Back in the 1980s there was much talk of ‘low energy’ buildings but there was no credible way of independently measuring the claims. By the end of that decade leading professionals came together to change that – this included committed individuals from BRE, architects ECD, and developer Stanhope Plc.
Together we saw an opportunity to raise the visibility of low energy, environmentally sensitive design, recognising the market advantage for high quality office buildings through the development of a label for buildings, similar to the successful “miles-per-gallon-label” that had already become a market differentiator for cars. This meeting of minds inspired the development and launch in 1990 of the first version of BREEAM to assess the environmental performance of office buildings – a genuine global first.
Environmental debate may have moved on from the oil crisis of the 1970’s to today’s focus on low carbon construction and climate change, but BREEAM has remained at the heart of sustainable construction and innovation.
Over 25 years BREEAM’s schemes have evolved and grown to reflect advances in science, technology, policy and business. BREEAM has remained the world’s leading environmental assessment method, now boasting around 3000 licensed assessors, more than 530,000 certificates issued and a global reach encompassing over 70 countries and growing.
We are celebrating and sharing BREEAM’s achievements from the past 25 years, and looking to the future growth and development of BREEAM – see our dedicated microsite ‘Celebrating 25 years of BREEAM’ at www.breeam.com/breeam25 for more.