Certification can be a good way to show to the outside world the way in which your building has been made sustainable. There are various certification methodologies in the Netherlands, of which the most important are:

  • EPA-U Certificate (energy label)
  • LEED
  • WELL
  • GPR Building

All five of these certification methodologies have certain advantages and provide certain insights. Depending on the client’s requirements, one of more of the certifications can be applied. The methodologies behind the certifications are described briefly below.

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Within the framework of the European directive (the EPBD), every utilities facility that is built, sold or rented for a second time must be in possession of an energy label. The energetic quality of the building can be reviewed on that energy label. A number of universal energy-saving measures are also displayed.
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Demand for sustainable buildings in the Netherlands has risen strongly in recent years. After all, they contribute to climate objectives by saving energy and reducing C02.

The BREEAM quality mark stands for ‘Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method’ and is a measuring instrument used by the DGBC to assess building sustainability. BREEAM was developed in 1991 by the Centre for Sustainable Construction, part of the English Building research Establishment Global (BRE Global England). BREEAM-NL is the Dutch equivalent and is the country’s most widely-accepted certification trajectory in the field of monitoring energy performance.


BREEAM is the instrument used to integrally measure and assess the sustainability of new buildings, existing buildings, areas and demolition projects. BREEAM focuses on offices, schools, stores, industrial buildings and housing.

BREEAM is an assessment methodology that determines s building’s sustainability performance. The method consists of four different certifications:

(*deviating requirements apply to specific buildings such as datacentres and bespoke buildings that come into consideration for a customised BREAAM trajectory.)

**(for management and use of existing buildings)

The points system works as follows: the more points, the more sustainable. A building collects a total valuation score of pass, good, very good, excellent or outstanding (1-5 stars). The points, so-called credits, are earned on the basis of burden of proof. This is collected in the course of research into areas such as water, ecology, energy and waste. Recommendations emanate from these research projects, that can make the design of a building or location more sustainable.


Buildings that are both sustainably designed and operated differentiate themselves by their future-proof status and experience the advantages that accompany verifiable added value, including:

  • Higher rental revenues, value and return on investment
  • Longer lifespan
  • Subsidy opportunities
  • Potential green financing
  • Lower operating costs (related to maintenance and energy)
  • Less environmental impact thanks to lower energy consumption, use of renewable energy sources and CO2 reduction
  • A comfortable and healthy indoor climate, subsequent lower absenteeism and higher output
  • Higher rental satisfaction
  • Transparent and measurable sustainability ambitions
  • Sustainably green’ image linked to a tenant’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy
  • Independent international certification


BREEAM-NL experts

Our BREEAM experts use the thinking behind BREEAM to convert your sustainability ambition into specific, measurable, sustainable objectives and remove the burden for you of making it happen. The package of measures can be directly applied. Our specialists have the necessary know-how and practical experience at their fingertips to help you in a structural way to achieve your BREEAM certificate.

Commissioning managers

Commissioning is a phased process, targeted at the quality management and performance assurance of installations, and applies to both new buildings and existing construction. In the event of retro commissioning, a commissioning manager will check to see if the installations within a building continue to comply with the requirements as established in the past. This means that the working of the installations is carefully checked by inspecting the:

  • Installation design
  • Installation execution (investigate flaws)
  • Certification reports and/or calculations



BREEAM-NL is not the only building sustainability certification used in the Netherlands. We are also familiar with the Energy Label (EPA), the EPC standard, Green Calc, GPR-Building, Eco-Quantum and LEED. The DGBC strives to achieve harmonisation with the other systems. The energy label and the EPC are legally binding and meanwhile fully integrated in BREAAM-NL.
What is your sustainability ambition? We would be delighted to enter into conversation with you to discuss the possibilities and realise your objectives.

LEED stands for ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ and is regarded worldwide as the most used methodology for the certification of sustainable property. LEED offers a framework for achieving a healthy, cost-efficient sustainable building.

WELL is a form of certification that targeted at the health and well-being of users of buildings. WELL implements, validates and measures characteristics in order to realise healthy living conditions. Seven core themes are central to a building being certified as in line with WELL standards.

GPR Building is a sustainable-building instrument. The municipality of Tilburg developed this in the first place as a directive for sustainable construction. GPR Building converts the design of accommodation, schools and offices in to performance in the field of quality and sustainability. We can formulate performance-related ambitions in this manner and it offers flexibility in the design phase as well as providing clarity during project assessment.