Common metrics on carbon emissions will be developed by BREEAM, LEED and Green Star

The organisations behind the world's three leading environmental assessment tools are combining forces to come up with a common way to measure carbon emissions from new buildings.

BREEAM – which is owned and run by BRE – and the US and Australian equivalents LEED and Green Star at present use differing methods to measure the environmental impact of buildings.

However, a memorandum of understanding will be signed today between the UK Green Building Council, BRE, the US Green Building Council and the Green Building Council Australia to develop common metrics to measure emissions of CO2 equivalents from new homes and buildings.

A working group formed of representatives from each of the rating tools will develop the metrics, and seek to align the tools and provide consistency in measurement and reporting.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “Rating tools like BREEAM, LEED and Green Star have a proven track record in driving significant improvements in performance, and I'm delighted they are now coming together to help create an international language that will enable us to talk with one voice about the vital role green buildings can play in creating a low-carbon future.”

Rating tools are a key component in the market for green building around the world, but there has been a growing demand for consistency and comparability between the tools, particularly in how they account for carbon emissions.