EXCUSES Sustainable is the new normal
11 years of experience at the DGNB. An overview.
Yes, but ... … only experts know how to build sustainably. … Germany is still at the forefront of climate protection. … sustainable building is too expensive and too far removed from current building practice. … I already build energy-efficiently. Why start paying even more attention to materials? … it’s okay if it smells that way when it’s new. … sustainability is just one of those concepts for prestigious buildings – it’s not for the masses. … let’s just wait and then comply with legislation – that’ll be enough.
‘YES, BUT …’
We constantly hear ‘Yes, but’ when we explain to people what the DGNB does, or why sustainable building is important. It’s also why we try to motivate them to join us on the journey. The ‘Yes, but’ that follows is often a precursor to some pretty flimsy arguments as to why they find the idea good in principle, but they’re not willing or able to put the idea into practice. The arguments we hear often give us the impression that they’re not really based on solid facts – or is anyone on this planet actually able to run through lots of different options for a development (and put a price on them) in a matter of seconds, and then say with authority, “Yes, but this all makes the building more expensive”? This kind of black-and-white argumentation is widespread and often accepted without question. And then we start to wonder why. If we’re not willing to have a candid conversation about the reasons behind the reticence, the necessary changes will come about much too slowly, and they’ll only happen in certain areas. Of course change takes time and costs real money, but we have to keep focusing on the overall goal and not just think about the choppy seas we need to navigate. This was our motivation for compiling this brochure. Our aim is to dig deeper and challenge the most frequent ‘Yes, but’ arguments by looking at real facts and the experience gathered by the DGNB over the course of eleven years.
We hope this will encourage those who instantly think ‘Yes, but’ to think again, and maybe even change their minds. And inspire the ‘Yes, I’m with you on that one’ faction to join us on the journey and stick resolutely to the path. We believe this is exactly what we need right now – for people to be firm, determined and empowered to turn great ideas into reality. Sustainability isn’t one of those trends that comes and goes. It’s a chance to shape the environment we build around ourselves, to make it the way we want it today and to keep it comfortable and healthy in the long term. At the same time, we can also protect our environment and do more to keep climate change - which we know is already happening - under control. We can already do this. And yes, we can afford it! So as we embark on this journey to building better buildings, we’re leaving ‘Yes, but’ behind us. Instead of ifs and buts, we’re focusing on, ‘Yes, I’m with you!’ LET’S SET THE BALL ROLLING NOW
Prof. Alexander Rudolphi, President of DGNB e.V.
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB).
01 Global relevance “The influence of the construction and real-estate sector isn´t as strong as you would imagine.“
Climate change and the built environment – two things that matter to all of us!
of our time is spent indoors
of personal assets are in buildings1
of waste and rubbish in Germany is actually construction and demolition waste2
natural disasters worldwide in 1980 natural disasters worldwide in 20173
of the energy used by consumers in Germany is used in buildings (heating and electricity) 5
4 – 5°C
rise in temperature is possible within 100 years if carbon emissions are not reduced4
Up to of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by buildings.6 4
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB)
Welcome to the tipping point MAKE NO MISTAKE
There are many examples of trends or developments that looked, on the face of it, linear – and suddenly they veered in a different direction, accelerated or even came to a complete halt. Such turning points are, of course, difficult to predict. But trend researchers, futurologists and many scientists do their very best to prepare society for such unexpected turning points. More than ten years ago, the DGNB set out to make our built environment more sustainable; after all, this is the only way for us to safeguard the future. Our dedicated members and our headquarter are constantly faced with the task of erasing deep-seated preconceptions and even misconceptions – a certain mindset that prevents buildings, urban districts and interiors from being planned, built and operated in a more future-oriented way. In this brochure, we turn the spotlight on some of the misconceptions in the hope that we can ultimately dispel them. Our approach is based on voluntary participation, so we only award sustainability certification to those who do more for the environment, health and society than actually required by law. But perhaps because of this, some people dangerously assume sustainability is just ‘an option’ and it could even cost them more while bringing little benefit. Over the DGNB’s eleven-year history, we’ve learned enough to do away with this misconception. RELEVANCE, INFLUENCES, CLIMATE CHANGE AND COSTS
Time and again, we’ve found that people not only totally underestimate how much responsibility they have for their own actions, but also how important the construction and property industry is for society. On the following pages, we look at both environmental and economic facts and use them to illustrate the importance of this industry, including examples of buildings that were worked on by our members, auditors, partners and proactive building owners. We’ve come to realise that the sustainability standards of a building don’t have to depend on its construction costs. On the contrary, we’ve found that sustainability can actually cut operating costs, generate more revenue and promote economic wellbeing.
