BREEAM USA In-Use Version 6 Consultation

BREEAM USA In-Use was launched in 2016 to support owners, managers and occupiers of existing buildings in the United States to measure their sustainability performance and gain information to drive improvements in a cost-effective manner and receive market recognition for their achievement.  The update to BREEAM USA In-Use from 2016 to Version 6 reflects the feedback received from Assessors, Clients and the wider market as well as the latest in science and research in the built environment.

This consultation has now closed. Thank you to all those who have participated.
For more information see the current BREEAM In-Use standard.

Why update?

Reflect evolving practices and technologies

BREEAM criteria is undertaken periodically to ensure that the standard continues to maintain technical robustness and reflects changes in opportunity through evolving practice and technologies.

The BREEAM team are committed to ensuring that BREEAM continues to use the best research and science to set the standard and operate a certification program that delivers value and gives investors, owners and operators the information they need to make better decisions, manage risk and to communicate performance transparently.

Adapt to a rapidly changing market and climate

The urgency of addressing the sustainability of our communities and buildings – particularly existing buildings – continues to grow.  As the effects of a changing climate are becoming more apparent on real estate, there has been a significant shift in how investors, owners and managers view sustainability.  With the impacts of the changing climate on real estate increasing, there has been a shift from “green” as a marketing tool to ESG performance reporting to stakeholders and risk management.  A sustainable building is no longer defined only by its past performance; resiliency, the ability to continue delivering performance and therefore asset value, in the future is now crucial.

This update seeks to deliver the information investors, owners and managers need to understand their assets and make sound business decisions in this changing world.

Scope of the update

The range of issues addressed by BREEAM has grown since it was first launched in 1990, but many more environmental, social and economic aspects need to be considered. The challenge is to broaden BREEAM without increasing its complexity – expansion must go hand in hand with efforts to make assessments more accessible and transparent.

The BREEAM team has listened to our Assessors and Clients since BREEAM USA In-Use was launched in 2016 and have sought to incorporate changes in this update that reflect those views and seek to drive market transformation.  The update has included the following:


A key part of the update process is reviewing the technical scope and all the current technical requirements of the scheme to ensure they continue to reflect the principles of BREEAM including, delivering value to stakeholders and reflecting the latest industry developments, best practice standards, regulation and policy.

This update has seen some significant changes to the scheme, particularly with the expansion of scope to include Residential assets of all types, the creation of a new Resilience category, the combining of the Materials and Waste categories into a single Resources category and the streamlining of issues to reduce complexity without losing the rigor.

The update will continue the alignment with the International version of BREEAM In-Use, maintaining the international comparability of the program.


The way in which the scheme operates is critical to ensuring that BREEAM remains accessible and transparent as well as delivering value to our Clients.

This update has reviewed and proposed revisions to our operations to expand the scope to include Residential assets of all types, simplify certification maintenance process and incentivize ongoing performance monitoring and improvement.

Consultation Activities

The public consultation provides Assessors, Clients and other stakeholders the opportunity to respond to the proposed changes to ensure the BREEAM USA In-Use: Commercial standard continues to delivery better buildings and value to Clients. There are two ways of providing feedback; via the online survey or by completing the feedback form and emailing it to quoting “BUIU V6 Feedback” in the subject line. Links to both feedback routes are provided below.

This consultation has now closed. Thank you to all those who have participated.
For more information see the current BREEAM In-Use standard.

BREEAM USA In-Use: Commercial Technical Manual (Draft for Consultation)

Summary of Changes

Consultation Survey

Feedback form

Note: The BREEAM USA In-Use: Residential standard has been undergoing a separate consultation process for the last year and so will not be released for public comment through this method.

Launch of the new version

When launching the new scheme version, a summary of the changes made following the consultation will be made available and BRE will host webinars to review the changes as well as highlight some of the more exciting changes that have been made.  Announcements and links to these events and recordings will be made through the BREEAM Official LinkedIn Group and our Twitter handle @BRE_BREEAM.  We would also encourage you to register for BREEAM news through our online Preference Centre (select Sustainability under “Your Interests”) to receive notifications and information by email.

The superseded BREEAM USA In-Use 2016 program will close for registrations 1 year after the launch of BREEAM USA In-Use Version 6.  We advise Clients and Assessors to review current and potential projects and, where required, register these as early as possible.