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BREEAM in European bid

The European Union is being urged by an international  retail  trade association to adopt the UK-based Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment (BREEAM) standard.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) –  which has 74,000 members in 80 countries including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain  – said it has held high level meetings with the European Commission about establishing BREEAM as the green building rating system for the  European retail industry.

In addition pilots are being staged  this summer by ISCS members to establish whether BREEAM can be used effectively in other European countries.

An ICSC spokesman said: “If all goes to plan, the UK’s BREEAM could become the blueprint for a pan-European green standard from 2009.

“We are advocating BREEAM above other country’s standards because it’s already had a decade of ‘road-testing’ in the UK.”

Tom Saunders, BREEAM senior consultant, said: “This would be a major break through into the European market. We are looking at developing a pan-European version of BREEAM Retail and have a fast track timetable in place with pilots hopefully taking place this summer.

“We are trying to form expert groups with key stakeholders to drive this forward. The potential is huge.”

The ICSC has 74,000 members in more than 80 countries across the world. Members include managers, developers, marketing specialists, investors, lenders and retailers.

The ICSC spokesman said: “We are now working with BREEAM to adjust its environmental assessment criteria on land use and ecology to be suitable for adoption by countries across Europe, many of which have different environmental criteria, based on their climate and geographical location.

“With European Union officials now considering an EU-wide minimum requirement for the energy performance of buildings, the sooner we get this standard agreed, the quicker developers can roll out implementation.

“To provide what we hope will be evidential proof that the BREEAM standard can be successfully adapted, a number of ICSC members aim to implement a series of pilot projects across Europe using this standard.”