BREEM Certification for commercial buildings
BREEAM Certification: Building Sustainability with Environmental Assessment
As we become more aware of the environmental impact of buildings, there is a growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly construction practices. BREEAM certification is one of the ways that the building industry is addressing this issue, providing a recognized standard for sustainable building design, construction, and operation.
BREEAM, or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is the oldest green building rating system in the world, created in 1990. The rating system has certified buildings in over 50 countries, with over 560,000 certified buildings and over 2 million projects. BREEAM assesses buildings across nine categories: management, health and well-being, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, and pollution.
The primary goal of BREEAM is to make buildings more sustainable by improving building performance and efficiency. The rating system evaluates buildings against specific environmental and sustainability criteria, awarding a rating of either “Pass,” “Good,” “Very Good,” “Excellent,” or “Outstanding.” BREEAM-certified buildings have been shown to reduce energy consumption, waste production, and water use, as well as improving the health and well-being of building occupants.
The management category focuses on the management of the building’s operation and maintenance, including the implementation of environmental policies, monitoring energy consumption, and staff training. The health and well-being category evaluates the quality of indoor environments, including factors such as lighting, air quality, and noise levels. The transport category assesses the accessibility of the building, including the availability of public transportation, bicycle storage, and car-sharing services.
The water category looks at the efficiency of water use, including the use of low-flow fixtures, rainwater harvesting, and greywater systems. The materials category evaluates the use of sustainable materials, such as recycled or locally sourced materials, and the disposal of waste materials. The land use and ecology category assesses the impact of the building on the surrounding environment, including the preservation of green spaces and habitats for wildlife.
Finally, the pollution category evaluates the building’s impact on the local and global environment, including the use of sustainable transportation and the reduction of carbon emissions.
In conclusion, BREEAM certification is an important step towards building a more sustainable future. By assessing buildings across multiple categories, BREEAM provides a comprehensive and recognized standard for sustainable building design, construction, and operation. BREEAM-certified buildings have been shown to reduce energy consumption, waste production, and water use, while improving the health and well-being of building occupants. As the building industry continues to address the environmental impact of construction, BREEAM certification is a crucial tool in building a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.