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Key points of the updated BREEAM International standard

BRE Global has updated its international BREEAM standard. Gavin Dunn outlines the main changes.

BRE Global has launched an updated international standard to drive sustainability in global markets. This builds on the years of experience that BRE and the industry have gained in the UK and internationally.

BREEAM has gained recognition – initially in the UK, more recently across Europe and now worldwide – as the industry standard for sustainable building design and construction.

“The scheme allows the use of local standards and tools, while also recognising international standards”

Some 245,000 buildings have been BREEAM-certified, with a further 950,000 registered for certification. The new standard aims to transfer knowledge and drive sustainability in broader markets including Asia, India and South America.

Updates allow for local conditions

BREEAM International New Construction 2013 combines two previous international schemes, BREEAM Europe Commercial and BREEAM International Bespoke, and enables the certification of both commercial and residential buildings worldwide.

A benefit of the new scheme is that it allows for better adaptation to local conditions, such as climatic factors, local regulations and construction practices that influence the way buildings are designed and built in different countries.

The scheme allows the use of local standards and tools, while also recognising international standards such as ASHRAE Energy Standard 90.1 and various EN and ISO standards for various building elements.

The main changes

Other important changes in the new BREEAM International New Construction 2013 scheme include:

  • New benchmarks for energy efficiency and operational carbon emissions, including rewards for carbon negative buildings;
  • New criteria for sustainable procurement and post-construction operational after-care;
  • Requirements for reporting of building lifecycle CO2 emissions, construction and operational water consumption, construction waste and VOC emissions;
  • Credits for appointing a BREEAM Accredited Professional and recognition for innovative building technologies, designs or construction processes.

Feedback from hundreds of customers and clients of BREEAM around the world was taken into account in developing the new scheme, ensuring it meets the needs of the main stakeholders such as design teams, developers and building occupants.

BREEAM also provides opportunities for building professionals to get involved in delivering sustainability by becoming BREEAM-accredited professionals, who advise projects seeking BREEAM ratings, or licensed BREEAM assessors, who carry out assessments using the various BREEAM schemes. 

BRE has also launched a range of updated training and qualifications based on the new standard.   

The Technical Manual for BREEAM International New Construction 2013 is now publicly available via the BREEAM website.

Gavin Dunn is a director of BREEAM at BRE

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