The building sector has failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions since 2011. Over the same period, we’ve noticed more and more of the alarming impacts of global warming, most recently in Europe during the hot summer of 2018. Suddenly, climate change was on everyone’s mind again. There’s been endless discussion, with fact after fact and people asking if their legislators are doing enough to avert the imminent ‘Heat Age’. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we’ll ever understand that, when faced with a threat as serious as climate change, it’s not enough to simply react. To really make a difference, we have to look ahead and be proactive. CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS, HEALTH AND LEGISLATION
Another misconception we’d like to address is the assumption that it’s enough to focus on energy efficiency in order to build sustainably. We’ve come to realise that for ecological and health reasons, it’s already important to pay attention to the building materials we use today – their type, origin, volume, installation and period of use. And it will become even more important in the future. We also show the key factors to consider when choosing interior materials so that living inside and using buildings is healthier for everyone. At the end of this brochure we show the extent to which minimum legal requirements overlap with the DGNB System and how office buildings perform on average in certification, including individual sustainability criteria. We demonstrate that merely waiting for legislation to catch up is not enough. Because by the time the necessary and comprehensive requirements are captured in legislation, it will take far too long to address the urgent tasks we already face today and make the environment we build ourselves truly sustainable. If we wait too long, we will go beyond certain tipping points – such as climate change, which is now already upon us. We are motivated by a desire to protect the construction and property industry from making senseless investments today just because they’re permissible by law. We want a future that’s is affordable and worth living in – for everyone.
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB)
02 The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) “Only experts know how to build sustainably.”
The DGNB’s treasure trove of knowledge Since it was founded in 2007, the DGNB has acquired an immense intellectual reservoir of knowledge. This is thanks to the efforts of our many honorary members who have always been determined to keep us moving forward, even at the expense of their own business interests. A hallmark of the DGNB and the DGNB System is that our members are prepared and willing to pool and share knowledge, practical experience and research findings. Everybody can and should use this treasure trove of knowledge for their own projects, as a source of inspiration and motivation that will lead them to develop their own innovative solutions. Nothing stands in the way of this. So we’re sometimes surprised to find that lots of companies, universities and planners prefer to start from scratch. When it comes to using knowledge that is freely available, we should all learn to ignore the ‘Yes, but’ inside our heads, and instead access and apply it with an open mind.
Sure, the wheel has already been invented – but I think I’ll have another go at it!
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB)
The DGNB and the DGNB System (Status: June 2018) ■ More than 3,600 awards bestowed on projects ■ Certificates granted in more than 20 countries ■ Three further Green Building Councils in Austria, Switzerland and Denmark have actively decided to adopt the DGNB System ■ More than 120 members in the DGNB expert pool ■ The DGNB System is revised approx. every 3 years ■ More than 550 suggestions or comments from members were edited for the latest revision of the DGNB System ■ More than 1200 member organisations with over 2 million employees ■ 63 partners in the DGNB university alliance ■ 0 secrets in terms of how sustainability requirements are defined
Why certification is so important “Sure, we do all that – but we don’t need a certificate.” We hear things like this all the time. But certifying a building or urban district isn’t about needing something or having to do something. It’s about changing people’s attitudes towards buildings. Each and every project is unique, so it has to be assessed in its own climatic or cultural context. We’re convinced that this is the right way to do things and it’s a fundamental principle at the DGNB. Our aim is to foster a different understanding of quality within the building sector. The extremely diverse nature of this industry, however, makes it highly non-transparent and has hindered the development of a culture that deals with errors constructively.
This is exactly why certification is important. It’s also why the DGNB System offers many different ways to approach projects on an individual basis. The main idea of certification is to document what’s already been achieved and see how well it is working. It’s also about making sure that the ambitious ideas outlined in the plans are strictly adhered to by the many different parties involved along the way, up to and including construction – and about making decisions that are not based on cost alone. It’s about measuring and evaluating achievements and learning from them. This is what the DGNB System stands for. The more thoroughly the system is applied to buildings, the more successful and quicker we will all be in achieving our goals and defining the right planning tools and criteria. And this will actively help shape our built environment and enhance the general understanding of quality.
