A comprehensive review of metrics of building environmental assessment schemes

Wai Ling Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)


Buildings are key target of policies that aim at promoting environmentally sustainable development. Amongst policy instruments that address environmental burdens incurred by buildings, labelling and certification schemes are arguably the most cost-effective. Since the first building environmental assessment scheme was launched in the 1990's, similar schemes have emerged in about 30 countries. These are mainly domestic schemes tailored to suit local contexts. Whilst most of these schemes take a voluntary, market driven approach, some have become a part of mandatory building approval requirements, though different certification schemes may co-exist in some regimes. Benchmarking the strengths and characteristics of different schemes has been advocated. In this connection, this paper provides a comprehensive review and comparison of the issues and metrics of five representative assessment schemes, namely, BREEAM, LEED, CASBEE, BEAM Plus and the Chinese scheme ESGB. Comparison of these five schemes shows that BREEAM and LEED are the most comprehensive. A two-phase certification method is adopted in LEED, CASBEE and BEAM Plus, which is considered preferable. Statistical analysis also reveals that there is a moderate degree of agreement amongst the five schemes on weights and ranks of weights allocated to five key assessment aspects. Through comparison, the weighting coefficients adopted by ESGB were found the most representative. Strengths and characteristics of the five schemes have been identified for reference of policy makers in developing their domestic schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-413
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2013


  • BEAM
  • Benchmarking
  • Chinese
  • ESGB
  • LEED
  • Metrics
  • Plus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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