BRE could lose its monopoly on the energy ratings market for non-domestic buildings if plans due to be unveiled next week are implemented

The idea is contained in the UK Green Building Council’s (UK-GBC) response to the government’s consultation on a Code for Sustainable Buildings (CSB) to bring domestic buildings up to zero carbon by 2019.

The group, which includes more than 100 companies, wants the proposed CSB to approve existing rating methods.

This would allow overseas systems such as LEED and Green Star to compete with BREEAM and would also set the CSB in contrast to the Code for Sustainable Homes, which was largely based on BRE’s eco-homes standard.

The submission is due to be made public next week. Under the UK-GBC’s plans, the code would provide a framework for the government to approve rating methods. All commercial buildings, including existing ones, would then be on a regulatory escalator towards zero carbon.

We support BREEAM as one of the world’s leading rating tools

Paul King, UK-GBK

Last year BRE agreed to include better energy management targets and post-occupancy evaluation in BREEAM, partly because it would help it compete with the US system LEED.

LEED and Australia’s Green Star are among the rival methods generated by the UK-GBC’s partner groups in the worldwide Green Building Council.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK-GBC, denied the code would replace BREEAM. He said: “We support BREEAM as one of the world’s leading rating tools. We think our recommendations will create more opportunities for the take-up of the BREEAM family of tools in the UK.”

In last March’s Budget, Alistair Darling said the government would ensure “zero-carbon” commercial buildings from 2019.