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BREEAM is a holistic sustainability assessment method designed to capture a wide range of impacts relating to the procurement, design and construction of buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction to in-use and refurbishment. Since its inception in 1990, it has been used in 83 countries worldwide, and been used to certify over half a million buildings.

In 2010 the BREEAM UK Data Centres scheme was launched, assessing the design and construction of new-build data centre facilities in the UK. The scheme was launched in response to a growing need to assess the sustainability of data centres due to concerns around rising energy consumption. The scheme also took a holistic approach to addressing wider sustainability impacts such as management, water consumption and transport.

In the years since the launch of the BREEAM UK Data Centres scheme, the industry has changed dramatically with new metrics, standards, and best practices. As a result, BREEAM set out to determine how the scheme could evolve to address these new sustainability challenges faced by data centres all over the world.

Early in 2019 BREEAM released a survey, supported by Keysource, to answer some of the following key Data Centre industry questions.

The aim of the survey was to improve understanding of how the next iteration of BREEAM for data centres could bring value to the industry:

  • Are wider sustainability impacts of data centres currently being addressed?

  • Which sustainability impacts are considered to be the most important to the industry?

  • Do current industry standards address these sustainability impacts?

  • What are the benefits to industry of addressing these sustainability impacts?

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