In recent years, the significance of sustainable building practices and environmental certifications has gained tremendous momentum. One certification that stands out prominently is BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).
A remarkable accomplishment worth mentioning is the MoNa Résidence in Monaco Monte Carlo, which became the first residential building in continental Europe to achieve BREEAM certification at the ‘Excellent’ level. With 22 storeys and 66 luxury flats, the MoNa Résidence was meticulously designed to be nearly energy self-sufficient. This achievement exemplifies the commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency embodied by both BREEAM certification and the Principality of Monaco.
BREEAM certification is the world’s longest-established method for assessing, rating, and certifying building sustainability. Developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 1990, BREEAM has become a globally recognized standard. With over 550,000 buildings certified and more than two million registered for certification across 50 countries, the impact of BREEAM is substantial. The certification also extends to neighborhood development, promoting sustainable practices on a broader scale.
Numerous exceptional buildings have obtained BREEAM certification, showcasing their dedication to sustainability. For example, the Atlas building at Eindhoven University of Technology achieved the highest score on the BREEAM list for sustainable education buildings worldwide. British Land’s Broadgate development, 100 Liverpool Street, surpassed an industry-leading target for embodied carbon and received a BREEAM Outstanding rating. The Pioltello Logistics Centre in Milan achieved BREEAM New Construction Excellent certification, demonstrating sustainability in logistics real estate. Another remarkable example is HAUT, a residential tower in the Netherlands that attained the highest sustainability rating of BREEAM Outstanding.
While BREEAM certification holds high regard, it is important to note that it is not the only certification for green buildings. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is another widely recognized certification developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a requirement in the European Union to report on a building’s energy consumption.
The benefits of BREEAM and other energy certifications in the real estate sector are numerous. Buildings with higher BREEAM ratings or energy performance ratios often experience reduced operational costs, lower energy bills, and a diminished carbon footprint throughout their lifespan. Moreover, these certifications offer opportunities for brand positioning, marketing sustainability credentials, and enhancing building longevity. Certified buildings tend to retain tenants more effectively, and higher yields can be achieved due to their superior sustainability profile.
It is worth noting that BREEAM certification and the EU Taxonomy, a classification system for environmental sustainability, are distinct but complementary. While BREEAM focuses specifically on building environmental performance, the EU Taxonomy applies to various sectors, including construction. Attaining BREEAM certification can contribute to meeting some of the requirements of the EU Taxonomy and demonstrate a building’s commitment to sustainability.
In conclusion, BREEAM certification and other energy certifications play a pivotal role in promoting sustainable building practices and reducing the environmental impact of the real estate sector. Buildings that achieve these certifications not only benefit from reduced operational costs and an enhanced brand image but also contribute to a more sustainable future. With the growing awareness and demand for sustainable buildings, BREEAM and other certifications are driving positive change in the industry.