM Gulf) and Europe.[4]. In order to become a BREEAM International assessor the individual must have attended one of the assessor training courses.

Future developmentEdit

On June 16, 2009, it was announced that the BRE had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together with the French CSTB (Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment) and its subsidiary CertiVéA to develop a pan-European building environmental assessment method. The CSTB are one of the organisations behind the French Haute Qualité Environnementale (High Environmental Quality) standard, which has similarities to BREEAM. It is hoped that this will eventually result in the development and promotion of a common assessment method throughout the European Union.


  1. "About BREEAM buildings". Building Research Establishment Ltd. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  2. "BREEAM 2008 Update". Building Research Establishment Ltd. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  3. "A new face for BREEAM". Building. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  4. Kennett, Stephen (2008-10-28). "Dutch to adopt BREEAM". Building. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 

External linksEdit

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