By Barry Giles
Updated May 13, 2018
Though BREEAM may be new to you, it has been around longer than any other green building standard in the world. BREEAM was developed in 1990 at BRE headquarters in England as a new way to measure the environmental impact of buildings. Today, most available green building standards use BREEAM as a foundation. Why is that? Because BREEAM is based on peer-reviewed science that is specifically focused on improving building performance. BRE is owned by a charitable trust that funds research to advance the built environment and then uses this scientific knowledge to improve BREEAM and ultimately – to make buildings better.
Lately it feels like there are new building rating systems coming out every other day. A wave of more specific standards designed to reflect the current interest in areas like health and well-being along with a desire to see more digitized and web-centric methods for tracking building performance seem to be the mainstay across the green building movement.
Additional rating systems bring new ideas and new energy to the marketplace, and that is great. These sparkling new products can help raise awareness and interest in green building and in many cases, bring interesting and innovative ideas to the table. However, buyer beware. Unless a rating system is based on a solid foundation of science-backed research, it might just be all smoke and mirrors.
BRE (Building Research Establishment) began nearly 100 years ago as a government entity in England to protect people from fires in buildings. Since its founding, BRE has used science to answer questions on how to make buildings better and safer. This approach ensures that BREEAM is among the most comprehensive and holistic method for measuring building performance. If a measurement is in another standard, it likely was in ours first.
In 1990, BRE focused on making buildings better by making them more efficient, which resulted in BREEAM. Today, BREEAM is a global standard driven science and building performance with over 2 million registrations and over 550,000 certifications in 77 countries
So where does BREEAM’s science come from? BRE is owned by The BRE Trust, the largest UK charity dedicated to research and education in the built environment. BRE maintains a staff of more than 650 people around the world engaged in advancing the built environment by translating scientific research into product, services and standards used around the world. The BRE trust utilizes the profits from BRE companies to fund research and educational programs to advance knowledge, innovation and communication in all matters of the built environment. Using BRE-funded scientific research makes BREEAM the most robust green building rating system in the marketplace.
BRE prides itself on remaining beyond reproach. Our cutting-edge science combined with our 25 years of history mean that we are not just another standard. Our goal is to embrace a partnership with you as we build a better world together.
Remember, a green building is more than just a plaque on a wall, it is a commitment to developing more advanced and better performing buildings that make the places you live, work and play safer, healthier and more sustainable. BREEAM delivers the most effective means of achieving those goals. It’s the science behind it.
To learn more call BRE America at 844.280.9550.