More than 40 certification systems
There are more than 40 different certification systems available internationally. These systems mostly cover the same sustainability aspects, but may differ in focus. The best known are BREEAM and LEED.
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the oldest (1990) green building rating system in the world. The certification method from the British Building Research Establishment (BRE) enables new and existing buildings, demolition projects and even areas to be assessed for sustainability. It provides comprehensive insight into sustainability performance, from energy to health. BREEAM is now applied worldwide, in more than 80 countries. Stakeholders from the entire construction and real estate sector, from governments to corporations, use the instrument for new construction projects and renovations.
The 1998 American LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is based on an earlier version of BREEAM and is based on American regulations and the associated (non-metric) measurement system. In addition to North America and Canada, LEED is used in Asia and Europe, including Romania, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and France.
Differences per country
Some Green Building Councils have made BREEAM and/or LEED specifically suitable for use in their own countries, in line with the incentive and subsidy schemes available. For example, in some countries, including the Netherlands, BREEAM has official status in building regulations.