In-Use / BIU USA 2016 /

00 - General

Information correct as of 16thAugust 2022. Please see for the latest compliance information.

Alignment between BREEAM and the Fitwel certification system - KBCN0737

BRE, as an independent and impartial research-based organization, is working with the Center for Active Design (CfAD) and International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) to promote and improve health and well-being in the built environment. The aim of both these agreements is to support our clients who want to pursue either Fitwel or WELL alongside the BREEAM standard.  To simplify the process for project teams pursuing both assessment methods, BRE has worked together with the respective organizations to compare performance requirements, identify specific documented credits and evidence that will be recognized by both organizations to streamline the process of achieving dual certification. This work demonstrates the significant synergies between the various methods and the efficiencies that exist between their respective assessment and certification processes. Because of BRE’s unique position as an impartial organization, it is possible to form these important collaborations with like-minded organizations to work together to harmonize approaches to health and wellbeing in the built environment across their standards, research programs and services.  Further information can be found in the Resources section of the BREEAM website:  For Fitwell  For WELL – 

Assessing multiple buildings in BREEAM In-Use - KBCN0840

BREEAM In-Use has been developed as an environmental assessment method to assess existing assets. Typically, an asset consists of a single building or part of a single building. In certain circumstances, multiple buildings can be classified as a single asset by a client. This is often the case where buildings are of similar physical structure and built form, have common building servicing strategies and common management arrangements.  To assess multiple buildings as a single asset using BREEAM In-Use, the criteria listed below must be confirmed by a licensed BREEAM In-Use Assessor. This will ensure a meaningful outcome of the performance of the asset.  The Assessor will be required to demonstrate how each of the criteria has been met and provide evidence to support the decision.  Where there is any doubt in the criteria being met, the Assessor must contact the Technical team in advance of the certification submission for approval and will need to submit evidence of the approval along with the assessment.  Criteria: 
  1. All buildings must have the same building function, similar performance, and be of the similar design and age. 
  2. Buildings must be connected to and share common services to meet the comfort and sanitary demands of the occupants. This includes: heating, ventilation, cooling and hot water. Or, if these services are provided locally, identical servicing strategies as well as specification of equipment must be applied across all buildings. 
  3. All buildings must share similar building envelope (the physical separator between the interior and exterior of a building) and structural specifications. Buildings do not need to be physically connected, however: the specification of the envelope must be largely the same to ensure that the performance of each building fabric is comparable in terms of the range of assessed characteristics including thermal efficiency. 
  4. Building management and maintenance policies, procedures and approach must be the same across all the buildings that make up the asset to ensure consistent implementation. 
  5. All buildings must be located on the same site. The boundary of the site must be drawn where responsibility of management or ownership of the site changes. 
  6. The Assessor must collate the required evidence from each building that is included in the asset and where performance against the BREEAM requirements varies, the final score will be determined by the space with the lowest level of performance. 
  7. If alterations are made to the management and the physical structure of the asset that in turn changes the applicability of the eligibility criteria above, re-certifications must be undertaken at a building level if the Multiple Buildings approach is no longer applicable. 
  Please note: if the buildings differ from each other in a number of areas, a multiple buildings approach has limited value to all parties involved. In such cases, the rating will not clearly identify the areas for improvement within each building. By assessing the buildings separately, the granularity of the assessment is increased which will in turn provide owners with more detailed information on how improvement plans can be rolled out.   

Building Details – Asset Types and Subtypes - KBCN1413

BREEAM USA In-Use can accommodate assets with a wide variety of space use types.  These space uses are included in the online tool to refine the Energy Calculators for Parts 1 and 2.  The table in the link below describes the space use types that can be accommodated and the corresponding Asset Type and Subtype that should be selected in the online tool.  If the space type you need is not described or you are unsure which is correct, please submit a Technical Question describing the space use type to [email protected] BIU USA 2016 Asset Types
2021 01 05 Link for technical questions updated

Multi-tenanted assessed areas – Demonstrating compliance - KBCN0984

BREEAM USA In-Use requires each tenanted space to be assessed separately for each question and to determine the final score based on the tenanted space with the lowest scoreAn example of this question type is HEA 06, for which, to select an answer option, the relevant requirement needs to be met by all tenanted areas. For example, if there is an asset with five tenants where four tenants provide mains connected water provisions, but only one provides access to non-mains connected water provisions, only one credit can be awarded.  However, this approach is not required in the case of questions where credits are awarded based on a percentage of compliance.  In these cases, Assessors should consider the entire assessed area as a whole. An example of this question type is WAT 04, where the percentage of low-water use fittings, regardless of their location in the building, is assessed in one calculation. 

Renewal – Change in Asset Ownership and/or Management - KBCN1060

Before annual certificate renewal for Part 1 and 2 certificates, BRE Global requests confirmation from the client that no significant changes have been made to the asset or building management of the asset. Significant changes are those made to the asset or its management that result in a change in the overall rating of more than 5%. Change in ownership In a situation whereby the building owner changes whilst there is a valid BREEAM In-Use certificate, providing the new building owner sends BRE Global formal confirmation of ownership, and confirmation that they have not made any significant changes to the asset or building management of the asset since acquiring the asset, the certificate can be updated to reflect the new owner. Part 1 and 2 renewals can continue as per the standard process until the assessment is due for re-certification. Change in building/property manager In a situation whereby the building/property management changes whilst there is a valid BREEAM In-Use certificate, the process alters depending on the parts certified: For Part 1 certification, renewals can continue as per the standard process until the assessment is due-for re-certification. For Part 2 certification, the change in building/property management constitutes as a significant change.  A Part 2 assessment is based on the procedures and policies in place in relation to the operation of the asset and consequently if this organisation changes, the evidence in place from the initial assessment will no longer represent the current situation. For this reason, if the building/property management changes whilst there is a valid BREEAM In-Use Part 2 certificate, a full re-assessment including site visit is required. Please note: BREEAM In-Use certificates display all Parts certified on one certificate, for this reason, if one or more parts requires full re-assessment all Parts need to be re-submitted.
Information correct as of 16thAugust 2022. Please see for the latest compliance information.