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What is BREEAM?

BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design – both in refurbishment and new build schemes.

Although it is commonly applied to UK projects, BREEAM is a globally recognised standard and allows the assessment and benchmarking of new and existing property assets across a multitude of building types. BREEAM addresses design, construction and operation phases.

BREEAM Assessment

What is a BREEAM Assessment?

BREEAM assessment uses recognised measures of performance to evaluate a buildings specification, design construction and use across:

  • Energy and water use
  • Internal environment (health & wellbeing)
  • Management processes
  • Pollution
  • Transport
  • Materials
  • Waste
  • Ecology


Credits are awarded in the sections listed above and added together to give a final rating. The table below shows the percentage scores required for each BREEAM rating.


BREEAM Certification

BREEAM Certification

The BREEAM assessment consists of two stages- Design and Post Construction, with an optional Post Occupancy stage.

Your assessor will gather evidence from your team at each stage and compile this into a report to send to BRE, who will provide the final certification.

Why use BREEAM?

BREEAM addresses wide ranging environmental and sustainability issues and enables various stakeholders from planners and building owners, to clients and contractors with a means of certifying performance.

Importantly, BREEAM looks beyond operational carbon alone, taking a holistic approach to the lifecycle of a building and it’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance.

BREEAM assessments can be applied to:

Project Types

Schemes cater for specific project types:

  • Commercial buildings – Offices, Industrial and Retail
  • Public buildings – Courts, Education, Healthcare, Higher Education, Prisons
  • Multi-Residential accomodation
  • International
  • Communities
  • Infrastructure

Minimum Standards

Some public schemes are subject to minimum BREEAM standards, for example:


A number of government departments and other public bodies either encourage or require the use of BREEAM.

BREEAM Assessment

As of 1st July 2008, all health authorities (Department of Health, NHS Wales, Scottish Government Health Directives and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety of Northern Ireland) require that new healthcare buildings seeking Outline of Business Case (OBC) approval commit to achieving an Excellent rating and all refurbishments commit to achieving Very Good.


There is also a BREEAM requirement set for schools depending on whether they are refurbishments or new builds and the value of the build.

For example secondary schools procured through the now defunct Building Schools for the Future capital programme were required to achieve a ‘Very Good’ rating. We expect the latest Priority Schools Programme to require a similar standard.

Build Energy can assist with the tender process for our clients – providing whatever help you need to effectively price and bid for public and commercial projects.

Would you like to discuss your project?

Call us on 0330 055 34 05 or email

Recent Projects

"BE are fantastic building energy assessors, with competency across many areas. We have found them very useful on small and large projects. With the larger projects they can provide a range of assessments with one point of contact. We submitted a planning application for 224 residential apartments for a site in Luton. BE provided the flood, acoustic, heat loss and SUDS reports. The scheme was consented and reports were excellent. We have found them to been frank and honest with their advice. They are also lovely people to work with… which is very important."

Adam Covell
- ECA Architecture

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