BREEAM | Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method

We'll DO All The Hard Work and get you 4 Quotes from professional, vetted installers in your area.


BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the world’s foremost method for assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings. Developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and first introduced in 1990, BREEAM has certified over 550,000 buildings and registered over two million buildings for certification in more than 50 countries. This robust framework supports the global drive toward sustainable construction by providing a comprehensive evaluation of a building’s environmental performance.

Purpose Of BREEAM

BREEAM assessments are conducted by licensed assessors who utilise scientifically-based sustainability metrics to evaluate various environmental factors. These include energy and water use, health and wellbeing, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology, and management processes. Buildings are rated on a scale from ‘Pass’ to ‘Outstanding,’ offering market recognition for their sustainability achievements.

Key Objectives:

  • Raising Awareness: BREEAM promotes sustainable practices among building owners, occupiers, and designers.
  • Framework for Adoption: It provides a structured approach to adopting sustainable solutions cost-effectively.
  • Environmental Impact Reduction: Aims to minimise the negative environmental impacts of construction and development.

BREEAM Assessments

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a globally recognised sustainability assessment method for buildings, infrastructure, and communities. Launched in 1990 by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), BREEAM sets the standard for environmental performance through every phase of a project, from design and construction to operation and refurbishment. It aims to reduce the environmental impacts of buildings by evaluating key sustainability factors such as energy and water use, pollution, transport, materials, waste, and health and wellbeing.

A BREEAM assessment is conducted by an independent, licensed assessor who evaluates a project against a range of scientifically-based benchmarks. These assessments are carried out at various stages, including the initial design phase and post-construction, to ensure that sustainability criteria are met throughout the lifecycle of the building. The assessment covers ten categories, including energy, water, waste, pollution, and management, with each category weighted according to its environmental impact. The final score determines the building’s BREEAM rating, which ranges from Pass to Outstanding.

BREEAM assessments are crucial because they provide a comprehensive framework for achieving and recognising high standards of sustainability in the built environment. They inspire developers and designers to innovate and make efficient use of resources, resulting in buildings that are not only environmentally friendly but also economically beneficial. BREEAM-certified buildings typically have lower operational costs, higher marketability, and offer healthier environments for occupants, making them attractive investments and contributing to long-term environmental goals.

BREEAM’s flexibility allows it to be applied to almost any building type and location, covering the entire building lifecycle from planning to in-use and refurbishment. Key schemes include:

  • BREEAM New Construction: Assesses the sustainability of new, non-residential buildings in the UK.
  • BREEAM International New Construction: For new residential and non-residential buildings outside the UK.
  • BREEAM In-Use: Helps building managers improve the environmental performance of existing buildings.
  • BREEAM Refurbishment: Focuses on the sustainable refurbishment of existing dwellings.
  • BREEAM Communities: Supports the sustainable master planning of entire communities.

Assessment Categories:

  • Management
  • Energy
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Transport
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Waste
  • Land Use and Ecology
  • Pollution

Benefits of a BREEAM Assessment?

BREEAM assessments offer numerous environmental benefits, significantly contributing to sustainable development. By achieving high ratings, buildings substantially reduce carbon emissions through energy-efficient designs and the use of renewable energy sources. These buildings also prioritise resource conservation, reducing waste and using sustainable materials, which helps preserve natural resources. Additionally, BREEAM certification emphasises biodiversity preservation by encouraging projects to create and protect habitats for local flora and fauna, enhancing the ecological health of the area.

Economically, BREEAM-certified buildings are highly advantageous. They often command higher property values and attract premium investments due to their sustainable design and lower operational costs. These buildings are designed to be energy-efficient and water-conserving, leading to significant savings over their lifecycle. Furthermore, BREEAM certification can provide access to government grants, financial incentives, and tax breaks, making the initial investment more financially attractive. The certification also enhances the marketability and competitiveness of buildings, appealing to environmentally conscious tenants and businesses.

Socially, BREEAM-certified projects improve the health and well-being of occupants by incorporating features like natural light, superior indoor air quality, and ergonomic designs. These buildings enhance the overall quality of life by providing access to green spaces and reducing noise pollution. Moreover, BREEAM certification bolsters the positive image of businesses as environmentally conscious and socially responsible entities, fostering a better perception within the community and among customers, clients, and employees.

go-greenWritten By:
Wesley Lally

calUpdated on:
22nd May 2024

FREE | Find a Tradesperson

Refer a Friend

Renewable Energies Spain

Take advantage of our refer-a-friend scheme. Refer a friend and you'll both receive 75€.

