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

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Study shows typical BREEAM Excellent building saves in excess of 30% CO2.

A new briefing paper gives an overview of sustainability standard BREEAM’s contribution to global carbon reduction in buildings. Published during the opening week of 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) which shows that BREEAM assessed buildings achieve an average 22% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to buildings designed to regulatory minimum performance requirements. BREEAM Excellent buildings save more than 30% and Outstanding rated buildings in excess of 50%. To date over 530,000 building and homes have applied the standard in over 70 countries around the world.

‘Over 150 world leaders gathered in Paris this week 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% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, it’s more important than ever that standards like BREEAM are used to reduce emissions and running costs over the life time of a building.’ said Director of BREEAM Gavin Dunn.

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 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.

Copies of the paper and details of BRE’s BREEAM pledge are available at www.breeam.com/cop21

For further inforamtion contact Linda McKeown, BRE email mckeownl@bre.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITOR

BREEAM is the internationally recognised measure of sustainability for buildings and communities. More than 531,596 certificates have been issued under BREEAM on more than 24,000 projects around the world, and over 2.2 million buildings and communities are registered for certification. BREEAM is used in more than 70 countries. More information at www.breeam.com.