What is BREEAM?


BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a globally recognised sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure, and buildings. It evaluates a building’s environmental performance across various criteria, including energy efficiency, water usage, health and wellbeing, pollution, transportation, materials, waste management, ecology, and management processes. Achieving a high BREEAM rating can enhance a building’s marketability, increase tenant satisfaction, and demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility. The BREEAM ratings range from Acceptable (In-Use scheme only) to Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent to Outstanding and it is reflected in a series of stars on the BREEAM certificate.


The Role of Plants in Achieving BREEAM Certification

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is a critical component of BREEAM’s Health and Wellbeing category. Plants naturally filter airborne toxins, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, which are commonly found in office environments due to furnishings, cleaning products, and office equipment. By integrating a variety of indoor plants, businesses can significantly enhance air quality, contributing to better health and productivity for occupants. Our designers can specifically specify plants that rate high on their ability to clean air.


Enhancing Thermal Comfort and Energy Efficiency

Plants can also play a role in regulating indoor temperature. Green walls and strategically placed plants can reduce the need for air conditioning by cooling the air through evapotranspiration. This not only creates a more comfortable working environment but also helps in achieving credits under BREEAM’s Energy category by reducing energy consumption. To calculate how much energy a planting scheme can save you, use the formula: Energy Savings = (Baseline Energy Consumption – Energy Consumption with Plants) / Baseline Energy Consumption


Boosting Employee Wellbeing and Productivity

The presence of plants in office spaces is known to reduce stress, enhance mood, and improve overall well-being. BREEAM recognises the importance of a healthy and productive workspace. By incorporating greenery into your office design, you can create a more pleasant environment that supports mental health and productivity, contributing to the Health and Wellbeing criteria of BREEAM. We’ve seen a rapid increase of the reason clients are coming to us down to staff requests or internal programs focused on staff morale and well-being in the past 3 or so years.


Reducing Noise Pollution

Plants are effective at absorbing, deflecting, and refracting sound. Incorporating plants into office layouts can help reduce noise pollution, which is a significant factor in occupant comfort and productivity. This aligns with BREEAM’s focus on creating environments that support the well-being of building users. Check out how we helped COLT reduce the amount of noise in one of their open spaces through the use of planted room dividers.


Sustainable Management Practices

BREEAM also evaluates the sustainability of building management practices. Regular maintenance of plants, including sustainable watering practices and the use of organic fertilisers, aligns with the ecological and management criteria of BREEAM. Our comprehensive plant maintenance services ensure that your greenery remains vibrant and healthy, continuously contributing to your BREEAM score. To see our internal sustainability strategy, click here.



 Employees working happily in a plant-filled office.
How Exubia Can Help You Achieve BREEAM Certification

At Exubia, we specialise in designing, installing, supplying, and maintaining plants for office spaces, hospitality, schools, and other commercial buildings across the UK. Our expertise in plant integration can significantly contribute to your BREEAM certification efforts. Here’s how we can assist:


  1. Customised Plant Design: Tailored solutions that fit your specific space and requirements, maximising the aesthetic and functional benefits of indoor plants; all curated by our in-house team of designers.
  2. Expert Installation: Professional installation ensures optimal placement for air quality, thermal comfort, and noise reduction.
  3. Sustainable Supply: Ethical sourcing of plants and materials in our projects.
  4. Ongoing Maintenance: Regular maintenance to ensure plant health and longevity, supporting continuous BREEAM compliance, so you can get on stress-free.





We’ve also reported on how we can help you achieve the WELL Building Standard, as well as SKA ratings!