The US Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), Green Building Council Australia’s (GBCA) Green Star and the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). This MOU is signed to map and develop common metrics to measure emissions of CO2 equivalents from new homes and buildings.

BREEAM is owned by BRE Trust and operated by BRE Global Ltd.

Rating tools are a key component in the market for green building around the world, but there has been a growing demand for consistency and comparability between the tools, particularly with regards to the way they account for carbon emissions.

A working group formed of representatives from each of the rating tools will develop the metrics, and seek to align the tools and provide consistency in measurement and reporting.

Paul King, chief executive of the UKGBC said: “The way in which we construct and operate buildings accounts for almost half of all CO2 emissions contributing to climate change globally. Rating tools like BREEAM, LEED and Green Star have a proven track record in driving significant improvements in performance, and I’m delighted they are now coming together to help create an international language that will enable us to talk with one voice about the vital role green buildings can play in creating a lowcarbon future.”

Romilly Madew, chief executive of the GBCA, said “Climate change is a global problem, so it is vital we find a global solution. In Australia, residential and commercial buildings contribute 23 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. This MoU demonstrates Australia’s commitment to ensuring that buildings play their part in any approach to address climate change.”

Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of the USGBC said: The MOU sets the stage for true progress by focusing on performance that is measurable and verifiable. As we work to alleviate the role buildings play in climate change – nearly 39 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States – it’s vital that we are able to measure carbon emissions in a consistent, reliable way.

Carol Atkinson, chief executive of BRE Global, BRE Global Ltd. said: “This is a terrific opportunity for the major international system providers to move towards common carbon metrics.”