BREEAM, a sustainability assessment method for buildings, infrastructure and communities, has launched BREEAM USA In-Use Version 6, a locally adapted version of the internationally recognized BREEAM program for existing buildings. This first update since the program was first launched in 2016 includes new and improved criteria for the Commercial program (BREEAM USA In-Use V6 Commercial), including a focus on resilience.
It has also expanded to include the brand new standard for Residential assets (BREEAM USA In-Use V6 Residential).
The update builds on BREEAM’s global experience with the residential assets and from an 18-month long pilot process with participants around the world, including Alliance Residential Company, Greystar and Lord Green Real Estate Strategies.
Another significant component of the update is its increased focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation with the incorporation of a new Resilience category. This category integrates Resilience with Environmental Performance and Occupant Health and Well-being at the asset level, meaning this update will consider past environmental performance and encourage the protection of the asset’s environmental and financial performance in the future.
Similarly, Version 6 has woven Social Impact into the standard, reflecting the social and economic benefits of meeting environmental objectives. This encourages assets to see that asset resilience and overall sustainability are deeply connected to the resilience and sustainability of the communities in which they are located, including direct references to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. BREEAM is the first rating system to incorporate these elements, alongside Environmental Performance, into a single platform with a focus on existing buildings.
Online registration for BREEAM USA In-Use V6 Commercial will be available from today, May 11, 2020, with Residential to follow later this year (offline registration and toolkit will be available in the interim). The technical manuals for both the USA and International programs are available to download in full and at no cost from the BREEAM USA website. Other locally adapted versions from BREEAM’s National Scheme Operators will be available within a year of release.
This expansion and improvement of the BREEAM suite of sustainability rating and assurance tools signifies a re-energized determination to empower asset owners, investors and managers to proactively improve the performance of any asset type, in any location, regardless of the asset’s age and performance.
Shamir Ghumra, BREEAM Director, said: “One of the most significant changes with this update was to pivot BREEAM from not just looking back at past environmental performance but looking towards protecting the asset’s environmental and financial performance in the future.
“This linking of asset value growth and protection and environmental performance has always existed in BREEAM, but our changing world made it imperative that it was addressed more intentionally. The current situation we’re also subjected to underlines that sustainability and a focus on environmental, social and governance performance is now more crucial than ever.
“The focus on the value of the process as well as our technical knowledge, deeply rooted in building science and research, continues to make BREEAM the leading assessment and certification method for the built environment. Our thanks are extended to the participants in the Residential pilot program and to all those who provided comments and feedback during our public consultation period for the Commercial program.”
BREEAM USA In-Use Version 6 will carry out a phased transition from the 2016 version to make sure that assessors and clients have enough time before they have to upgrade. Registrations for v2016 will remain open for up to a year from today except for certified assets that are due to expire after this one-year window.
BREEAM has been used in projects around the world, in 86 countries. With operational headquarters in San Francisco, BREEAM certification in the USA is developed and delivered by BRE Global, a subsidiary of the BRE Group. BRE are the founders and owners of BREEAM and the Home Quality Mark, and the owners of CEEQUAL.
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