BRE Environmental Assessment Method

Definition of BRE Environmental Assessment Method

The BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a sustainability assessment method for buildings, infrastructure and master planning projects. BREEAM evaluates the performance of a project across various categories such as energy, materials, water, waste, and pollution. It offers a rating of the project, ranging from Pass to Outstanding, to measure and enhance its environmental, social, and economic sustainability.


B-R-E Environmental Assessment Method phonetics:B – BravoR – RomeoE – EchoEnvironmental – Echo, November, Victor, India, Romeo, Oscar, November, Mike, Echo, November, Tango, Alpha, LimaAssessment – Alpha, Sierra, Sierra, Echo, Sierra, Sierra, Mike, Echo, November, TangoMethod – Mike, Echo, Tango, Hotel, Oscar, Delta

Key Takeaways

  1. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a globally recognized environmental assessment and certification system for buildings, focusing on sustainability and promoting best practices in design, construction, and operation.
  2. The key aspects evaluated within BREEAM assessments include energy and water use, health and well-being, pollution, transport, materials, waste, land use, ecology, and management of environmental and social impacts.
  3. BREEAM-certified buildings not only demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, but they also offer numerous benefits such as reduced operational costs, enhanced asset value, increased market demand, and improved occupant satisfaction.

Importance of BRE Environmental Assessment Method

The BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is an important technology term because it is a leading and widely recognized sustainability assessment method for buildings worldwide.

BREEAM signifies a comprehensive approach to evaluating and improving a building’s environmental, social, and economic performance throughout its life cycle.

As cities continue to face challenges related to increased urbanization, climate change, and resource scarcity, the adoption of BREEAM bolsters sustainable design and construction practices.

By guiding the industry towards more eco-friendly choices, it promotes a healthier and more sustainable built environment, ultimately benefiting building occupants, owners, and society as a whole.


The BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a sustainability assessment tool designed to evaluate a building project’s environmental, social, and economic performance throughout its lifecycle, from planning and construction to day-to-day operation and eventual demolition. The primary purpose of BREEAM is to encourage the adoption of sustainable practices in construction and design, recognizing that the built environment plays a significant role in addressing global environmental challenges.

By providing a systematic framework, BREEAM guides architects, developers, and operators on making well-informed and environmentally responsible decisions that minimize potential negative impacts on our planet. In addition to its environmental focus, BREEAM serves as a practical means for industry professionals to demonstrate compliance with building regulations and planning requirements, as well as enhance the marketability and value of their assets.

The rigorous assessment process takes into account various factors that contribute to a project’s sustainability, such as energy efficiency, water conservation, responsible sourcing of materials, waste management, and the promotion of occupant well-being. By assigning scores to these categories, BREEAM rates the overall performance of a building and awards certification levels ranging from ‘Pass’ to ‘Outstanding’. This internationally recognized accreditation not only helps create a healthier and sustainable built environment but also fosters a sense of accountability and long-term commitment within the industry to advance towards a more environmentally sustainable future.

Examples of BRE Environmental Assessment Method

The King’s Cross Development Project, London, UK: The King’s Cross development, a 27-hectare mixed-use redevelopment in London, utilized the BREEAM environmental assessment method to establish sustainable design guidelines. The project, which includes commercial, residential, retail, and leisure spaces, has become a showcase of sustainable development with many of its buildings achieving BREEAM Excellent and Outstanding ratings. For instance, the University of the Arts London achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating, incorporating features such as a living roof, rainwater harvesting system, and high-performance glazing.

The Edge, Amsterdam, Netherlands: The Edge, a multi-tenant office building in Amsterdam hosting the headquarters of Deloitte and AKD, is considered one of the greenest buildings in the world. Boasting a BREEAM-NL Outstanding rating with a score of 36%, The Edge sets a high standard for sustainable building design. Energy efficiency, water conservation, and use of natural resources were key factors in achieving this rating. Some of the building’s features include solar panels on the roof, a geothermal energy system, LED lighting with motion sensors, and water-efficient plumbing fixtures.

The Co-operative Group’s Headquarters, Manchester, UK: The Co-operative Group’s headquarters, One Angel Square, was awarded BREEAM’s highest-ever score at the time of its completion in 2013 and achieved an Outstanding rating. The building features numerous innovative sustainable design elements such as a double skin facade for insulation, a combined heat and power system, rainwater harvesting, and turbine-ventilated atriums. One Angel Square has a 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to the previous Co-operative Group’s headquarters, demonstrating excellent energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

BRE Environmental Assessment Method FAQ

1. What is BRE Environmental Assessment Method?

The BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a sustainability assessment method for projects, infrastructure, and buildings that evaluates and rates the environmental, social, and economic performance of a development throughout its lifecycle. BREEAM is an internationally recognized certification used to demonstrate the sustainability credentials of a project and help drive improvements in performance.

2. How does BREEAM work?

BREEAM works by assessing and scoring various aspects of a development, including energy, materials, waste, water, ecology, transport, pollution, health, and well-being. The assessment is done by qualified BREEAM assessors who review the design and performance of the project based on these criteria. The project receives points for each category, which are then combined to provide an overall score and rating – ranging from Pass, Good, and Very Good to Excellent and Outstanding.

3. Why should I consider using BREEAM for my project?

Using BREEAM for your project demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and can help to increase the value and marketability of your development. BREEAM certified buildings are proven to have lower operational costs, reduced environmental impact, and provide better health and well-being outcomes for occupants. BREEAM can also help you meet regulatory compliance, achieve planning permission, and gain access to financial incentives for sustainable design and construction.

4. Who is responsible for the BREEAM assessment process?

The BREEAM assessment process is carried out by qualified BREEAM assessors who are licensed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). The assessor works with the project team to ensure consideration and documentation of the BREEAM requirements throughout the design, construction, and post-construction process. The final assessment and certification is approved by BRE, ensuring that the project meets the necessary BREEAM criteria.

5. How much does BREEAM certification cost?

The cost of BREEAM certification varies depending on the size, complexity, and rating level sought for the project. Costs typically include the fees associated with engaging a BREEAM assessor, BRE registration, and certification fees. It’s important to consider the potential long-term savings in operating costs and increased asset value when evaluating the investment in BREEAM certification.

Related Technology Terms

  • Sustainable Construction
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Green Building Certification
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

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