*Payments are made after installation*


BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. Developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in the UK, BREEAM was first introduced in 1990 and has since become the leading global standard for measuring the sustainability and environmental performance of buildings and infrastructure. BREEAM provides a comprehensive framework for assessing a building’s performance across a wide range of environmental criteria, ensuring that buildings are designed, constructed, and operated in a sustainable manner.

In Spain, BREEAM has been fully adapted to local regulations, language, and construction practices since 2010, making it highly relevant and effective within the Spanish context. The Instituto Tecnológico de Galicia (ITG) manages BREEAM ES, the localised version of BREEAM for Spain. This adaptation includes specific criteria that address the unique climatic and regulatory conditions in Spain, ensuring that projects meet the highest standards of sustainability tailored to the local environment. BREEAM ES has evaluated over 1,000 projects in Spain, reflecting the growing commitment to sustainable development in the country.

The BREEAM assessment process involves evaluating a project against scientifically-based benchmarks in key categories such as energy efficiency, water usage, waste management, pollution, health and wellbeing, materials, transport, land use, and ecology. Each category is weighted according to its impact on sustainability and scored by independent, licensed assessors. The cumulative score across all categories determines the building’s overall BREEAM rating, which can range from Pass to Outstanding. This rating provides a clear indication of the building’s environmental performance and sustainability credentials. By achieving BREEAM certification, developers and building owners in Spain demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility, enhancing property values, reducing operational costs, and contributing to broader environmental goals.

 BREEAM certification offers numerous benefits including enhanced property value, lower operational costs, access to government incentives, and improved marketability. It also contributes to better health and well-being for occupants and supports environmental sustainability.

A BREEAM assessment involves evaluating a project across ten categories such as energy efficiency, water usage, waste management, and health and wellbeing. An independent, licensed assessor conducts the assessment and scores the project based on these criteria.

The categories include Energy, Management, Water, Waste, Pollution, Health and Wellbeing, Materials, Transport, Land Usage, and Innovation. Each category has specific criteria that contribute to the overall sustainability score of the project.

 BREEAM assessments can be conducted at various stages: during initial design, post-construction, for existing buildings, and during refurbishment or redesign phases. This ensures sustainability is considered throughout the building’s lifecycle.

BREEAM ratings range from Unclassified (<30%), Pass (>30%), Good (>45%), Very Good (>55%), Excellent (>70%), to Outstanding (>85%). These ratings reflect the building’s sustainability performance.

 BREEAM-certified buildings often command higher property values due to their sustainable design, lower operating costs, and appeal to environmentally conscious investors and tenants.

BREEAM-certified buildings reduce carbon emissions, conserve resources, and preserve biodiversity. They achieve this through energy-efficient designs, sustainable materials, and practices that protect local ecosystems.

 Yes, BREEAM certification supports compliance with local and international building standards. It simplifies the construction approval process and helps avoid fines and penalties for non-compliance with environmental regulations.

The cost of a BREEAM assessment varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, the long-term benefits such as lower operational costs and increased property value often outweigh the initial investment.

BREEAM certification can be applied to various types of buildings including residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings. It is also applicable to new constructions, refurbishments, and existing buildings.

 In Spain, BREEAM certification can enhance property values, provide access to local government incentives, and improve marketability. It also helps meet stringent environmental regulations and supports Spain’s commitment to sustainability.

Yes, BREEAM ES is the local adaptation of the BREEAM standard in Spain, managed by the Instituto Tecnológico de Galicia. It incorporates local regulations and climatic conditions to ensure relevance and effectiveness in the Spanish context.

BREEAM is gaining popularity in Spain, with over 1,000 projects evaluated since 2010. It is recognized as a leading standard for sustainability and is used by developers and investors to demonstrate environmental responsibility.

Looking for a tradesman? We can help!

heat pump
Renewable energies spain
Renewable energy solutions spain

Find a local building contactor with Solares Energies

Solare energies can help you find the best tradesperson

Looking for a tradesman? – We can help 

Need a local tradesperson to complete a job?

Tradesmen and Tradeswomen available upon request

Need a local tradesperson – We can help

We find local carpenter and joiners, so you don’t have to

Need help with a home improvement? 

Solar Power Green Renewwable Energies
Want to reduce your energy bills? Get tips of savings and grants.
Receive offers and marketing promotions via email from Solares Energies. We aim to save you money.