The choice for BREEAM-NL

After consulting the participants regarding their criteria on a practical sustainable certification the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) concluded they were looking for a system that provides international comparability, is adaptable to the local situation and standards (climate, building regulations, etc), is open and transparent, allows for a good balance between price and quality and provides for independent assessments. Having examined various international options for benchmarking buildings, the DGBC choose to use the English BREEAM methodology as the basis for their sustainability label. 

The ‘Environmental Assessment Method’ of buildings was originally developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), a British research organization, hence the name BREEAM. BRE has had more than 100,000 buildings certified and operates in 15 different countries.

International Brand

Nowadays there are national BREEAM schemes for The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Spain and of course England itself. National Scheme Operators translate the International version of BREEAM and make it applicable to their country. For example, some criteria might be irrelevant in a certain country, because it’s already standard building practice or regulated. The use of different calculation methods is already discussed by the National Scheme Operators (NSO) and is accepted by the quality assurance of BRE. To keep the international comparibility BRE operates the Core Technical Standard, the list of criteria which each scheme must entail. 

So, there are differences in the various international schemes, but they are still comparable and valued similar. A three star rating in the Netherlands is the same as in Germany, Norway or England.


BREEAM-NL comprises four different labels. First BREEAM-NL New Construction and Renovation. This label is operational since September 2009. It is used to determine the sustainable performance of new buildings. The second label is BREEAM-NL In-Use. This assesses existing buildings on three levels: Building, Management and Use, operational since the summer of 2011. The third label is BREEAM-NL Area Development (2011) and assesses the sustainability performance of an area development. In 2013 DGBC launched the label BREEAM-NL Demolition to assess the sustainability of demolition projects.

Dutch Green Building Council

BREEAM-NL is developed and managed by DGBC, under license of BRE Global Ltd. The Netherlands has been formally recognized by the BRE as National Scheme Operator (Scheme Manager) and is therefore the only party in the Netherlands is entitled to operate this label. DGBC, as Scheme Operator, is responsible for the content and functioning of the BREEAM-NL Schemes. The internal organization is therefore divided in a project team, a governance and an independent Committee of Experts (College van Deskundigen = CvD).The CvD's primary task is the monitoring of the quality and operation of the BREEAM schemes. CvD operates independently with respect to both project team and board. Both board and CvD positions are unpaid jobs, and are compiled on the basis of the 'all parties concerned' principle and therefore represent all the relevant stakeholders.

In order to guarantee the independence of assessments with the BREEAM-NL label a three-party certification system used. 1) The project (building, area, infrastructure work) builds the assessment and provides the evidence to prove compliance for the intended score, 2) an independent assessor assesses the completeness of the assessment and determines the qualification/rating of the project; 3) DGBC sample checks the work of the Assessor

English documents

Please note that the following document can only be used for referencing or comparison with other BREEAM scheme’s. Official certification according to BREEAM-NL is only available using the Dutch Versions of the manual. Nothing in the documents below creates any rights or obligations.

BREEAM-NL Procedure

BREEAM-NL New Construction (and Renovation)


BREEAM-NL Area Development

BREEAM-NL Demolition (and Disassembly)