What does sustainable building mean? Simply explained - illuminated all around

07/02/2022 · Autor: VON POLL IMMOBILIEN

The term sustainability is found in many areas. For good reason: It describes a principle of action that encompasses a responsible approach to nature and the environment - and these dimensions shape our lives in many cases.

The topic of sustainability in the real estate industry is about a holistic approach. The entire life cycle of a property is taken into account - from construction planning and execution to refurbishment or renovation. In our last article we have already introduced you to the topic of 'sustainable real estate'. In this article, we now explain which facets and effects play a role in sustainable construction.

What you can expect in this article:

  1. You will learn about the three common dimensions of sustainability, which we have brought into the real estate context for you.
  2. You'll learn about a network that has created an important seal of approval.
  3. You'll get our first tips for resource-efficient and green building.
  4. We highlight for you the positive impact sustainable building has on society.

Concept for sustainability: soften the cityscape with as many parks and green spaces as possible.

Dimensions of sustainable real estate: we introduce you

Originally, the concept of sustainability comes from forestry. It means not clearing more forest than can grow back. In recent years, new meanings and demands have been continuously added to the term in other areas of life. Sustainability today also stands, for example, for a particularly efficient approach or for a high regard for people and nature.

We focus in this article on what it means to build sustainably or to buy an ecological house. To do this, it is useful to first introduce the three overarching dimensions related to sustainable real estate.

The three sustainability dimensions for sustainable real estate at a glance:

  1. Ecological quality. In sustainable construction, the local and global environment and nature must be protected. This can be done, among other things, through the use of natural resources and an economical use of energy.
  2. Socio-cultural quality. Green building pursues the goal of protecting human health. To build environmentally friendly also means to design the functionalities of the sustainable building so that they add value. A task that falls to civil engineers, architects and craftsmen in particular.
  3. Economic quality. Costs and benefits should always be balanced in sustainable house building. This applies equally to the planning, construction and use phase.

Conclusion: sustainable building has different facets that need to be considered. Before buying or building a "green" property, it is therefore advisable to seek competent and comprehensive advice from a civil engineer, architect or builder. If you want to learn more about the three dimensions, you can find more information about them in this guide (PDF) for sustainable building from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

Sustainable building optimally begins with the basic planning of an apartment or house.

Networks and the DGNB seal of approval: demonstrably sustainable building

Sustainable building is now promoted by various institutions. The "DGNB", the German Sustainable Building Council, has a particularly broad network among its members. Architects, planners and craftsmen can exchange ideas here with product manufacturers or authorities in order to develop ideas for sustainable concepts that will help planners and decision-makers move forward in sustainable construction.

This association is particularly active in the area of certification for sustainable construction and ensures market transparency, for example, with the German Seal of Approval for Sustainable Construction. This label evaluates the sustainability of buildings and neighborhoods based on criteria that are as objective as possible and cover the entire cycle - from planning to renovation - of a sustainable building.

The advantages for you as a property owner with a certification "sustainable building" are, for example:

  • - It was usually achieved a better construction quality.
  • - Operating costs can be saved as a result.
  • - In most cases, this also increases the market value of the property.
  • - Energy-efficient buildings and renewable energy may allow federal subsidies (here learn more).
  • - The property can be marketed better. Learn more in our article on sustainable real estate.

Solarpanels aufs eigenen Dach bauen kann sich lohnen. The federal government promotes measures that make a building more sustainable.

Tips for resource-efficient and sustainable building

Whoever wants to design a single-family house ecologically today can make correct and trend-setting decisions for this in the very first planning phase. With our checklist for sustainable building, you can bring the topic into focus from the very beginning, so to speak. Of course, it is no substitute for consulting on sustainable construction. As already mentioned: please contact a competent civil engineer, architect or builder for this.

Checklist: six starting tips for sustainable building

  1. Sustainable building starts with the building materials. Check their quality and make yourself familiar with quality seals, certificates and DIN standards for this purpose.
  2. Use renewable raw materials such as hemp or flax fibers for thermal insulation.
  3. Try to exclude construction defects from the outset, since the elimination usually means a significant use of resources in materials, personnel and time.
  4. Sustainable construction also includes intelligent networking of building services. In doing so, take advantage of the opportunity to optimize your energy needs. Feel free to read our Smart Home article.
  5. Also with modern prefabricated wood construction, you are focusing on sustainability from the very beginning. Here you will find more information on this.
  6. Speaking of wood: sustainability also extends to gardening in the best case. Here, for example, the renunciation of tropical woods in favor of domestic wood species, the use of natural stone instead of artificial building materials and the plant purchase from regional suppliers to shorten transport routes count.

Will pay off for one

Eco-friendly home construction: consequences and opportunities

It's clear that green buildings bring a number of positive effects for the environment and society. For one thing, sustainable construction increasingly uses environmentally friendly technologies such as photovoltaic systems. The expansion of renewable energies of this kind is therefore being driven forward by sustainable building. It will also bring the idea of "energy self-sufficient" buildings - i.e., houses that generate the energy they need themselves - more to the fore.

In addition, "green building" supports national and international efforts to reduce emissions that are harmful to the climate. Through various measures, the German construction industry has already saved around 4 million tons of so-called "CO2 equivalents" here since 2009. A term that covers not only carbon dioxide (CO2) but also other greenhouse gases such as methane, and is therefore often used to facilitate industry comparisons.

The effects that sustainable construction has on climate protection are enormous. If one considers the entire life cycle of a property, energy expenditures in construction account for approximately one quarter of C02 emissions in Germany. The goal here is clearly defined: By 2050, sustainable buildings should be constructed and managed in a completely climate-neutral manner.

Tapping the potential of green building methods for a better future

The opportunities to exploit the energy-saving potential required for this are there. Collaborations between industry, real estate developers and researchers can create new forward-looking solutions that can range from sustainable building materials to innovative solutions for clean energy generation, storage and use. Politicians are also promoting such initiatives against the backdrop of also achieving set climate protection targets. On the information portal of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and Home Affairs you can find more information on this.

Summa summarum: Sustainable building has the potential to trigger far-reaching changes that can significantly influence the future of housing and construction. With the use of energy-saving solutions, you as a property owner can also make your personal contribution to climate protection.

National and international examples of sustainable building can already be found. Especially the architecture industry shows itself here particularly creative and innovative. Google with pleasure once to it, and you will see: There are many great award-winning concepts for sustainable construction in architecture.

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