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San Francisco — June 8, 2016 — BuildingWise, the award-winning U.S.-based LEED-certification consultancy, and BRE, an authority on all aspects of the built environment, announced their new partnership. The collaboration allows BuildingWise and BRE to bring BREEAM — the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology — to the United States. BREAM is a sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure, and buildings.
BREEAM USA will focus on the BREEAM In-Use standard to address the 5.6 million existing commercial buildings in the U.S. that are not currently benchmarking their sustainability efforts, using a scientifically based green building certification.
BuildingWise CEO Barry Giles said, “We are so excited to finally bring BREEAM to the U.S. to open up the option for many of the existing buildings in this country that don’t currently use a building certification program because the available systems are seen as cumbersome, expensive, and require prerequisites that many buildings find impossible to achieve.”
Designed by BRE (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 U.S. buildings is important as, during its lifespan, a building and its occupants consume significant amounts of energy, water, and materials, as well as 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.
“Many of today’s buildings are not equipped for the future and underperform against their potential, wasting resources and unnecessarily impacting the environment,” said Gavin Dunn, global director, BREEAM. “In a real estate market that considers value based on a wide range of metrics, these assets risk devaluation or becoming stranded. With BREEAM we provide a system that can cost-effectively be applied to any property to enable managers to improve and get recognition for the performance of their existing real-estate assets. Whether improving the performance of older inefficient properties, or ensuring that new high-performance properties meet their potential, BREEAM eliminates wasted resources at all levels.”
For occupants, benefits include healthier and more productive workplaces. Standards like BREEAM help create workplaces with good indoor air quality, good lighting, and daylighting levels and higher perceptions of comfort than average offices. As an example of the impact such factors can have, research by the World Green Building Council says better indoor air quality can help improve staff productivity levels by as much as 8 to 11 percent.
One of the first buildings to undertake BREEAM In-Use is the BLOC in downtown Los Angeles. Currently, the BLOC is being upgraded into a destination space for Los Angeles residents including a huge shopping mall and Sheraton hotel.
To learn more about BREEAM USA, visit www.breeamusa.com.
The BRE Trust Companies, BRE and BRE Global, are research, consultancy, training, testing, and certification organizations that have been delivering sustainability and innovation across the built environment and associated industries for over 90 years. Headquartered in the UK and operating in over 70 countries, BRE helps governments, industry, and business create safe and healthy, high-quality, cost-effective buildings, communities, and businesses, while meeting legislative, client, social, and environmental requirements at every stage of the project.
BuildingWise provides sustainable building and facility operations consulting to corporations, institutions, and other organizations. BuildingWise has been helping clients transform their existing commercial structures into buildings that are more energy-efficient, environmentally sound, and profitable for more than nine years. Combining a unique expertise in the LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System and BREEAM International Assessments with decades of experience in facility management, BuildingWise delivers focused, tailored sustainability program development and LEED-certification strategies.