BREEAM’s significant contribution to carbon reduction detailed in new study

Study shows typical BREEAM Excellent building saves in excess of 30 per cent CO2

A new briefing paper gives an overview of sustainability standard BREEAM’s contribution to global carbon reduction in buildings. Published during global climate change conference COP21, the paper also gives details of how BREEAM has evolved since the standard was created 25 years ago and how it might develop in future so it continues to challenge the industry to go beyond standard practice.

The paper includes an analysis of assessment data (from 2011 onwards) shows that BREEAM assessed buildings achieve an average 22 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to buildings designed to regulatory minimum performance requirements. BREEAM Excellent buildings save more than 30 per cent and Outstanding rated buildings in excess of 50 per cent. To date over 530,000 building and homes have applied the standard in over 70 countries around the world.

Director of BREEAM Gavin Dunn, comments:

‘On Monday over 150 world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss how to drive down carbon emissions and manage rising temperatures due to climate change. Given that buildings and homes together account for over 40 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, it’s more important than ever that standards like BREEAM are used to drive down emissions and reduce running costs over the life time of a building.’

The paper says that one of the main aims of the BREEAM energy strategy moving forward is to strengthen the links between schemes covering different life cycle stages, with a particular focus on the relationship between the New Construction and In-Use schemes, and opportunities for addressing the ‘performance gap’.

This week BRE made a pledge to reduce further reduce CO2 emissions over the next 5 years by 900,000 tonnes, by certifying a further 9000 commercial buildings to the BREEAM standard. This pledge, together with other pledges from leading organisations in the built environment, forms part of the “Collective Commitment” created by the World Green Building Council as part of COP21.