BREEAM, the leading UK green-building rating system, arrived in the US less than two months ago. This week it issued a technical manual for BREEAM USA In-Use, tailored specifically to the US marketplace.
The new standard takes into account the specific legal requirements and government regulations in place and addresses the many nuances affecting the American marketplace, its authors say.
BRE America, the partnership between the UK’s BRE Group and BuildingWise, the US-based LEED certification consultancy, says the release of the technical manual brings BREEAM closer to full deployment in the US.
The partners say BREEAM USA In-Use focuses on the 5.6 million existing commercial buildings in the US that are not currently benchmarking their sustainability efforts using a “scientifically-based green building certification” such as LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED EB).
“We are excited to take the next step in making BREEAM USA accessible to green building assessors as well as building management and ownership groups across the country,” said BRE America CEO Barry Giles in a statement. “Through this comprehensive American tailored revision of the globally focused BREEAM In-Use program, we are finally able to offer every commercial existing building a robust and proven green building rating system that helps to address the individual concerns and obligations of building owners and facility managers.”
Although the US move for the UK’s leading environmental assessment system for buildings looks like an attempt to encroach on LEED’s dominance, BRE executives told Environmental Leader in an earlier interview that BREEAM won’t be directly competing with LEED in the US. BRE Group chief operating officer Niall Trafford said the two green building standards will simply be “working alongside” each other.
At the time Scot Horst, USGBC chief product officer, called BREEAM coming to the US “interesting” but said he doesn’t think it will affect LEED, which he said is the “international standard” for green building certification.