Why is BREEAM In-Use unlike other Sustainability Assessment Methods found in America?

There are many choices building owners and managers can choose from for a sustainability assessment method used with existing buildings.  So why are over 85 percent of the existing building stock in the USA not taking advantage of a third-party certification for green buildings?  Most existing buildings don’t meet the criteria for prerequisites like an Energy Star score of 75. Consequently, the majority of existing buildings in the US don’t have a formal framework or consistent motivation to improve building operations. BREEAM In-Use is able to reach nearly every existing building so owners and property managers can understand how their building operates, how they can make improvements, and then have the opportunity to get a certification to promote their successes.

BREEAM In-Use is applicable to any existing commercial building – regardless of its size or condition. There are no prerequisites or other barriers to using the BREEAM In-Use standard. It’s a scientifically–based yet simple rating system. BREEAM In-Use is an online environmental assessment methodology of a building’s operational performance. A property owner or manager starts out by completing an online assessment to benchmark the asset.

A property owner or manager starts out by purchasing a performance measurement for their building for $1000. Next step is to complete an online assessment which is available for up to one year – first used to benchmark operations and then used as a framework for improvement.  If certification is desired, a licensed BREEAM USA Assessor is independently hired to make an on-site visit to the building and certify the building for a true third-party green building certification.

Key differences between BREEAM In-Use and other Green Building standards 

BREEAM In-Use Other Standards
No Prerequisites Prerequisites
Science driven Consensus driven
Third party on-site verified for certification Third party off-site verified for certification
Available to all existing commercial assets Buildings must meet minimum requirements
Fast results Minimum 6-9 month process
Framework offers benchmarking and certification Framework offers only certification