In recent years we have seen the introduction of the BER system here in Ireland, bringing about a standardised approach to energy rating and encouraging developers and owners to focus on sustainable, high performing building standards. Domestically it has begun to have the desired impact on the residential market, with agents regularly promoting BER ratings as a key selling point in new developments. In commercial development, the arrival of new international owners and occupiers into Ireland has led to a focus on international standards. Major plc occupiers, technology companies and the like are insisting on extremely high building standards in their lease specs.

This article details how the leading UK certifiers, BREEAM are now set to take on the US leaders, LEED in a battle on their own turf. Increasingly our developer clients are seeing these kinds of international standards being insisted on here - LEED Gold and LEED Platinum are benchmark standards for new builds now. We will watch with interest to see how the US reacts to BREEAM and whether a single, dominant international standard will emerge. When drafting our development and forward funding agreements we are now using LEED standards to help raise the bar in Ireland and ensure consistency of product when it comes to lettings to international occupiers.