Green Certification for Buildings: LEED and BREEAM Standards

Green Certification for Buildings: LEED and BREEAM Standards

In an era where sustainability and environmental consciousness are gaining significant importance, it has become imperative to develop green buildings that adhere to eco-friendly practices. One of the primary ways to ensure this is through green certification programs for buildings. This post will delve into two leading green certification standards: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

1. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

LEED, developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), is a globally recognized green building certification program. It aims at promoting sustainable design, construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings. The certification process evaluates various aspects of a building’s energy efficiency, water usage, site sustainability, material selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation. LEED certification offers four levels of achievement: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, based on the total points earned in the evaluation process. Buildings with higher levels of LEED certification demonstrate a stronger commitment to sustainability.

2. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method)

BREEAM, developed in the United Kingdom by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), is another widely recognized green building certification standard. It rates buildings based on their sustainability performance and environmental impacts. BREEAM covers various criteria such as management, health and well-being, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, land use, and ecology. BREEAM certification provides ratings from Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent, to Outstanding, reflecting the environmental performance of the building. The higher the rating, the more sustainable and eco-friendly the building is considered.

Why opt for green building certification?

Green building certification programs like LEED and BREEAM offer numerous benefits. Firstly, certified green buildings are energy-efficient and help reduce operation costs significantly. They conserve resources, minimize waste generation, and lower carbon emissions, promoting a cleaner environment. Green building designs also prioritize occupant health and well-being, contributing to better indoor air quality and comfort.

Which certification standard to choose?

Both LEED and BREEAM provide rigorous evaluation processes that ensure environmental sustainability. Choosing between the two depends on factors such as project location, building type, and stakeholder preferences. While LEED is more prevalent in the United States, BREEAM is widely adopted in the United Kingdom and Europe. However, both standards offer robust frameworks for sustainable building design and operation.


Green certification programs like LEED and BREEAM play a crucial role in driving innovative sustainable practices in the construction and operation of buildings. These certifications not only benefit the environment but also provide economic advantages and enhanced occupant well-being. Regardless of the chosen certification, opting for green building practices promotes a more sustainable and greener future. References: [1] U.S. Green Building Council. (n.d.). What is LEED? Retrieved from [2] BREEAM. (n.d.). What is BREEAM? Retrieved from