BREEAM Update to Reflect Global Input and Latest Sustainability Science

By Barbra Murray

The United Kingdom-based Building Research Establishment (BRE) is in the process of updating BREEAM, one of the world’s leading building certification systems. The firm has cast a wide net in its bid to ensure that BREEAM V7 reflects the most current science available. As part of the updating process, BRE is taking input from its clients, partners, and informed experts from around the world. Working with BREAM are some of the leading stakeholders in the sustainability community, including ENERGY STAR. One of BRE’s goals in the new version of BREEAM is to sync the certification system with ENERGY STAR ratings, to allow for the exchange of data between the two online platforms and bolster compatibility with the most up-to-date global ESG requirements. The revised version will also mark the first update spanning BREEAM’s New Construction, Refurbishment and Fit Out, and In-Use standards.

As the world works toward net zero emissions by 2050, building certifications play an important role in achieving this objective. The fact that the built environment generates approximately 40 percent of annual carbon dioxide emissions has put pressure on the commercial real estate industry to prove their carbon reduction efforts. Certifications like BREEAM have become a way for building owners to cater to tenants’ increasing desire for greater sustainability in their office buildings and multifamily communities. Given the challenge of achieving net zero and the importance of accommodating the sustainability-related needs of building occupants and investors, there will be even more buildings working to obtain green certifications. Soon they will have a new set of rules to follow to do so.

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