Technical newsletters about emerging issues & our latest research

To gain an Outstanding BREEAM rating design teams need to fully embrace sustainability and embed it into their design from the very onset of a project. A research paper by Sweett Group and the BRE in 2016 confirmed the cost uplift for different BREEAM ratings and use types, these can be seen below:

The uplift in costs for Very Good and Excellent rated buildings is relatively minimal but as expected, the cost significantly increases with an Outstanding rating. This is due to the significant interaction required with the design team and the complex value adding reports that are required.

Less than 1% of UK new non-domestic buildings manage to achieve an Outstanding BREEAM rating and this demonstrates the significant effort required to achieve the rating. Outstanding rated buildings have a chance of achieving a BREEAM award. The winners of these awards are some of the most innovatively sustainable buildings in the UK and the world.

The lifecycle benefits of adopting BREEAM have begun to be quantified; recent research papers by the World Green Building Council (WGBC) have noted that BREEAM certified office buildings in London from 2000 to 2009 achieved a 21% premium on transaction prices and an 18% premium on rents. The higher the rating, the higher the premium on rents.

In addition to this, WGBC have concluded that buildings with better views out can increase memory by up to 25%, with workers being 18-23% more productive in offices that have good daylight and allow occupant control of ventilation, lighting and temperature; all features that BREEAM awards credit for.

The BREEAM Outstanding rating was introduced in 2008 to recognise a new standard of sustainability for exemplary developments. A score of 85% or above must be obtained to achieve Outstanding, compared to 70% for an Excellent rating. There are also higher minimum standards under Outstanding – for example 8 out of the 15 available credits for reducing CO2 emissions must be achieved, compared to the 5 required for an Excellent rating.