BREEAM Lift Credits Explained

BREEAM Lift Credits Explained

Tower Lifts – Your Partner in BREEAM Lift Expertise

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the internationally recognised standard for sustainable building design. Developers aiming for BREEAM certification understand its importance for attracting tenants, demonstrating environmental responsibility, and increasing property value.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the specific area of BREEAM lift credits and how Tower Lifts, as specialists in lift design and installation, can help maximise your building’s BREEAM rating.

What is BREEAM?

BREEAM is a comprehensive assessment system that measures the environmental impact of a building throughout its lifecycle. It considers various categories such as:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Materials
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Transport

BREEAM awards credits for meeting sustainability targets, and the overall score determines a building’s final BREEAM rating – from Pass to Outstanding.

Why BREEAM Matters

A strong BREEAM rating provides numerous benefits for architects, developers, and building owners:

  • Increased marketability. Sustainable buildings are more attractive to tenants and buyers.
  • Reduced operating costs. Energy-efficient designs lower utility bills.
  • Improved occupant health and wellbeing. BREEAM prioritises healthy indoor environments.
  • Corporate social responsibility. BREEAM-certified buildings showcase a commitment to sustainability.

Lifts Eligible for BREEAM Credits

To ensure your lift installation contributes to a favourable BREEAM rating, it’s necessary to understand which types of lifts qualify for credits.

Importantly, BREEAM credits are not applicable to lifts designed specifically for accessibility, such as Disabled Access Platform Lifts, or those adhering to The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 and standard BSEN81-41 (Step Lifts, Platform Lifts, Stair Lifts, Wheelchair Lifts, Dumbwaiter Lifts).

Installing the above lifts won’t negatively impact your BREEAM rating; the relevant credits will simply be excluded from the overall assessment.

However, passenger lifts, goods lifts and heavy-duty lifts (travelling faster than 0.15mph) that form a core part of the building’s infrastructure are eligible for BREEAM assessment. BREEAM offers up to two credits for installing lifts that demonstrate clear energy-efficiency measures. Tower Lifts can advise on lift specifications and features that will maximise the chances of securing these credits.

BREEAM Credit 1 – Achieving Energy Efficiency in Lift Design

For a building to achieve the first BREEAM lift credit, a clear focus on energy efficiency from the design stage is essential. This involves several key considerations:


To optimise energy usage, BREEAM highlights the need for a comprehensive lift traffic analysis. This in-depth study predicts passenger demand and informs the selection of the ideal size, number, and speed of lifts. Tower Lifts routinely carries out these analyses for its clients, offering insights to ensure efficient vertical transportation.


The counterbalancing ratio of the lift system should be optimised for energy efficiency. This involves carefully balancing the weight of the lift car against the counterweight, minimizing the energy required to move the car.

Tower Lifts partners with developers and architects to design energy-efficient lift systems, maximising the potential to achieve BREEAM Credit 1.

BREEAM Credit 2 – Prioritising Lift Energy Efficiency Features

To secure the second BREEAM lift credit, your building must demonstrate a clear commitment to energy efficiency. Credit 2 cannot be achieved without Credit 1. Additionally, you’ll need to specify at least three of the following energy-saving features:

  • Standby Mode – When the lift is idle during off-peak periods, auxiliary systems like car lighting, displays, and ventilation should automatically enter standby mode. This reduces power consumption when the lift is not actively in use.
  • Variable Speed Drives – These advanced motor controllers adjust the lift’s speed and voltage dynamically, ensuring optimal energy use and minimal waste.
  • Regenerative Drives – BREEAM advocates for the use of innovative regenerative drive technology. These drives capture energy during lift operation – energy that would normally dissipate as heat – and channel it back into the building’s power system. This results in significant energy savings.
  • Energy-Efficient Lighting – The use of low-energy lighting solutions, such as LEDs, within the lift car are encouraged. They offer superior energy efficiency compared to traditional bulbs and last longer, reducing maintenance costs.

Embracing Sustainable Technologies

To further optimise energy efficiency and gain a competitive edge in your BREEAM assessment, consider the following:

  • Destination Control Software: This intelligent system groups passengers based on their destination, minimising stops and optimising energy consumption. This translates to shorter wait times, increased handling capacity, and an overall sustainable lift operation.

Tower Lifts are ready to support you in selecting the optimal combination of energy-efficient features to maximise your chances of securing BREEAM Credit 2.

How Tower Lifts Maximises Your BREEAM Rating

Tower Lifts understands the crucial role that sustainable lift systems play in achieving a favourable BREEAM rating. We work closely with our clients to reduce energy consumption and minimise the carbon footprint of their buildings, offering several key benefits:

BREEAM-Focused Expertise

Our team has practical experience of working with BREEAM requirements, enabling us to design lift systems that earn maximum credits. We’ll guide you through lift traffic analysis, energy-efficient feature selection, and the associated documentation.

Proactive Sustainability

We prioritise sustainable solutions, going above and beyond to ensure your project exceeds BREEAM benchmarks. This could involve advanced technologies like regenerative drives and intelligent destination control systems.

Commitment to Quality

As an ISO 9001:2015 Lift Cert and UKAS approved company, Tower Lifts adheres to rigorous safety and quality standards. Your project will be compliant with all lift regulations and designed for long-term performance.

Let us support your BREEAM journey. Contact Tower Lifts today on 01525 601099 to discuss how we can design a lift system that contributes significantly to your building’s sustainability goals.