Designing and Operating Sustainable Laboratories With BREEAM

Barry Giles, BRE America

BREEAM is the world's oldest and most widely used green building rating system.

Its balanced scorecard approach can be applied to new, refurbished or existing laboratories with criteria specifically tailored to each lifecycle stage.

BREEAM was created by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) back in 1990, drawing on our long history of research into all aspects of the built environment. It is the science behind BREEAM that has driven it up take over the last 27 years, in over 75 countries around the world.

Our partnerships with Universities around the world ensure we continue to be at the cutting edge of sustainable construction, constantly building our latest research into BREEAM to drive performance forward.

The holistic approach of BREEAM ensures laboratories that are not only sustainable but also promote the health and well-being of their occupants.

This presentation will first provide a basic introduction to BREEAM, highlighting its history of global applicability. Some of the more general requirements of BREEAM, such as Energy and Water efficiency will be covered before looking in more detail at the BREEAM criteria specifically targeting sustainable laboratories.

Finally, we will look at how GlaxoSmithKline used BREEAM to design their carbon neutral laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry in the UK.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand that BREEAM helps to design and operate a sustainable laboratory.
  • Know the basics of BREEAM, including different lifecycle stages; New Construction, Refurbishment and In-Use
  • Understand how BREEAM's balanced scorecard approach ensures both sustainability and the health and well-being of occupants.
  • Awareness of BREEAM laboratory case studies.


Barry Giles is CEO of BRE America. He developed a partnership between BuildingWise & BRE Group to create the BREEAM USA standard. He helped tailor the methodology for the unique conditions in the USA & advocates for the application of sustainability benchmarks to all existing buildings as a BREEAM Fellow. Barry was a LEED for Existing Buildings pioneer & a founding member of its Core Committee. He continues to assist the USGBC in the development of the LEED EB rating system as a LEED Fellow.


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