The View From Here
by Ric Jackson
August 6th, 2018

We’re BREEAM-ing with Green Certification Options

We have LEED. We have Green Globes. We have Passive House. Do we need another green building certification program in the U.S.? U.K.-based Building Research Establishment (BRE) says yes.

The latest certification to hit the scene—Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)—might seem like overkill in an already saturated market, but it does show signs of promise.

Like Green Globes and Passive House, BREEAM started overseas but has been adapted to the U.S. market through a collaboration between BRE and HOK, a global architecture and design firm. With its leadership in the U.K. building and construction market, the program touts more than 560,000 certified buildings and more than 2 million certified projects in 77 countries.

But what makes BREEAM different here in the States?

According to online sources, the main difference is BREEAM’s In-Use assessment tool that allows building owners to evaluate performance and make changes to improve their buildings’ sustainability and at lower costs than LEED. And there’s also a difference in process. While a program like LEED depends on designers to assess the overall energy efficiency and sustainability of a building, BREEAM employs certified, third-party assessors to confirm certification.

The View from Here is that I am strong supporter of certification programs that promote more energy-efficient and sustainable buildings. And if this option truly lowers costs for building owners to achieve relatively similar results, there might just be room for another here in the U.S.

What’s your View? Email me directly at Eric.Jackson@quanex.com.

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  1. I have nothing against these programs… except. When they come to North America and demand that we provide our data in a European standard instead of adapting the program to the existing North American testing standards.

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