CEEQUAL was originally developed by a team led by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), with financial support from the UK Government and from the ICE’s Research & Development Enabling Fund.

The original development of CEEQUAL was managed by Crane Environmental Ltd, with active support and participation from relevant government departments and agencies, leading civil engineering consultants and contractors as well as professional and industry associations such as CIRIA, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).

Following extensive industry-wide consultation and trialling, the Scheme was launched in September 2003 and the first eight Awards presented at the ICE. The Scheme went public in June 2004 with the publication of Version 3 of the Assessment Manual for Projects. Since then, CEEQUAL has become the accepted UK industry scheme for assessing environmental and sustainability performance in civil engineering and public realm projects.

Continuing development of the methodology has always been an integral part of the Scheme. The launch in 2011 of CEEQUAL for International Projects and also CEEQUAL for Term Contracts made the CEEQUAL Methodology available for all civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm works. In Summer 2012, building on nearly ten years’ experience in operating and developing the tool, CEEQUAL launched an upgraded and extended Version 5. This completed CEEQUAL’s transition from environmental assessment and awards to a sustainability assessment and awards scheme. The Assessment Manuals were reviewed, revised and updated by CEEQUAL’s panel of experts to reflect current industry best practice. The previous twelve sections were reduced and refined to nine sections, and a completely new section on project strategy was added. Other types of projects, such as marine and offshore, are now able to use CEEQUAL Version 5 for Assessments more easily.

In November 2015 CEEQUAL became part of the BRE Group. The scheme is now operating alongside BREEAM, bringing together the world’s leading sustainability assessment methods for buildings, masterplanning, and infrastructure.