Green building: You should know these sustainability certificates
Why sustainable building is trending right now
Awareness of the importance of ecological and sustainable action has risen sharply in recent years. Sustainability is also an important topic in the field of construction and real estate renovation. So-called green building, which is used to describe ecologically responsible construction with a focus on sustainability aspects, is a trend that is becoming more and more prevalent. Characteristic of green building is a holistic approach to sustainable thinking, from design and planning to the construction itself. In addition to ecological aspects, economic as well as socio-cultural requirements are also considered.
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Principle of green building
Sustainable construction is carried out under the premise of saving C02 and protecting the environment. This starts with a holistic view of the building project right from the planning stage and continues with construction. For example, building materials made of wood are only cleared to the extent that they can grow again. In general, the orientation serves to keep energy consumption as low as possible and to conserve resources. Sustainability in construction essentially comprises the three elements of the economic, ecological and sociocultural dimensions. Within the economic dimension, values and capital are to be preserved, and economic efficiency also plays a role, but always under the condition of responsible consumption. The ecological approach includes the use of natural resources and energy conservation. Socio-cultural criteria include considerations regarding functionality and the creation of cultural and design added value.
Green building certificates
Green building certificates in Germany demonstrate that sustainability requirements have been taken into account in the construction of a property. One of these certificates is the DGNB certificate. It has been in existence since 2009 and has been constantly developed since then. It is awarded for buildings, interiors, and entire neighborhoods. The three essential elements on which the certification is based are life cycle assessment, holistic approach and performance orientation. The certificate is one of the leading ones in Germany and is internationally recognized.
LEED: Voluntary certification program
The LEED certificate is also used worldwide. The abbreviation stands for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design". The sustainability certificate serves to classify ecological building projects and has existed since 1998. It defines various standards for resource-conserving, sustainable and environmentally friendly building projects. These are defined internationally and include topics such as water efficiency, airspace quality, the infrastructural integration of the site or material cycles, to name just a few. The certificate is available for new buildings and refurbishments, investor models, existing buildings, interior and tenant improvements, as well as for complete communities or cities.
BREEAM: Green building certification system
One of the longest-running green building certification systems is BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), which originated in the United Kingdom in 1990. It is also the most widely used sustainability certification. Assessment criteria used for certification include energy and water consumption, transportation, ecology, health and well-being, waste and materials, and the management process. It has already been awarded in more than 70 countries. Certification bodies are projects, infrastructures and buildings. It is applicable to both new buildings and refurbishment projects.