LEED and BREEAM Green Building Certification Systems as Possible Game Changers in Attaining Low-Cost Energy-Efficient Urban Housing Projects

Rashid Maqbool*, Charlotte Thompson, Saleha Ashfaq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this research study is to illustrate the role of the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and Leadership in Energy and Design (LEED) within low-cost urban housing projects through the analysis of multiple factors and motivations impacting the outcome of construction projects. The rate at which climate change is advancing demands that the construction industry change their practices to decrease the natural resources it consumes as well as improve the environmental efficiency of the world's building stock. The introduction of BREEAM and LEED in 1990 and 2000, respectively, provided a system where buildings are evaluated on their energy performance. Issues, however, began to develop as research that illustrated the system's drawbacks undermined its utility. In turn, the role of the green building certifications ought to be researched so that policy and stakeholder communication frameworks can be developed by contractors and designers to ensure the success of BREEAM and LEED projects. The research study was completed through a literature study of prior research as well as by the publishing of a snowball sampling-based survey questionnaire undertaken between practitioners, architects, engineers as well as researchers involved in the UK construction industry. The results of the survey were then collated using IBM's Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) and then a confirmatory factor analysis as well as a correlation matrix was completed. The confirmatory factor analysis illustrated that the two most important factors were climate change and quality. Thus, contractors and designers ought to develop practical policies and stakeholder frameworks to achieve value for money for the market demographic. The results of this study hold potential to increase the application of BREEAM and LEED. The improvement of practice in low-cost urban housing projects will improve the accessibility of BREEAM and LEED housing projects and, in turn, the energy efficiency and sustainability of new building stock.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04023024
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Urban Planning and Development
Issue number3
Early online date30 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

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