BRE America releases BREEAM USA In-Use technical manual for building assessors

by Brianna Crandall — August 10, 2016 — BRE America, the partnership between BRE Group, an authority on all aspects of the built environment, and BuildingWise, the award-winning U.S.-based LEED certification consultancy, have just announced the release of their new technical manual for BREEAM USA In-Use, downloadable for free the BREEAM USA Web site.

The new standard, based on the widely applied international BREEAM In-Use system, is tailored to the particulars of the US green building sector. BREEAM USA In-Use takes into account the specific legal requirements and government regulations in place and addresses the many nuances affecting the American marketplace.

The release of the technical manual brings BREEAM – the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology, a global sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings – closer to full deployment in the United States.

BREEAM USA In-Use focuses on the 5.6 million existing commercial buildings in the United States that are not currently benchmarking their sustainability efforts using a scientifically based green building certification system, and helps to address the individual concerns and obligations of building owners and facilities managers.

Originally designed by BRE (the 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, and produce waste and emissions, reminds BRE. 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.

One of the first properties to undertake BREEAM USA In-Use is The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles. Currently, The Bloc is in the final stage of a transformation into an open-air urban destination that will offer Angelenos an active experience of design-oriented, artisanal retailers and restaurateurs; a state-of-the-art, creative-leaning office building; and the glamorously renovated 496-room Sheraton Grand Los Angeles.

For more information, visit the BRE America / BREEAM USA Web site.