BREEAM and Sustainable Lift Solutions

BREEAM and Sustainable Lift Solutions

Energy Efficiency in Motion – Greening the Lift

Increasingly, the value and success of a new or refurbished building is intrinsically tied to its energy efficiency and sustainability. Developers and architects recognise that prioritising these factors is not just a choice, but a necessity. Green building practices not only lower operational costs but also align with a growing global commitment to reduce environmental impact.

Central to the mission of sustainable construction is the reduction of a building’s ecological footprint. Achieving this goal involves minimising energy consumption and waste production at every stage of a building’s lifecycle. When it comes to vertical transportation, lift designers and installers are crucial collaborators.

Sustainable lift solutions have emerged as a key component in the drive towards environmentally responsible buildings. By optimising energy usage, implementing innovative materials, and embracing eco-friendly technologies, these lifts offer a range of benefits that extend well beyond energy efficiency. They contribute to a building’s overall sustainability, enhance occupant experience, and position developers and architects as leaders in responsible construction.

In this article, we will explore the advantages of sustainable lift solutions and how they not only support the environmental goals of today but also represent a smart investment for the future of construction.

About Tower Lifts

For over a decade, Tower Lifts has been a significant player in the UK vertical transportation industry. Since our establishment in 2006, we have been designing and installing bespoke commercial and residential lifts. Our lifts deliver not only optimal performance but also uncompromised passenger safety and energy efficiency.

In this blog we will demonstrate ways in which Tower Lifts design and installation can contribute to the award of BREEAM credits. These are granted in recognition of a building project meeting its sustainability targets and benchmarks.

What Are BREEAM Credits?

BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit-Out Standards (2014), offers a scientifically grounded framework for projects aspiring to achieve sustainability, commercial success, and a positive environmental footprint.

Lifts, as integral components of this framework, have a significant impact. The strategic incorporation of energy-aware and energy-efficient features in lift systems becomes a key driver for earning BREEAM credits. These credits, in turn, play a crucial role in enhancing the overall rating of a building.

The BREEAM rating system for lifts is specifically situated within the energy section of the framework. It becomes applicable in refurbishment or fit-out projects where lifts with a speed greater than 0.15 metres per second are either installed, replaced, or modernised. This underscores the importance of lifts within the broader context of sustainable development, emphasising their role as contributors to a building’s energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

What Types of Lifts Are Included in BREEAM Ratings?

Any lift system that travels faster than 0.15mps should be assessed. This includes:

Lifts that are not included for BREEAM assessment include:

BREEAM Energy Consumption Rating (1 Credit)


In pursuit of sustainable building practices, BREEAM recognises the importance of analysing transportation demand and usage patterns for a structure. Projects that assess and determine the optimal number and size of lifts, escalators, or moving walks are awarded a credit. Tower Lifts incorporates this crucial step into its planning process when collaborating with building developers or architects, ultimately offering a comprehensive BREEAM traffic analysis as an outcome.



BREEAM recommends the consideration of regenerative drives. This advanced technology plays a pivotal role in capturing energy that would otherwise be lost as heat during lift operations. By regenerating this energy back into the building’s power supply, regenerative drives contribute to an overall reduction in power consumption. Tower Lifts embraces these sustainable solutions, aligning our commitment to environmentally conscious vertical transportation systems with BREEAM’s standards.

BREEAM Energy Efficiency Rating (2 Credits)


In order to adhere to the energy efficiency standards of the BREEAM framework, lift cabin lighting is required to provide an average luminous efficacy across all fittings in the car of no more than 70 luminaire lumens per circuit watt. This requires the use of low energy lamps or LED lights.

The adoption of long-lasting LED lighting in lifts is a pivotal step towards greater energy efficiency, cost savings, and reduced environmental impact. LEDs stand out for their ability to convert approximately 70% of their energy into light, a remarkable efficiency compared to other lighting options.

LEDs are versatile and can be employed for floor indicators, call buttons, and directional arrows within the elevator cabin. Their longevity significantly reduces the need for maintenance, which translates to both time and cost savings for building owners.

Taking the commitment to sustainability a step further, motion sensors can be integrated into passenger cabins, enabling LED lights to automatically switch off when not in use. This intelligent feature not only enhances energy efficiency but also eliminates wasteful electricity consumption, contributing to an eco-friendly lift.


Destination control software emerges as a game-changing technology for energy efficiency. At its core, destination control systems are designed to reduce energy consumption by optimising passenger journeys. This is achieved by grouping passengers based on their intended destinations.

Here’s how it works: Instead of making multiple stops on every floor to pick up or drop off passengers, destination control software orchestrates a synchronised journey where individuals with similar destinations share the same lift. This smart allocation of passengers minimises unnecessary stops, resulting in a significant reduction in user wait times and a simultaneous increase in elevator handling capacity.

One of the most crucial benefits of this system is its ability to maximise lift efficiency. By minimising stops and optimising passenger movements, destination control software significantly reduces the overall energy consumption of the elevator system. This translates into substantial cost savings and a reduced environmental footprint, making it an invaluable addition to any building’s sustainability strategy.

How Tower Lifts Contributes to Your BREEAM Rating

The Tower Lifts team is committed to helping our clients reduce their on-site energy consumption, and the carbon footprint of the building as a whole.

By using our expertise and experience, we can create a lift system specifically designed to align with the BREEAM criteria. Our proactive approach ensures that your project not only meets but potentially exceeds sustainability benchmarks, emphasising the integration of energy-efficient solutions into the core of your building’s design.

Tower Lifts is an ISO 9001:2008 Lift Cert and UKAS approved company, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of safety and excellence, consistently meeting all Lift Regulations.

If you would like to talk to us about sustainable lift solutions, call Tower Lifts today on 01525 601099 and we’ll be happy to help.