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BRE America (www.breeamusa.com), the partnership between BRE Group, an authority on all aspects of the built environment, and BuildingWise, the award-winning US-based LEED certification consultancy, today announced the release of their new technical manual for BREEAM USA In-Use, downloadable for free from www.breeamusa.com. The new standard, based on the widely applied international BREEAM In-Use system, is tailored to the particulars of the US green building sector. BREEAM USA In-Use takes into account the specific legal requirements and government regulations in place and addresses the many nuances affecting the American marketplace.
The release of the technical manual brings BREEAM – the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology, the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings – closer to full deployment in the United States. BREEAM USA In-Use focuses on the 5.6 million existing commercial buildings in the US that are not currently benchmarking their sustainability efforts using a scientifically-based green building certification.
BRE America CEO Barry Giles said, “We are excited to take the next step in making BREEAM USA accessible to green building assessors as well as building management and ownership groups across the country. Through this comprehensive American tailored revision of the globally focused BREEAM In-Use program, we are finally able to offer every commercial existing building a robust and proven green building rating system that helps to address the individual concerns and obligations of building owners and facility managers.
Originally designed by BRE (the Building Research Establishment), the BREEAM rating system has a 25-year track record of driving efficiency improvements in new and existing buildings around the world. BREEAM In-Use is an independent, science-based and inclusive assessment that gives building managers and owners a framework for improving the operational sustainability of their asset, reducing energy costs and consequently carbon footprints. Improving the sustainability of US buildings is important as, during its lifespan, a building and its occupants consume significant amounts of energy, water and materials; and produce waste and emissions. All of this places pressure on limited resources and can negatively impact the local as well as global environment.
During the assessment process, each category is sub-divided into a range of issues, which promotes the use of new benchmarks, aims and targets. When a target is reached, credits are awarded. Once a building has been fully assessed, depending upon the total number of credits awarded, a final performance rating is achieved.
BREEAM certification provides benefits far beyond just lowering operational costs, which are typically the largest segment of building operating expenses for building owners and managers. BREEAM certification can prepare commercial property for increased resiliency to the future effects of climate change and evolving legal requirements, making a property more attractive to lease, sell and retain as building ratings and certifications are increasingly seen as a mark of quality and value.
One of the first properties to undertake BREEAM USA In-Use is The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles. Currently, The Bloc is in the final stage of a transformation into an open-air urban destination which will offer Angelenos an active experience of design-oriented, artisanal retailers and restaurateurs; a state-of-the-art, creative-leaning office building; and the glamorously renovated 496-room Sheraton Grand Los Angeles.
To learn more about BREEAM USA and BRE America, please visit www.breeamusa.com.