What is the BREEAM certificate? 

There are different energy certifications to know how sustainable a property is (A, B, C, D, E, F and G) but the fastest and most effective is the BREEAM certificate.

The BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) certificate is an international method developed by BRE Global, United Kingdom, which allows you to know and measure the exact degree of environmental sustainability of a building.

This certificate was developed in 1988 but did not start to be used until the 1990s. It was used for more commercial use and over the years began to be used for new types of buildings.

Although this certificate was launched in the UK, more and more countries have it. Currently there are more than 50 countries in the world, among which we can highlight: Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Canada, Austria… in the case of Spain, the Institute of Technology of Galiciais responsible for managing this type of certification.

What is the BREEAM certificate?

The objective of this certificate is to promote a sustainable and environmentally friendly construction, without leaving behind the economic and social benefits it brings to people who are involved in the process and life cycle of the property.

The BREEAM certificate analyzes and evaluates a series of characteristics of buildings in the different development processes such as design, maintenance, construction, conditioning of buildings… The different categories it evaluates in a building are health and well-being, of course energy, transport, water, the materials used, waste management, soil, the degree of ecology, the degree of pollution and innovation of the property .

After analyzing the different categories of the building, it classifies the buildings according to the amount of credits they group and rewardes them, based on the well-being of the people living in the building and of course on the welfare of the environment.

All this analysis allows you to define in which range of the 5 components of the BREEAM certificate the building is located: approved, good, very good, excellent and, finally and the best, the exceptional.

How does the BREEAM certificate contribute to meeting the UN’s sustainable objectives?

In 2015, the UN approved 17 sustainable development goals to contribute to a more sustainable future through various measures such as poverty elimination, human rights equality, education, climate change and city design.

Each of the 17 sustainable development goals has a number of goals that make this possible and this is where the BREEAM certificate can help meet them. Of the 17 approved objectives, we will highlight and develop 8 where the contribution is much greater.

The health and well-being of the Breeam certificate. 

A sustainable BREEAM building must ensure minimum requirements for comfort and health, such as using paints with eco-labels or for example that prevent the emission of harmful chemicals.

Clean water and sanitation. 

Since water is a scarce resource in many parts of the world, BREEAM-certified buildings must have a water-saving system installed as well as a water filtration system.

Affordable, non-polluting energy. 

A BREEAM-certified building is sustainable, efficient and energy-saving. This certificate promotes the installation of renewable energy systems, monitoring of consumption and the use of energy-efficient systems and appliances.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure.

The BREEAM certificate scores projects that offer new sustainable solutions and offer continuous improvements.

Sustainable cities and communities.

How more and more cities are interested in being sustainable cities. The BREEAM certificate has a tool called BREEAM Urbanism that evaluates and certifies urbanized spaces.

Sustainable production and consumption. 

In order for a building to be BREEAM certified, it must ensure responsible sourcing of the materials used in the works.

Weather action on the breeam certificate.

The most polluting sector is the construction sector, and it is also one of the most responsible sectors on climate change. One of the main objectives of the BREEAM certificate is to guide the sector on the path of sustainability, so that they recycle, not contaminate water and soil where they are located and respect biodiversity.

Life of Terrestrial Ecosystems.

The BREEAM certificate has a Soil and Ecology category that aims to minimize damage caused to the environment when building. Some of the requirements that this category evaluates are the hiring of an ecologist, building on an already urbanized floor, selecting native vegetation for the garden areas of the building, or if it has waste recycling systems.


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Image source: AASARQUITECTURE