BRE has announced the launch of BREEAM USA, a new scheme tailored to the United States.

BREEAM is measure of sustainability in the built environment, with different schemes for building types in the UK and globally in over 70 countries. Over 530,000 buildings have been registered since it’s creation in 1990.BREEAM USA

The new scheme assesses the green credentials of in-use non domestic buildings. Previously Americans had the option of BREEAM International or the separate home grown LEED scheme.

We’ve previously seen BRE working with local standards and organisations in China, and the American scheme follows a similar path. BREEAM USA has been created in partnership with  BuildingWise, a US-based LEED certification consultancy.

How will Buildings be Assessed under BREEAM USA?

Building owners and managers will be able to self assess their premises on line, before being given the option to verify their scores and ratings with a site visit from a BREEAM USA Assessor. This can then be renewed yearly. After three years, or if their are any major changes, the process starts again.

Will the BREEAM USA be a Success?

Local expertise will make BuildingWise a valuable partner to BRE when adapting a primarily British and European set of measures to be useful in a new context. Hearing the Watford based organisation boast that the scheme is ‘tailored to the US climate’ might raise a few eyebrows from snow bound Minnesota to sunny Venice Beach. A local partnership with an office in San Francisco will hopefully iron out any peculiar transitions and give useful insight into a much wider variety of build types and conditions than exist at home. We look forward to seeing the criteria that buildings will be measured against once they are revealed.

BRE have estimated that there are currently 5.6 million existing commercial buildings in the US that are not currently benchmarking their sustainability efforts using a scientifically-based green building certification. This is a huge market to tap into if only some building managers and landlords get on board.