80 % or higher Platinum
65 % or higher Gold
average performance index* (office buildings)
50 % or higher Silver
35 % or higher Bronze
12 % minimum legal Overall performance index in DGNB certification
*more on page 21
03 Climate change â€œGermany is still at the forefront of climate protection.â€?
If we fail to meet our climate protection goals here in Germany, where we have the technology, know-how and financial means at our disposal, why should other countries even try? Germany must lead by example!
Annual greenhouse gas savings in DGNB-certified office buildings amount to the equivalent of over 53,000 tonnes of CO21 The same amount of CO2 would be emitted by almost 1,000 cars by driving to the moon.
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB)
Climate protection – a driving force of renewal THE NEW TARGET: CLIMATE PROTECTION
The German Thermal Insulation Regulation and the German Energy Conservation Act came about as a reaction to the oil crises of the 1970s and 1980s. Goals were driven by an economic motivation to cut the consumption of expensive types of energy such as oil and gas. In the meantime, however, the global situation is different and political motivations have changed radically. Since the start of the new millennium at the latest, environmental protection – including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – has moved to centre stage.
This new priority has made it necessary to introduce entirely different regulations. Minimising the greenhouse gas emissions generated by buildings is about more than reducing primary energy consumption. A change in mindset is also required. We need to shift away from focusing on problems and reacting. Instead, we need to become proactive and define clear goals for ourselves. THE MOST SUSTAINABLE FINANCIAL INVESTMENT
Buildings play an even more crucial role in the green energy revolution than transport and industry, and are also more important from a financial standpoint. Sustainable buildings provide society with a foundation on which to build a future, making them the most sustainable financial investment that exists. In 2010, Germany resolved to make its existing buildings as climate-neutral as possible by 2050. At the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris, all nations officially declared their commitment to limiting the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.
Although the need for action is patently obvious, not enough has been done yet. It’s more profitable for individual stakeholders to stick with the status quo for the time being. Again, we’re bogged down in the ‘Yes, but’ mindset. But solving these issues depends on the timing, so delaying things will only lead to even higher costs. A COMPLETE TURNAROUND IN ONLY ONE GENERATION
There are around 20 million buildings in Germany. That means that over the next 30 years, just under 700,000 buildings will need to be made practically ‘climate-neutral’ every year. If we don’t start before 2025, this number will rise to 800,000 buildings per year. These figures make clear the sheer scale of the task at hand. This is a challenge of gigantic proportions for the entire German economy. It’s comparable to German reconstruction after World War II or the restructuring after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. To meet agreed climate protection targets, all buildings would have to be made climate-neutral within a single generation. There is neither a plan nor a legislative framework in place for making this happen. But we can still rise to the challenge – investments could be channelled into our buildings rather than to countries producing oil or gas. This would also bolster our own economy.
DGNB-certified office buildings contribute to climate protection:1 ■ Average carbon savings for DGNB-certified office buildings (compared to reference buildings) amount to the equivalent of approx. 12 kg of CO2 per square metre of net floor area per year. ■ For almost 300 certified new office buildings, this corresponds to equivalent annual savings of over 53,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. ■ Almost 5 million square metres of gross floor area in new office buildings have been certified to date.
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB).
04 Costs “Sustainable building is too expensive and too far removed from current building practice”
Sustainability is worth it ENVIRONMENT, SOCIETY AND THE ECONOMY IN HARMONY
As we certify buildings, on a daily basis we observe that building sustainably doesn’t make everything more expensive, more complicated or more difficult. On the contrary, the DGNB System makes it possible to cut greenhouse gases, save construction materials and avoid waste. Sustainable buildings also have a positive impact on people’s health and productivity. In addition, the economic efficiency of a building can be maximised, its total life cycle cost reduced and its value retained in the long term. Certified buildings show that the key factors in sustainable construction – environment, society and economy – are not in conflict, but can be brought into harmony. For a future-proof, low-risk building that will retain its value, there is no alternative but to build sustainably. DOES CLIMATE PROTECTION INCUR MORE COSTS?
