BREEAM Communities Technical Standard

Integrating sustainable design into the masterplanning of new communities or regeneration projects

What is BREEAM Communities?

BREEAM Communities is a simple and flexible route to improving, measuring and certifying the sustainability of large-scale development plans. It provides a framework to support planners, local authorities, developers and investors through the masterplanning process, before embarking on procurement, detailed building level design and construction.

What development types is it suitable for?

Medium to large scale developments, including new communities and regeneration projects.

What difference does it make?

It benefits local authorities, developers, masterplanners and the local people who live and work in its communities by:

  • helping to create sustainable communities that are good for the environment, its people and are also economically successful
  • embedding sustainable principles and goals within the masterplan from the outset helping to create places where people want to live and work, enhancing employee satisfaction
  • providing a framework to improve efficiencies during the masterplanning process, helping to save time and money throughout the project
  • facilitating the planning process with tools and targets to assist with the sustainable decision making
  • giving independent third party certification of the sustainability of a development’s masterplan
  • contributing to project participants and tenants corporate, social responsibility, business reporting and sustainable business leadership

How does it work?

The standard is applied during the early planning and design stages of a development. It offers a holistic framework with key target benchmarks that assists decision makers to better understand and improve upon the impact their decisions will have upon the longer term environmental, social and economic aspects of the development.

Is it country specific?

For more information on BREEAM Bespoke, click here.

Where is it being used?

BREEAM Communities is being used across Europe, parts of The Middle East and Africa.  

Want to find out more?

We have a range of further in-depth information about BREEAM Communities. For more information please see below:


An Introduction to BREEAM Communities 2012

An Introduction to BREEAM Communities 2012

BREEAM Communities event summary

BREEAM Communities event summary

BREEAM Communities at Castleward

BREEAM Communities at Castleward

Experiences of using BREEAM Communities

Experiences of using BREEAM Communities

BREEAM Brochures

The Case for Communities

The Case for Communities

Integrating Sustainable Design

Integrating Sustainable Design

To learn more about BREEAM Communities, check out our Certification and Training page and talk to a BREEAM Communities Licensed Assessor about your masterplanning project now.


Client Testimonials

“BREEAM Communities encapsulates our strategic approach to development. We regard the assessment process as cost neutral as it helps smooth out the planning process and demonstrates the high quality we would be seeking to achieve.”

Dave Bullock, Compendium Living’s Managing Director


“Using a defined set of criteria for the creation of sustainable communities means that it is more likely that these are properly considered and sustainable designs are realised.”

Ross Peedle Architect, John Thompson & Partners

“This structure… give(s) guidance to the architects, the quantity surveyors, infrastructure professionals to start thinking collaboratively in the right direction. … We had to be ahead of the curve, and the BREEAM Communities sustainable framework enabled us to do that”

Iain Taylor, Partnerships Director, Peel Group


“In effect, what BREEAM Communities seemed to offer was a 3rd party assessment of sustainability which I think is worth an enormous amount especially when you’re dealing with controversial planning applications.”

Louise Cutts, Development Management Officer, Eastleigh Borough Council

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