BREEAM New Construction for US projects

The BREEAM New Construction standards provides a framework to encourage clients and designers to strive for the most sustainable building within the constraints of the project.  It is used to assess the design, construction, intended use and future-proofing of new building developments, including the local, natural or human-created environment surrounding the building.  New developments in the United States use BREEAM International New Construction.

Certificates can be issued at the Design Stage (noted as interim BREEAM rating based on the design) and Post-Construction to confirm the final BREEAM rating for the as-built performance of the building after construction is complete.

Adaptations for US projects

BREEAM International New Construction provides a means of adapting section weightings to reflect the context specific to the country of assessment. There can be marked differences in environmental conditions in different countries, or even within regions of the same country and we aim to reflect that in the weightings process.

Where weightings have not been set for a particular region in the US, BRE will work with Assessors to review and create the data set required to determine the weightings. Assessors should reach out to BRE via when they have a BREEAM project in a region in which the weightings and standards have not been published.

Regional Weightings

Download Weightings for Region 1


Download Weightings for Region 5


Download Weightings for Region 6


Download Weightings for Region 7


Delivering sustainable buildings with BREEAM

BREEAM aims to deliver sustainable solutions, encourage a holistic approach to sustainability that is based on sound science and measures what is important, and improving building environmental performance.

The assessment criteria and process focus on the design of the building from concept stage right through to a fully constructed building. It requires evidence to support the design and construction decisions, agreed during the development of the project, and ensures they have been fully implemented.

As with all BREEAM programs, BREEAM International New Construction operates a “balanced scorecard” – essentially each category is weighted to encourage projects to focus on the categories with the biggest sustainability impact.

Minimum standards are set to ensure that key aspects of performance across the standard are met to achieve the higher levels of certification.

The business case for BREEAM

Clients choose BREEAM certification because it helps them deliver and validate the sustainability value of their assets cost effectively and to an internationally recognized and robust standard, tried and tested since it was first launched in 1990.

Investors, developers, owners and occupiers all benefit because BREEAM:

  • Considers impacts and costs from a lifecycle perspective
  • Minimizes the environmental impact of their construction and operations
  • Supports and protects the health and wellbeing of building users and their communities
  • Provides a credible, internationally recognized and comparable certification awarded by an independent third-party.

Building types that can use BREEAM International New Construction

BREEAM International New Construction can be used to assess most types of new buildings, including residential and new-build extensions to existing buildings.

Don’t see your project type? For new-build developments that do not fall within the scope of BREEAM International New Construction, BRE offers a bespoke service.  This involves tailoring criteria in the existing standards to the developments specific use, sustainability opportunities and its location. This tailoring takes place prior to the development being fully designed and constructed to maximize the benefit of its application.  For more information regarding this process and whether it is a suitable option for your project, please read our Guidance Note BREEAM Bespoke Process and download the form to start your Bespoke application.

Scope of work

BREEAM can be applied to different scopes:

  • Shell only  base building; envelope, substructure and superstructure of the building.
  • Shell and Core – Shell plus core building services.
  • Fully Fitted – Shell and Core plus systems in tenanted areas.
  • Partially Fitted (Residential only)

Whatever your new construction development type, you can start your journey to certification by registering your project via a licensed Assessor.

The certification process

The earlier you look at sustainability in the design process, the more chance you have to influence the design towards sustainability outcomes at a lower cost.  BREEAM is designed to incentivize the engagement of BREEAM professionals, including the identification and appointment of a BREEAM Assessor, as early in the process as possible.

The Assessor verifies compliance with BREEAM through evidence review and site visits, awards the rating.

Case Studies

Bloomberg London

Five Pancras Square


By completing this form you will access:

  • International New Construction Technical Standard
  • Technical Standard Summary for US projects

For buildings undergoing BREEAM International New Construction 2016 assessment, the following two documents will also be available;

  • Data Centres Annex – One
  • Data Centres Annex – Two