Higher construction costs are not caused by climate protection measures, they’re mostly the result of features that are introduced (or deliberately added) to make a building more marketable. When a building is renovated, there are often legal requirements that come on top of these features and pose a major challenge. Due to the increasing number of regulations now linked to certain building measures, most of which are related to energy consumption, sound insulation, fire protection, or accessibility, it’s often difficult to apply technology-neutral or affordable solutions. Renovations are
an ideal opportunity to modernise a building, make it more comfortable or convenient, or introduce new technology. Buildings are often upgraded with air conditioning and additional space. When people ask what it costs to renovate a building to make it carbon-neutral, the bill normally includes all these hidden extras. Actually, smaller carbon footprints can be extremely economical if conversions and extensions are avoided. You simply need to focus on open technology, quick wins and a minimum number of changes – without even having to stop using the building. When you calculate costs for the entire life cycle of the building, you find that the operating costs are lower as a result. RETURNS AND THE COST TO SOCIETY
In addition to lower life cycle costs, sustainable buildings are also about higher returns. In the long term, sustainable buildings have a high market value which remains relatively stable. They’re also more productive and appealing. Looking to the long term, the not-insignificant environmental and health costs which are currently borne by the public as a whole – can also be reduced. Everything now points to the introduction of carbon levies and even higher costs for the disposal of construction waste. A decision has already been taken to ban the refrigerants which are still common today, and people now have increasingly high health standards for the buildings they live and work in. All of these factors underscore the advantages of sustainable construction.
THE NUMBERS ARE CLEAR: Achieving a higher level of certification does not necessarily mean higher construction costs.1
10 GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB)
The truth about costs CERTIFICATION IS WORTHWHILE: CONSTRUCTION COSTS Land purchase, additional construction costs, building permit, connection to utilities, site preparation, construction, technical fittings, landscaping
OPERATING COSTS Water and sewage, energy, waste, cleaning, maintenance, servicing and inspection, modifications
BENEFITS Rent, market value, value stability, customer and employee appeal, well-being, productivity, adaptability, brand image, reputation
■ Little or no additional expenditure for building costs (1 to 6 % for buildings and urban districts)1. ■ Buildings with Platinum DGNB certification: construction costs not significantly higher than for buildings with Gold or Silver certification2.
■ Operating costs over the entire building use phase roughly correspond to construction costs (KG 300 + KG 400)2. ■ Buildings with Platinum DGNB certification have lower average follow-up costs as a proportion of overall life cycle costs compared to buildings with Silver DGNB certification2.
■ Survey respondents stated that building value rose by up to 7 % with DGNB certification3. ■ Up to 12 % higher rent possible with certified urban district developments1. ■ More than €3.50/ m² increase in gross selling price for development land in urban districts1. ■ Certification raises user satisfaction in 40 % of urban district developments1.
SOCIAL BENEFITS AND COSTS Competitiveness, innovation, employment, cityscape, social functions, climate and environmental protection
■ 82 % of certification applicants would certify buildings again1. ■ Lower carbon emissions from DGNBcertified buildings. Assuming a CO2 price of €110/t, potential savings amount to approx. €1.30/m² of office space per year compared to buildings adhering to EnEV standards.2
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB). 11
05 Construction materials “I already build energy-efficiently. Why start paying even more attention to materials?”
Ecologically speaking, Germany is in the red by early May. We need a transition to green materials now. EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY
In 2018, Germany hit its Earth Overshoot Day on the 2nd of May.1 This is the day on which the demand for resources exceeds what the earth can regenerate in that year. So for the rest of 2018, Germany was living on credit – at the expense not only of future generations, but also of poorer countries, which have a smaller carbon footprint but are hit harder by the consequences. To stay in the black, Germany must reduce
In DGNB-certified buildings, attention is given to construction materials:7
■ 7 % of global carbon emissions are caused by cement production2. ■ 15 billion tonnes of material are contained in German buildings3. ■ 3,5 % of all building waste consists of hazardous materials4. ■ 66 % of materials can be saved by renovating rather than building from scratch5. ■ Estimated metal reserves: zinc 15 years, tin 16 years, copper 39 years6.
12 GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB)
its resource consumption by 70%. A significant step in this direction would be to construct suitable buildings, renovate more buildings, use more renewables, use fewer materials, construct buildings that last longer and stop expanding the amount of floor space per capita. We could also systematically adopt genuine, end-to-end material flow management, recycle things properly and reuse building materials.
