Exposing a green certification is going more and more of import for administrations as the communities they operate in are going more and more sustainably cognizant.

Environmental appraisal of edifices is nil new, BREEAM was the first national strategy introduced in 1990 but has since expanded, traveling from a “ little 19-page BRE study with 27 credits available, to a significant 350-page proficient usher with 105 credits ”

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BREEAM has conquered the UK Market for about 20 old ages. But now has stiff competition from the US ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ‘ ( LEED ) . In 1998 the US Green Building Council launched its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ( LEED ) .

BREEAM and LEED are now the chief methods presently viing for concern in the UK.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ( LEED )

‘Is an internationally recognized green constructing enfranchisement system, A supplying third-party confirmation that a edifice or community was designed and built utilizing schemes aimed at bettering public presentation across all the prosodies that matter most: energy nest eggs, H2O efficiency, CO2 emanations decrease, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitiveness to their impacts ‘ ( USGBC, 2008 ) . Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council ( USGBC ) , LEED provides edifice proprietors and operators a concise model for placing and implementing practical and mensurable green edifice design, building, operations and care solutions. It was late introduced into the UK as a solution to some of the ruins of current evaluation systems.

“ In the UK, involvement in LEED is turning. The Green Building Certification Institute ‘s web site records 66 LEED Accredited Professionals in the UK. This is the 5th highest national sum behind the US, Canada, UAE and China ” ( BSRIA, 2009 ) .

LEED is flexible plenty to use to all edifice types particularly commercial. It works throughout the edifice lifecycle first appraisal is completed at the design and building phase so the second is the operations and care phase, so eventually any renter tantrum out, and important retrofit. However, the LEED design can lose many green chances that autumn outside the rigorous LEED standards. “ One job with the LEED method of sustainable design is that it can further an all-or-none attitude toward this chase. LEED audits have become a common activity during conventional design. All excessively frequently, nevertheless, green design is abandoned wholly one time this audit shows a undertaking falling short of the figure of points required for LEED enfranchisement ” ( Environmental Outlook, 2002 ) .

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method ( BREEAM

‘Is the foremost method of measuring the environmental public presentation of new and existing edifices both in the UK and worldwide. It sets the criterion for best pattern in sustainable development and screens virtually all facets of the design. ( BREEAM, 2002 )

Achieving a BREEAM evaluation is of all time more going a demand of Funding Bodies and Planning Authorities. It besides ‘demonstrates a committedness to socially responsible development and making sustainable and healthy environments in which current and future coevalss are to populate and work ‘ . ( BREEAM, 2002 )

Appraisals are carried out at two phases ; Firstly, during the Design Stage and so at Post Construction Review Stage. Following the Post Construction Stage Assessment, the Client is provided with a BREEAM Certificate straight by the BRE. BREEAM Ratings are awarded in five classs: ‘pass, good, really good, first-class and outstanding ‘ .

The BREEAM procedure will assist to promote better criterions with commercial developments, but it should be done in a manner that clearly acknowledges the complete development rhythm for different options instead than the ‘factory gate ‘ figure entirely.

Future schemes for BREEAM will necessitate to see a general alliance with authorities C decrease and sustainability programs. BREEAM would so be more incorporate into statute law so that new edifices are built with sustainability embedded throughout the complete procedure.

These two methods lack similarities when it comes to the procedure of makings. “ BREEAM has trained assessors who assess the grounds against the recognition standards and describe it to the BRE, who validate the appraisal and publish the certification. While LEED does non necessitate preparation, there is a recognition available if an ‘accredited professional ‘ ( AP ) is used ” . ( James Parker 2009 )


The function of the AP is to assist garner the grounds and rede the client. The grounds is so submitted to the USGBC which does the appraisal and issues the certification.

Both strategies portion common constituents see Table 1.

Early engagement of the assessor or AP at the design phase is good to the undertaking and the concluding evaluation. Both strategies drive the market to better edifice design. The judgment standards besides keep gait with legislative developments and current best pattern.

James Parker writer of BREEAM vs LEED ( 2009 ) has issued findings on edifices which have achieved both a BREEAM and a LEED evaluation his findings were as follows.

“ The US-GBC besides lists 10 UK edifices as being registered for one of the LEED strategies. At the clip of authorship, the list shows that merely one UK edifice – the Herman Miller HQ in Cheltenham – as holding gained a LEED evaluation. This edifice besides had a BREEAM appraisal carried out under the offices 2006 strategy, under which it was awarded an first-class evaluation.

