BREEAM certified:
what are the benefits?

Buildings are responsible for nearly 39% of the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. They are therefore an important lever for the energy and environmental transition that needs to be used urgently. In response to the need to design more responsible buildings, a number of labels and certifications have emerged over the years to set standards for sustainability.

The pioneering Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) has become the benchmark for responsible construction and renovation.

While the rigorous assessment process may seem daunting, the many benefits of a BREEAM certified building are more than enough to justify the effort.

What is BREEAM certification?

Launched in 1990 by the Building Research Establishment, BREEAM certification is the first labelling scheme dedicated to the environmental assessment of buildings. With over 535,000 buildings certified worldwide, BREEAM is a global standard for responsible construction, recognised for its comprehensive, rigorous yet accessible assessment methodology.

It examines a wide range of criteria, from a building’s energy performance to its impact on biodiversity and the well-being of its occupants. At the end of the assessment, the building is given a grade and a rating (or not) to summarise its overall performance.

A wide range of buildings can be certified to BREEAM: it applies to the tertiary sector as well as residential, industrial and public buildings, and can be used for both renovation and new construction.

| NB: Although it costs an average of €8,500 to assess a 10,000 m² building, BREEAM remains one of the most affordable certifications on the market.

What are the benefits of being BREEAM certified?

The benefits of BREEAM certification are many and varied: whether economic, human or environmental, they add significant value to the building being assessed.

Reducing our environmental footprint

By setting sustainability standards for the construction and operation of buildings, BREEAM certification is part of a decarbonisation strategy. It rewards buildings that have a low carbon footprint and limit their greenhouse gas emissions.

Lower running costs

The energy efficiency of a building is one of the key assessment criteria for BREEAM certification. BREEAM-certified buildings are more energy efficient and manage their resources more effectively, reducing sources of waste and making significant savings.

But that doesn’t mean you have to carry out major insulation work! Energy optimisation can be achieved, for example, by installing a Building Management System (BMS). This can reduce energy consumption by up to 50%!

A rise in property values

BREEAM-certified buildings are generally seen as more attractive by investors and tenants alike. Their low environmental impact and reduced running costs make them desirable assets, resulting in this increase in asset value.

More comfort for occupants

To qualify for BREEAM certification, the building must provide a healthy and comfortable environment for its occupants. This includes good acoustic insulation, better diffusion of natural light and good indoor air quality. Although often overlooked, indoor air quality has a significant impact on the health and productivity of occupants.

Recognition of your environmental commitment

While there are many environmental certifications for buildings, BREEAM is by far the most widely recognised and used. It is used in more than 70 countries, with some 550,000 certified buildings and more than 2 million buildings in the process of certification. BREEAM certification therefore sends a strong signal of social and environmental commitment and can support a social and environmental responsibility approach (CSR).

What are the evaluation criteria?

BREEAM certification takes a holistic approach to building assessment and is based on a wide range of criteria, including: 

  • Energy management: refers to the energy efficiency and optimisation of the building, as well as the use of renewable energy.

  • Water management: refers to the rational use of water, as well as the implementation of recovery systems and a waste water management strategy.
  • Materials: takes into account the origin and durability of the building materials chosen, as well as their recycling.
  • Health and well-being of users: analysis of air quality, thermal comfort, natural lighting, etc.
  • Pollution: limiting the sources of overall pollution (greenhouse gas emissions, noise and light pollution, impact on the surrounding biodiversity, etc.).
  • Transport: assess of the compatibility of the site with soft mobility (proximity to public transport, cycle parking, etc.).

| NB: BREEAM certification is not just about the building itself. It also considers its impact on the people who use it, as well as its environment.

Get a BREEAM certified building with Octopus Lab

As you can see, achieving BREEAM certification requires commitment in many areas!

There are three options for BREEAM assessment, corresponding to the different stages of a building’s life cycle. While the assessment criteria remain the same from one standard to the other, they do not have the same weighting in the final score.

BREEAM in-Use: Building Operation

For example, the BREEAM in-Use version for operational buildings will place greater emphasis on energy management and occupant comfort and well-being. Thanks to its predictive control of HVAC equipment, INDALO® Supervision helps you easily achieve both of these objectives.

Our solution not only optimises your energy consumption, but also ensures that your building maintains good indoor air quality and thermal comfort. It can reduce your energy consumption by up to 50%, helping you to meet your environmental targets.

BREEAM New construction or BREEAM Refurbishment and fit-out :
When the building is designed or renovated

Our INDALO® solution can help you validate BREEAM New Construction and BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit-out for buildings under construction or renovation.

It simulates the indoor air quality of your building during the design or refurbishment phase, helping you to make the best choice of materials and ventilation strategy to meet the specified thresholds. Our solution ensures good air quality for your occupants and limits the risk of virus spread and mould growth.

Finally, we can also take care of the air quality measurements that need to be carried out after the construction phase and before the building is occupied by its occupants.

Criteria related to the health and well-being of the occupants account for 20% of the total number of credits. Octopus Lab’s solutions therefore make it easy to earn credits and help you achieve the majority of environmental certifications.