■ 86 % of certified buildings meet high or very high standards (DGNB QS3 and QS4) for the avoidance of substances known to be harmful or hazardous. ■ 81 % of certified buildings make extensive use of responsibly produced materials. ■ In 68 % of certified buildings, construction quality is confirmed through at least three types of testing (e.g. soundproofing, airtightness or thermography).
Construction materials – too valuable, too important VALUING RESOURCES AND KEEPING THEM IN THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Even without further increases in the world population, the resources we need for construction materials will be nowhere near sufficient to safeguard a moderate level of global prosperity in the future. At the same time, the volume of waste we now produce continues to rise. To run economies sustainably, waste must be treated as a resource rather than something we simply throw away. Building materials must therefore be made and used in such a way that they can be recovered and reused once they have fulfilled their purpose. This will help avoid depleting our increasingly scarce natural resources. As consumers in a global economy, it should go without saying that we need to keep examining the availability of resources – and think about the social and environmental impact of how we source and process materials. It’s now standard practice to request certification for wood. So what about other materials? There are currently systems in place for confirming that natural stone, cork, concrete and aluminium have been extracted or produced responsibly. We know that within highly complex planning processes, it’s hard to keep an eye on all the effects of globalisation and natural resource consumption. So the DGNB System provides planners with the necessary methods to handle this complexity. BUILDINGS WITH A POSITIVE LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT
environmental impact. We know this from life cycle assessments, which pull together all environmental effects relating to the extraction of required materials, processing, and final installation in buildings. The life cycle assessment of a building extends to all environmental impacts related to its operation and maintenance, as well as the recycling or disposal of materials. The environmental impact of zero-energy buildings – our future standard – will stem entirely from the production, transport, replacement, and recycling or disposal routes of the materials used. So strategies for optimising life cycle performance, including considerations such as material quantities and how long materials will be used, are gaining importance. Effective approaches for improving sustainability include reusing building materials, ensuring that a high proportion of renewable or recycled materials is used, using smaller quantities, using space efficiently and matching the durability of materials to the anticipated lifetime of the building. MATERIAL EFFICIENCY
Using material and space efficiently are some of the most important criteria in determining how many tonnes of material and how much land are required for the amount of usable space that will be needed. For us, sustainable planning means striking the right balance between an intensive use of space – which must also take into account the environmental impacts and availability of materials – and a building’s energy and thermal performance.
As buildings become increasingly energy efficient, building materials will make up an ever greater share of their overall
DGNB-certified projects in 2009
DGNB-certified projects in 2012
DGNB-certfified projects in 2015
100 % 70 %
The life cycle performance of a building improves in line with higher energy efficiency requirements. The challenge is to reduce emissions linked to construction and the use of resources.
CO2e in construction CO2e of energy consumption in regular operation
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB). 13
06 Health and comfort “It’s okay if it smells that way when it’s new.”
Our life indoors THE RIGHT TO CLEAN AIR
An adult inhales about half a litre of air with each breath. Unfortunately, pollutants, soot, exhaust fumes, rubber, pollen, sand and millions of minute particles enter our lungs at the same time. The lungs of people who spend their whole life in a large city look the same on the inside as the lungs of a lifelong smoker.
The WHO also estimates that more deaths are caused worldwide by smog than by water pollution or tropical diseases such as malaria. The air inside buildings is not only contaminated by wood-fired ovens, smoking, laser printers and photocopiers, but also pollutants emitted by building materials.
Because we spend almost all of our time indoors, the quality of air – the elixir of life – is tremendously important. After all, we breathe it in 24 hours a day. Air quality affects our life expectancy more than any other substance that enters the body. If we had the same health standards for the air we breathe as for the water we drink, all of our cities would have the same high air quality as remote mountain villages. Health and physical wellbeing are fundamental rights that must not be compromised by noxious construction materials or contaminated air. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), average life expectancy in Europe is 8.6 months lower due to disorders attributable to particulates in air. These include acute respiratory tract disease and lung cancer.1
CARBON DIOXIDE CONCENTRATION IN ROOMS
We inhale air that is rich in oxygen and exhale air with a higher carbon dioxide content. High levels of carbon dioxide in rooms affect our concentration, performance and health. DIN standard 1946 restricts carbon dioxide content to 1500 ppm. As early as the 19th century, however, the hygiene researcher Max von Pettenkofer called for a maximum of 1000 ppm. A number of studies have now established a direct connection between the human ability to function properly and air quality.
