Uncommon BREEAM Accredited Buildings

In today’s world, sustainability isn’t just a trend; it’s a necessity, especially when it comes to office space. Globally, the building sector accounts for 36% of energy usage and nearly 40% of CO2 emissions. By being more intentional with the spaces we use for work, companies can massively improve the impact they’re having on the planet.

At Uncommon, we are committed to creating environmentally and socially responsible workspaces. So, we’re delighted to announce that our London locations are all now BREEAM accredited. In this blog, we’ll explore what exactly BREEAM is, its importance, and what has enabled us to achieve the accreditation.

First things first: what is BREEAM?

BREEAM stands for “Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method” and is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for buildings. Established in 1990, it is now used in over 80 countries. 

BREEAM provides a comprehensive framework for evaluating the environmental performance of buildings and validates this performance with a third-party certification.

A BREEAM certified rating reflects the performance achieved by a project, making it easier to compare different projects. This allows stakeholders—including companies like yours—to assess and choose more sustainable building options, facilitating greater environmental responsibility across the industry.

What are the BREEAM ratings?

BREEAM uses a star system to rate buildings based on their environmental performance:

  • Outstanding: 5 stars (score of 85 or above)
  • Excellent: 4 stars (score of 70 to 84)
  • Very Good: 3 stars (score of 55 to 69)
  • Good: 2 stars (score of 45 to 54)
  • Pass: 1 star (score of 30 to 44)
  • Unclassified: 0 stars (score below 30)

You can determine a building’s rating by looking at the number of stars on its BREEAM certificate. This clear rating system helps stakeholders quickly understand and compare the sustainability of different buildings.

What is assessed under a BREEAM certification?

BREEAM assesses various sustainability criteria across several categories, each focusing on a different aspect of environmental sustainability and building performance.


The energy category measures the efficiency of a building’s energy use. It evaluates how the building reduces carbon emissions and its impact on climate change—for example, through the implementation of energy-efficient systems and the use of renewable energy sources.

Health and Wellbeing 

This focuses on creating a healthy, safe, and productive environment for a building’s occupants. It assesses factors such as indoor air quality, lighting, and acoustics, ensuring that the building supports the physical and mental wellbeing of its users.


The innovation category seeks out unique approaches that advance sustainability in building design and operations. This includes the use of new technologies and practices that go beyond standard methods, often necessary for achieving the highest BREEAM ratings.

Land Use

The purpose of this category is to assess the impact of the development on the existing natural habitat. It looks for ways in which the building promotes ecological value and sustainable land use, ensuring that it enhances or preserves the surrounding environment.


This section of the assessment evaluates the environmental impact of building materials throughout their lifecycle, from extraction to disposal. It favours the use of sustainably sourced, durable, and recyclable materials which minimise environmental harm.

Rooftop of Uncommon Liverpool Street


BREEAM also examines how building management processes minimise environmental impact during construction and operation. This includes managing health and safety effectively and engaging with stakeholders to ensure they follow sustainable practices.


This category addresses the building’s contribution to local pollution levels, including noise, light, air, and water pollution. It looks for measures that reduce these impacts, ensuring that the building does not negatively affect its surroundings.


The transport portion of the assessment reviews the building’s location in relation to existing transport infrastructure. High-scorers in this category will minimise the environmental impact of transport-related activities by discouraging car use and promoting alternatives such as cycling, walking, and public transport.


Buildings are also evaluated on how they minimise waste production during construction and operation. It encourages the reuse and recycling of materials and assesses the effectiveness of waste management strategies to reduce landfill use.


This final section examines how the building reduces water consumption and improves water efficiency. This may include systems for treating and recycling greywater and rainwater, contributing to overall water conservation efforts.

Not all categories are weighted equally in the assessment process. Each category’s weight reflects its relative importance in achieving overall sustainability goals.

Uncommon’s BREEAM score

We’re very excited to announce that all of our buildings have achieved BREEAM ratings. 

Liverpool Street, Borough, and Fulham have all been rated Very Good, and Highbury & Islington has been rated Good.

Key factors which have contributed to our accreditation include:

  • Becoming a carbon-negative business and solidifying our net-zero plan.
  • Reducing energy demand across all buildings by 29% in 2023 compared to 2022.
  • Offsetting 1,815.05 tonnes of carbon in 2023, which is 110% of our carbon footprint, using only high-quality offsets.
  • Engaging 85 suppliers (representing 45% of our supplier spend) on climate issues in 2023.

We are incredibly pleased with these achievements, which showcase our commitment to aligning our buildings with our mission of sustainability. However, our work doesn’t stop here. We will continue to enhance our sustainability efforts, striving for even higher BREEAM ratings in the future.

Uncommon’s wider journey to sustainability

At Uncommon, we take sustainability seriously. That’s why we introduced an ESG strategy in mid-2022. This strategy outlines our plans for the next five years, covering key areas such as climate action, sustainability, supplier engagement, our people, and our members. 

To learn more about our ESG strategy, visit our ESG page.

The benefits of choosing a BREEAM accredited building

When a company is weighing up options for a new office space, choosing a BREEAM accredited building can offer significant advantages. Here are several compelling reasons to consider a BREEAM certified workspace:

Reduce your environmental impact

BREEAM’s stringent requirements ensure that certified buildings show a strong commitment to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. By selecting a BREEAM accredited building, you ensure that your workspace actively contributes to environmental sustainability. 

This can enhance your company’s green credentials, attracting clients and partners who also value eco-friendly practices.

Make sizeable cost savings 

High BREEAM-rated buildings often use advanced energy management systems, renewable energy sources, and intelligent design to lower operating costs. 

Brightly lit seating area with plants at Uncommon

This can result in better value for tenants, as lower energy expenses help keep rents more affordable. Over time, these savings can free up resources for other business investments and initiatives.

Create a happier and healthier workforce 

BREEAM prioritises health and wellbeing. Features like better indoor air quality and climate control all contribute to a more comfortable and healthy environment for your employees. 

Happier employees are often more productive and engaged, which can positively impact your business operations, employee retention, and overall success. Providing a high-quality work environment also supports your company’s reputation as a great place to work, attracting top talent.

Ready to experience the benefits of a BREEAM accredited workspace? Book a tour of one of our sustainable offices today.