Another edifice known to hold both a BREEAM and a LEED evaluation is the Van de Kamp Bakery, at Los Angeles City College. The bakeshop gained a certified LEED evaluation and a Good BREEAM 2005 evaluation ” ( James Parker, 2009 ) .

James Parkers findings provide the sentiment that BREEAM issues a higher evaluation for the same edifice in both the US and the UK. However it would be more precise to compare LEED with BREEAM 2008, as the latter now has a mandatory post-construction reappraisal, this has been an point on the nonsubjective list for LEED for a piece. Previous BREEAM schemes merely assessed edifices at a design phase.

Eszter Gulacsy, a sustainability adviser from MTT/Sustain has stated that whilst ‘BREEAM is more educational and more strict LEED is far simpler in its attack, “ BREEAM is more relevant in the UK as it uses UK policies, nevertheless LEED can sit aboard as portion of a planetary corporate policy, ” she says.

Gulacsy besides believes that the driver for LEED in the UK is frequently the client ‘s planetary corporate policy or the demands for planetary renters. This makes a batch of sense, companies that are multi-national would happen it much easier if their sustainable committednesss and evaluation process were dealt with in the same manner but before the debut on LEED into the UK, multi-national companies had to utilize BREEAM in the UK and possibly LEED elsewhere.

For illustration Germany-based Siemens now uses LEED for all its new edifices worldwide, several of these are now located in Europe.

BREEAM ‘s manager, Martin Townsend states that “ We have non been diffident about selling BREEAM across the Earth. BREEAM International grew out of the BREEAM Bespoke strategy. BREEAM Europe and BREEAM Gulf are similar money-earners. But traveling planetary brings BREEAM head-to-head with its rival LEED. Ironically, we are seeking ways of collaborative working with the US LEED system. ‘If an American bank wants to construct over here, it understands about LEED and wants the edifice built to that criterion. That ‘s all right, but it might non interpret that good into the UK climatic environment, our edifice statute law or the manner that edifice operates. Supplying a client with double enfranchisement has to be a good manner of sharing that information. ” ( Building Design, 2009 )

But Gulacsy warns “ Europe thinks that LEED is an easy win, but it is n’t if the paperwork and grounds is non in topographic point. There is a danger of complacence, ”

So would a meeting of the two viing systems be seen as desirable? Clearly, a one-size-fits-all appraisal method would be complicated to implement on a planetary footing as jobs that face one state or part might non be issues in others therefore these demand to be ranked consequently for illustration H2O efficiency is a major issue in Dubai and Australia, but non in England or Ireland.

“ LEED is dominated by the American ASHRAE criterions ( “ an international organisation that establishes criterions for the unvarying testing and evaluation of warming, airing, air conditioning, and infrigidation equipment ” ) ( EPA, 2004 ) . BREEAM takes its cue from European and UK statute law. The regional versions of both strategies flow from those ancestors. BREEAM Gulf has been adapted for the local market. Gone are the Good, Very Good, and Excellent evaluations, and in comes leading evaluations. The weightings are changed so that H2O is the cardinal issue, instead than energy as in the standard UK strategies. In add-on to the CIBSE counsel being the step for certain credits, ASHRAE and other criterions are besides now referenced in BREEAM Gulf. BREEAM has long been able to accommodate to local contexts. With BREEAM Bespoke, for illustration, the assessor can work with BRE to develop assessment standards specially tailored to a edifice where it does n’t suit neatly into one of the bing strategies. ” Stephen Kennett, ( 2008 ) .

It is stated that LEED has non been shaped with this high degree of flexibleness and it is non run this manner. “ LEED is fixed to the ASHRAE criterions and the US manner of thought ( for illustration, credits are awarded for holding adequate auto parking infinites, instead than understating them as in BREEAM ) . There are besides differences in the manner LEED calculates credits. They are by and large linked to the US Dollar, which means that if the exchange rate is unfavorable, so the edifice ‘s evaluation could endure ” ( James Parker, 2009 ) .

“ There is a batch of ballyhoo about the conflict between BREEAM and LEED in the UK, but this seems to be unfounded. Both seem happy to co-exist and each has their niche countries or states. They are even borrowing each other ‘s thoughts as they grow.

BREEAM will likely ever come out on top in the UK, merely because it is imbedded in the system. Government sections require BREEAM evaluations of all their edifices ; most local governments require BREEAM as portion of be aftering blessing for developments over a certain size. Once undertakings are afoot that purpose to be zero C, the likes of BREEAM or LEED may hold developed to go the planetary default methods of appraisal ” . ( James Parker 2009 )