BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) is the world’s first sustainability rating scheme for the built environment and has contributed much to the strong focus in both the UK and other countries on sustainability in building design, construction and use. It is an international standard that is locally adapted, operated and applied through a network of international operators, assessors and industry professionals. Through its application and use BREEAM helps clients measure and reduce the environmental impacts of their buildings and in doing so create higher value, lower risk assets.

To date, BREEAM has been used to certify over 530,000 building assessments across the building life cycle and is being applied in over 70 countries.

BREEAM is a certificated scheme. Independent third party assessors rate the building on set criteria, and this process is audited to ensure high standards and fairness are achieved. There is a range of ratings that can be achieved: Outstanding, Excellent, Very Good, Good and Pass. Each rating exceeds the standards set by Building Regulations for the UK, or local standards if they exceed those for the UK; with each level becoming more challenging.

In some regions BREEAM is used as a benchmark for awarded funding and/or planning permissions.

BREEAM Assessors play an important role in awarding an accurate certificated rating for the building, based on evidence provided to them. The BREEAM qualification is detailed and ensures a professional approach to assessment.

BREEAM APs (Accredited Professionals) have a different role to Assessors. They provide advice and experience at the design stage on how best to achieve a sustainable outcome for the project and where best to target BREEAM credits for each project. (An assessor will then be required to certify this work.)