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BREEAM was developed at the end of the 1980s by BRE (Building Research Establishment) in Great Britain and is the world's first certification system to assess the sustainability of buildings. It provided a benchmark for all subsequent certificates.


There are system variants for a variety of building categories including office buildings, sales outlets, industrial buildings, schools, health care facilities, courthouses, prisons, hotels, as well as a separate tool for housing estates. In Great Britain a slightly adapted form of the residential building catalogue was elevated to the mandatory building code (Code for Sustainable Homes - CSH).

BREEAM evaluation schemes are continuously adapted to national and regional specificities and modified in close coordination with a local project team in order to reflect to country-specific conditions. In addition, there is a separate, already standardised procedure for special projects which is used to adapt the defined criteria to special uses or a certain mixture to different building usage zones (the BREEAM Bespoke Process).

Criteria are evaluated in the following ten categories:

  1. Management
  2. Health and Wellbeing
  3. Energy
  4. Transport
  5. Water
  6. Materials
  7. Waste
  8. Land Use and Ecology
  9. Pollution
  10. Innovation
  11. What are the ratings?

What are the ratings?

The assessment results are Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding. To achieve the highest BREEAM rating 85% of the criteria must be met.