Global sustainability assessment standard BREEAM accepted under Fannie Mae’s Green Financing programme

Sustainability assessment method BREEAM's Residential Plus assessment programme for existing developments has been approved by national mortgage association Fannie Mae under its Green Financing programme. 

The Green Financing programmme, established in 2015, is an initiative through which Fannie Mae offers preferential pricing for mortgage loans to real estate assets that have been certified by one of its pre-approved green certification assessment platforms. Currently, there are 18 green building standards — including BREEAM USA — which are recognised by Fannie Mae.
“As BREEAM expands its presence in the US real estate market, we are thrilled to be recognised by Fannie Mae’s Green Financing Program, further solidifying our position as one of the most rigorous sustainability assessments globally,” says Breana Wheeler, Director of Operations at BRE. “Fannie Mae has done exemplary work providing financial incentives to building owners and operators to focus on lower energy use and more sustainable operations and verify through third-party certification. We look forward to partnering with asset owners through this program to establish better living conditions for tenants and more valuable assets for owners.” 

BRE is a world leading building science centre that has spent the past century pursuing research and knowledge generation which improves the built environment. Established in 1921, BRE launched BREEAM in 1990 to encourage a focus on sustainability that drives higher value assets, and over 594,000 certifications have been issued globally to date. Building on these historied efforts, BREEAM developed the Residential Plus assessment program to meet Fannie Mae standards and to support multifamily assets seeking the financial incentives associated with these energy performance requirements. Some specific requirements of the Residential Plus program include:

• A 20 per cent or greater reduction in energy use over a fixed baseline 
• A minimum score of 55 per cent or better (“Very Good” rating or higher under BREEAM certification)
• All residential units and all buildings/spaces must be included in the assessment of an asset 

Fannie Mae’s Green Building Certifications include four possible groups — Towards Zero, Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 — with varying certification requirements. BREEAM certifications will be eligible under Group 1 certification, offering one of the top tiers of preferential pricing outside of buildings that are striving to achieve Net Zero energy standards.
The Residential Plus program is part of the broader BREEAM USA In-Use program, with certification also offered for commercial and residential properties not specifically pursuing financial incentives. Features include an increased focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation, with resilience measured along with an asset’s previous environmental performance.