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Data, data, data – BREEAM database now live

by Mel Starrs on March 29, 2011


One of my wish list items for BREEAM 2011 was more data (actually it was BREEAM 2010 – what happened there then? We optimistically still thought BREEAM would be released in October to coincide with Part L 2010). I asked for:

Ideally I would like to see a list of all BREEAM projects under each scheme and year, number registered and certified, with details of which particular credits were achieved.

My wish has come (partially) true with some data I am genuinely pleased with on Green Book Live. By the way, Green Book Live has had a major overhaul and looking much better for it.

Results are only there for projects under BREEAM 2008 projects which have either an interim or final certificate issued. Of a total of 332 buildings on the database, 77 are at final certificate.

I’ve analysed the data for the final certificates and the graph below shows the distribution.

A few things to note and ponder:
With BREEAM 2011 due out any minute now, it’s interesting to see the lag in certification. Construction projects can take longer than the window for which any particular BREEAM scheme is open for. I’m not sure how many projects are registered but not yet certified under BREEAM 2008 – I would hazard a guess at at least four times as many as are on the database.
One of the issues in recent years with BREEAM has been the tying up with Part L. A building under Part L 2010 for building control purposes can still be registered under BREEAM 2008. There’s no way of telling if the buildings on the 2008 database were constructed to Part L 2002, 2006 or 2010. Is there a risk of comparing apples to oranges? I suspect all of the projects on the database are to 2006, but there might be a couple on 2002? More on this when 2011 comes out…
The distribution of results is where I would expect to see them, but as there is no mechanism at the minute for differentiating between refurbishment and new build, I can’t tell if the ‘Good’ and ‘Pass’ ratings are aberrations – why on earth would there be 4 office buildings pursuing certification but not gaining enough credits to get more than a Pass? (I can hazard some guesses – I’ve seen some odd contract wording).
Note that some projects are listed twice, once for their interim and once for their final. I count 332 buildings from a quick manual scan of the data, with 358 entries on the database – would be good to have ability to separate these out.

Interestingly, just before this data came out I raised an FOI with OGC to see if I could find out some facts and figures for government owned buildings. I asked:

OGC require BREEAM assessments on major projects:
The Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment
Method (BREEAM) is regarded by the UK’s construction and property
sector as the measure of best practice in environmental design and
management. BREEAM, or an equivalent methodology, must be used in
all major government construction projects. In new builds a rating
of “excellent” must be achieved, in major refurbishments a rating
of at least “very good” must be achieved.

Please advise how many buildings have been rated, what score (%)
and rating they each received, and what scheme (building type and
year) they were assessed under.

The quality of the data which came back had gaps, but was better than that available for the years before hand. My FOI coincided with the publication of the data anyway:

The information was published on 28 February and the pan-Government data is
available at:
The starting point for individual departments’ performance is:

Indeed the data for 2008/09 goes to show the lag in certificates and why I believe there are a lot more in the pipeline. What I can’t tell (and why I specifically asked for a breakdown) is which year the certificates gained in 2008/09 were for (a majority could have been for BREEAM 2006).

Anyway, my appetite for data is somwhat sated and I’m really, really delighted that this is all being published now.