BREEAM Crosses the Pond: British Green Building Certification Comes to the US

October 3, 2016

In the United States, LEED reigns supreme when it comes to green building certification, but BREEAM, a twenty-five-year old British certification system, is migrating to the US. The consulting firm BuildingWise is leading the effort to bring BREEAM to the American market.Trainings in the principles of the program began in August. The BLOC, a city-block renovation project in Downtown Los Angeles, should receive it’s certification in October.

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) is available in 70 countries, mostly in Europe. LEED, which is available in 160 countries and territories, has a much broader global footprint, and about 15 billion square feet of space has been LEED certified of May 2016.

BREEAM’s in-use building assessment tool is the main focus of the collaboration between BRE and BuildingWise. BREEAM’s In-Use International Technical Standard is an assessment tool which helps the owners of existing commercial buildings improve operational efficiency and sustainability. It costs $1,000 to register for an online self-assessment, and from there, building owners can choose to work with a BREEAM In-Use Assessor or invest in certification.

BREEAM isn’t coming to the US to replace LEED, but will hopefully offer a complimentary certification system. The latest version of LEED is the most ambitious, but also the most strict, and BuildingWise and other US partners hope that BREEAM will allow builders to inch up their commitment to green building before taking the plunge into LEED.

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