Green Certification for Buildings: LEED and BREEAM Standards

Understanding Green Certification for Buildings

In recent years, there has been a growing global focus on sustainable practices in the construction industry. As awareness about environmental impact increases, green certification standards have emerged as a way to recognize buildings that meet certain criteria for sustainability and energy efficiency.

LEED Certification

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is one of the most widely recognized green building certification programs in the United States. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED assesses buildings based on various factors such as water efficiency, energy use, indoor environmental quality, materials and resources, and sustainable site development.LEED offers different levels of certification, ranging from Certified, Silver, Gold, to Platinum. The certification process involves rigorous documentation review, site visits, and performance testing to ensure the building meets the required standards. It not only promotes responsible resource use but also provides a healthier environment for occupants.

BREEAM Certification

BREEAM, or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is a leading green building rating system originating in the United Kingdom. It evaluates the sustainability performance of buildings based on factors such as energy consumption, water usage, waste management, pollution, and ecological impact.Similar to LEED, BREEAM also offers different certification levels, including Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent, and Outstanding. The assessment process involves a detailed evaluation of the building’s design, construction, and operations, ensuring sustainable practices are implemented throughout its lifecycle.

Key Differences and Benefits

While both LEED and BREEAM aim to promote sustainable building practices, there are some notable differences between the two.LEED is more commonly used in the United States and Canada, while BREEAM is prevalent in the United Kingdom and Europe. Additionally, LEED places a stronger emphasis on energy efficiency and indoor air quality, whereas BREEAM focuses more on ecological aspects and carbon footprint reduction.Green certification for buildings offers numerous benefits, not only for the environment but also for building owners and occupants. Green-certified buildings tend to have lower energy and water consumption, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and improved indoor air quality. They also often have higher market value, attract tenants more easily, and provide a healthier and more productive work environment.


Green certification programs like LEED and BREEAM play a crucial role in promoting sustainable building practices and raising environmental awareness within the construction industry. By adhering to these standards, building owners and professionals can contribute to a greener future while simultaneously reaping the many benefits associated with green-certified buildings.Choosing between LEED and BREEAM depends on various factors such as location, project type, and the targeted market. Nevertheless, both certifications represent a commitment to sustainability and are highly regarded within the industry.