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LEED Now Recognizes Energy Credits from BREEAM

LEED is now recognizing credits from BREEAM, the popular European rating system. LEEDuser has the details on how this new policy is going to work.
March 20, 2012

Good news for European LEED projects just came in, via a USGBC press release stating "U.S. Green Building Council Announces the LEED Green Building Program to Recognize Energy Credits from BREEAM."

Here are a couple key paragraphs:

"16 March, 2012 (Paris, France) – A pivotal LEED International Roundtable meeting of European roundtable members ended in Paris today.  The meeting convened leaders from across Europe to address regional issues in LEED for existing and historic structures in the E.U.  At the meeting it was announced that the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED green building program will now recognize credits from BREEAM, the U.K.’s widely used green rating program. The recognition will begin with LEED for New Construction and the most recent International version of BREEAM.

"Many international green building projects pursue dual certification with both LEED and BREEAM.  Dual certification provides expanded opportunities to recognize and reward green building practices, but it also imposes additional costs and burdens.  At this week’s meeting, European members of the LEED Roundtable shared their technical expertise and experience and rolled out this announcement that sets new precedents and brings sophistication and best practice to the global building industry.

"The use of LEED outside the United States continues to grow rapidly.  At year end 2011, approximately 40% of all square footage pursuing LEED certification existed outside the U.S. The LEED International Roundtable provides a forum for representatives from green building councils and leadership organizations around the world to guide efforts to fulfill the global potential of LEED.  This week’s LEED International Roundtable meeting was attended by roundtable members in Europe and hosted by USGBC in cooperation with FEED, GBC Italia, Polish GBC, Romania GBC, Sweden GBC, Turkish GBC and GBC Finland. For more information about the LEED International Roundtable visit:  http://www.usgbc.org/international."

To learn more, LEEDuser had a Q&A with Scot Horst, senior vice president for LEED and Global Innovation:

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Is this effective immediately?


How do projects using LEED Online take advantage of this option?

To use this option, the project team must first receive BREEAM certification. The only way projects using this option can use LEED Online is if they have achieved all of the BREEAM Energy points. If they have not achieved all of the energy points,  a USGBC reviewer will do a crosswalk with their BREEAM documentation to the LEED credits. Projects that have already achieved BREEAM and are pursuing LEED certification may contact Deon Glaser at dglaser (at) usgbc.org for more information.

How does it work? Are all BREEAM credits recognized? Is there a mapping of BREEAM credits to equivalent LEED credits?

We are only recognizing the Energy credits for now and only between LEED 2009 and BREEAM International 2011. We wanted to start small and then continue to build commonality between BREEAM and possibly other systems.  We will watch this closely and see how it goes. If it is successful, we believe it will increase projects for both LEED and BREEAM, thereby increasing market transformation.  And if it is successful we expect to continue the crosswalk among credible systems like BREEAM, HQE and DGNB.

The key point is that we are focusing primarily on project teams and people doing the real work of transformation.   We are recognizing and promoting leadership through this action.

Is there any more detailed information?

There is no algorithm for the crosswalk between BREEAM and LEED since the credits are so different.  Each project needs to be reviewed individually.  The only exception is if all of the energy credits have been achieved.


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February 9, 2018 - 6:45 am

This article is from 2012 and explains how Energy Credits from BREEAM International 2011 can be used for LEED 2009.

We are asked by a client to work on a BREEAM + LEED project. It is a new construction project so it would be LEED BD+C V4 in combination with BREEAM ES New Construction. (Since the project is located in Spain, BREEAM international does not apply but BREEAM SPAIN applies.

Is there any crosspatch or acceptance of BREEAM credits in this case that we should be aware of before making calculation costs and fees for this project. Does anyone has an update on this? Deon Glaser is not longer working for USGBC. Any new contact at USGBC related to this topic?

June 25, 2012 - 1:50 pm

Could anyone let me know if USGBC released any extra information on the process to effectively use the BREEAM calculations for LEED energy credits...?

The USGBC documentation and the online application are not telling the same things... Does this ACP apply to BREEAM Europe 2009 or not... Does it apply to Core & Shell projects?

How can we use the final BREEAM certificate for LEED design phase submission ? Is the interim assessment enough ? Whether what it doesn't avoid multiple calculation as you need to validate LEED prerequisite Eap2 ...

It doesn't seem to be very clear...

If anyone has a clear understanding of this ACP, it would be really helpfull!

Thank you in advance!