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The BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is an environmental assessment standard developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) for rating the sustainability of buildings. It uses a number of criteria, but the one that affects information technology the most is energy efficiency. BREEAM was originally developed in the United Kingdom, but has spread to other European and Gulf countries.
BREEAM covers a variety of criteria for determining the sustainability of buildings, including:
The standard was first drafted in 1988 by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and applied to new office buildings in the United Kingdom starting in 1990. Its use has spread to other kinds of construction in the country. It is a voluntary program, but has become a de-facto requirement for new construction in the future. Similar standards include LEED in the U.S. and Green Standard. Worldwide, BREEAM's use has spread to more then 50 countries, mostly in Europe and the Persian Gulf.
In the context of IT, it mostly effects the energy efficiency of all the computer systems in a building. Steps to increase efficiency might include purchasing more efficient computers, consolidating multiple servers into fewer virtual machines and installing energy-efficient cooling systems.