LEED and BREEAM Certification Schemes

LEED and BREEAM Certification Schemes

Philippa Gill

20 years: Real estate investment

In this video, Philippa looks at the LEED and BREEAM certifications. She also discusses the requirements to achieve these certifications and highlights some schemes that have a narrower focus, such as EnergyStar, NABERS, and OPERAT.

In this video, Philippa looks at the LEED and BREEAM certifications. She also discusses the requirements to achieve these certifications and highlights some schemes that have a narrower focus, such as EnergyStar, NABERS, and OPERAT.

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LEED and BREEAM Certification Schemes

8 mins 15 secs

Overview

The real estate sector is having to play a crucial role in achieving net-zero goals due to its substantial greenhouse gas emissions. LEED and BREEAM certifications promote sustainable design and construction practices, with LEED historically focusing on energy efficiency and environmental impact, and BREEAM emphasizing health and well-being, sustainable materials, and transport. Both use point-based systems to evaluate and rate environmental performance. EnergyStar, NABERS, and OPERAT are more narrowly focused frameworks addressing energy consumption metrics for operating buildings. These certifications and frameworks are vital for improving sustainability, driving performance, and guiding the industry towards a greener future.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the purpose of LEED and BREEAM certifications

  • Outline the differences and similarities between the two certification schemes

  • Outline some more specific consumption and energy management frameworks

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Summary

What are LEED and BREEAM certifications?

LEED and BREEAM are certification programs promoting sustainable design and construction, developed by the USGBC and UK's BRE, respectively. Used globally, they cater to specific markets and appeal to various stakeholders. Assessment frameworks track certified buildings, awarding points for environmental performance. Both certifications focus on sustainability and energy efficiency.

What are the similarities and differences between the two schemes?

LEED and BREEAM are certification programs with similarities and differences. 

Both use point-based systems, evolving requirements, and award credits for various sustainability aspects. However, LEED offers Silver/Gold/Platinum certification, while BREEAM uses pass/good/very good/excellent/outstanding ratings. 

LEED historically focuses on energy efficiency, while BREEAM also considers health, well-being, materials, and transport. 

Both are adaptable to different building types and lifecycle stages, but BREEAM is more popular in Europe and the Middle East, while LEED is prevalent in the US and Canada. 

Additionally, different data sets may be required for reporting and calculations. Both programs require accredited professionals to assist with certification.

What are the more specific consumption and energy management frameworks?

Energy Star (US) and NABERS (Australia) are energy consumption-focused sustainability rating systems, measuring operational energy use. They provide publicly available building ratings, affecting capital expenditure and valuation. NABERS, now introduced in the UK, also covers water and waste. 

Similar schemes, like France's OPERAT, enable simple building comparisons, driving performance improvement and influencing financial assumptions in the investment market.

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Philippa Gill

Philippa Gill

Philippa joined EVORA Global in January 2020, initially to focus on the expansion into Europe and our Climate Resilience Services. Given her background in private equity real estate, she brings deep knowledge of investment drivers and associated risk factors. She continues to sponsor our Social Wellbeing and EVOLVE education service lines at Executive level, while also providing senior strategic support to a number of Evora’s key global clients.

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