Current research in sustainable development of the built environment acknowledge the role of building environmental sustainability assessment methods as market changers for sustainable buildings’ design and construction. While most of the existing studies are focused either on developing and comparing assessment methods, or on assessment methods’ performance outcomes, this research addresses how assessment methods are adopted in practice. To address this, a pilot study was designed with desktop study of literature and regulation documents, as well as 7 guided in-depth interviews with 8 professionals engaged with assessment methods in the UAE. While, the spread of sustainable design and construction practices is motivated by mandating the assessment methods for all projects, but, with various rating requirements for government and private development projects, the analysis has revealed the continuous development of communication channels for the spread of sustainable design and construction practices between the regulative bodies with: (a) clients through raising awareness activities, (b) projects professionals through training and technical support, and (c) suppliers of sustainable systems and products through quality assurance and certification procedures. Finally, the paper discusses these findings and outlines possible impact on theory, policy and practice.