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Driving sustainable refurbishment and fit-out worldwide

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The sustainability credentials of building refurbishment and fit-out projects around the world can now be assessed and recognised under BREEAM, following the launch of BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-Out this month.

The development of BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-Out (RFO) involved extensive industry consultations and followed the success of an equivalent scheme in the UK. Under the UK version a variety of refurbishment and fit-out projects have been BREEAM rated, ranging from central London office blocks and shops, including the famous Foyles bookshop, to out-of-town superstores.

‘BREEAM International RFO provides a tailored version of the scheme that can assess refurbishment and fit-out projects all over the world, by taking account of the range of local and regional standards, conditions and climates,’ says BREEAM International RFO scheme manager Sarah Summerson of BRE. ‘Where ever they are, improving existing buildings presents difficult challenges – the BREEAM RFO assessment scheme recognises these by being sufficiently flexible to assess projects against the issues that each can reasonably be expected to influence.’

This flexibility derives from the scheme’s four-part modular approach, giving a range of certification options. Part One deals with the building fabric and structure, Part Two is concerned with core services (e.g. centralised M&E plant), Part Three deals with local services and Part Four with interior design. Refurbishment and fit-out projects can be assessed against one or all of the four parts, or any combination, depending on which are relevant to a particular project. This gives the option for just part of a building to be assessed (e.g. a shop fit-out) or the entire building.

BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-Out allows projects on a broad range of building types to be assessed, including offices, retail facilities, industrial buildings, schools, universities, hotels and other short stay accommodation. ‘Sustainable refurbishment and fit-out has numerous benefits for the end client,’ says Sarah Summerson, ‘including reduced running costs and a healthier working environment for occupiers’.

For more information contact Linda McKeown, BRE email [email protected].


BREEAM is the internationally recognised measure of sustainability for buildings and communities. More than 425,000 certificates have been issued under BREEAM on more than 24,000 projects around the world, and 1.9 million buildings and communities are registered for certification. BREEAM is used in more than 70 countries. More information at

BREEAM International Refurbishment and Fit-Out – More information about the scheme is available here.

BRE is a world leading building science centre that generates new knowledge through research. This is used to create products, tools and standards that drive positive change across the built environment. BRE helps its government and private sector clients meet the significant environmental, social and economic challenges they face in delivering homes, buildings and communities.

BRE is owned by the BRE Trust, a registered charity. The Trust uses the profits made by the BRE companies to fund research and education that advances knowledge of the built environment.