Sustainability in Construction

What are the factors shaping the shift towards a sustainable construction industry

According to the International Energy Agency, buildings currently account for over a quarter of global energy-related emissions world-wide. This suggest that green technicians with an understanding of eco-friendly construction methods can play a pivotal role in reshaping the industry towards one that is more sustainable. So in today’s blog, we look at the factors influencing the sector as it seeks to become more in tune with the ecological needs of the planet. We also look at some of the specific regulations and guidelines impacting the built environment in Germany. 

Compliance and Certification

Many countries have instituted stringent green building codes and certifications, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). Through training, builders can become versed in these standards, ensuring that their projects meet sustainability benchmarks. In Germany, standards like the Passivhaus standard and DIN 4108 provide clear guidelines for energy-efficient building design. Here there is also the DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council) certification system, which aims to minimize the energy required for the room conditioning of buildings while at the same time ensure high thermal comfort and prevent structural damage.

Innovation and Efficiency

German research and development in sustainable construction techniques carried out by organizations like Fraunhofer UMSICHT, contribute to the global pool of green building knowledge. By implementing practices like passive design, which utilizes natural elements to regulate temperature and lighting, innovative builders can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of the building. This not only leads to operational cost savings but also contributes to a more sustainable built environment. Furthermore, German regulations like the Energieeinsparverordnung (Energy Saving Ordinance) set energy efficiency standards for buildings, encouraging the adoption of innovative technologies and materials.

Waste Reduction

In recent years there has been a shift to placing stronger emphasis on strategies that minimize waste generation during construction. Builders are educated on techniques like deconstruction, which involves carefully dismantling structures to salvage valuable materials for reuse. This minimizes landfill contributions and conserves resources. Germany’s recycling and waste management policies, as outlined in the Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz (Recycling Management Act), provide a framework for sustainable waste handling in construction.

Health and Well-being Considerations

Sustainable buildings prioritize the health and well-being of occupants. Good indoor air quality, abundant natural lighting, and comfortable temperatures all contribute to a healthier and more productive living and working environment. German building standards, such as the Richtlinie für Innenraumluft-Qualität (Guideline for Indoor Air Quality), emphasize factors that directly impact occupants’ health and well-being. Biophilic design, a new field for both architects as well as HR officials, is developing to address these considerations.

Community Impact

Sustainable buildings benefit not only their occupants but also the communities they’re a part of. By reducing resource consumption and environmental impact, green builders contribute to a more resilient and sustainable future. This positively impacts local communities by preserving natural resources and promoting a sense of environmental responsibility. Empowering green builders through training programs helps support this transformation, and where is proud to play a role. Because with a better global awareness of sustainable principles, green builders can help guide the industry towards a more environmentally responsible future.

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