1,500 – 2,000 ppm: Possible concentration impairments. 9 out of 10 DGNB-certified buildings achieve maximum ratings for interior air measurements.2
1,000 – 1,500 ppm: Still tolerable for attentiveness and concentration.
(in the pollutant categories TVOC and formaldehyde)
CARBON DIOXIDE levels in building interiors in parts per million (ppm)
14 GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB)
Yes, the building smells – but it’s new! Air – the elixir of life ■ Humans inhale around 10,000 to 20,000 litres of air per day. ■ We spend 90 % of our time indoors. ■ An estimated 30 % of office employees suffer from health problems due to buildings or react sensitively to emissions from buildings.1 ■ According to the World Health Organization (WHO), particulate matter levels should not exceed 50 µg/m3 on more than three days per year. This level is exceeded by 87 % of all measurement stations in Germany.2.
up to 5,000 ppm: Levels typically measured in school classrooms with window ventilation > 2,000 ppm: Exhaustion, headaches and susceptibility to infections can increase.
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB). 15
06 Health and comfort “It’s okay if it smells that way when it’s new.”
BEYOND OUR COMFORT ZONES
Ventilation systems are installed in buildings for many reasons. They can be used to recover heat from the air inside the building to save energy for heating or air conditioning, or protect walls by preventing the build-up of moisture. Air is exchanged with the aim of keeping the amounts of carbon dioxide, VOC and formaldehyde at acceptable levels. However, this method of ‘airing things out’ only works to a certain extent. It’s actually better to avoid using building materials that contain pollutants. This stops interior air becoming contaminated in the first place. As the hygiene researcher Pettenkofer succinctly puts it: “Ventilation won’t make a manure heap disappear”. Ventilation systems are also used to reduce the risk of harmful mould or prevent pollen, dust and particulates entering buildings by using filters. Of course one advantage of installing ventilation systems is that rooms feel more comfortable. Comfort is highly subjective, however, and you don’t tend to think about it until you feel uncomfortable. There is a tendency throughout the world for people to expect buildings to offer more and more comfort, such that the acceptable range of temperatures is growing narrower and lower – a totally unnecessary and dangerous development, as if using more technology is always right. This ‘conditioning’ of our well-being comes at a cost, of course – drastically higher energy consumption which in turn renders all efficiency measures ineffective.
To be avoided in new buildings and renovations: FORMALDEHYDE EMISSIONS Used in or contained in various wood materials | paint | wallpapers | floor coverings | insulants| adhesives
VOC EMISSIONS Frequently emitted by floor coverings | wallpaper | coatings such as paint, varnish, glazes, oils | adhesives | furniture | sealers | insulants
BIOCIDES Found in wood preservatives | facade coatings
CLASSIFIED HEAVY METALS Used in various paints | varnishes | lead piping | plastic window frames | elastic floor coverings
SOFTENERS Used in various plastics | varnishes | seals | glazes | wallpapers | cables | furniture | floor coverings
‘Comfort’ and climate change ■ 70 % of the buildings that will be standing in India in 2050 have yet to be built. If they’re designed according to American standards of living comfort, the building sector in India will account for 6°C of global warming alone.1 ■ “The whole world puts out about 50 Gt of carbon today. If Indians were to live like Americans do today then 30 Gt of CO2 would be emitted. Nearly half of that would come from buildings. This will be a global catastrophe!”2
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Often found in existing buildings: ASBESTOS (BANNED SINCE 1980) Often used for fire protection | heat insulation | soundproofing | thermal storage heating | windowsills | roof and facade panels | filler pastes
ARTIFICIAL MINERAL FIBRES (REGULATED SINCE 1996) Found in insulants
PCB (BANNED SINCE 1978) Found in seals | paints | fluorescent lamps | joint fillers | grouting | cable sheathing
PCP, LINDANE, DDT (BANNED SINCE 1986) Found in wood components (wood preservatives) | paints
PAK Found in adhesives | varnishes | roofing and waterproofing membranes | floor coverings
MOULD Often due to construction defects
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB). 17
07 Economy “Sustainability is just one of those concepts for prestigious buildings - it´s not for the masses.“
300 SKILLED MANUAL WORKERS
25 PLANNERS AND ADVISORS
15 PUBLIC OFFICIALS
5 BUILDING OWNERS
10 BUILDING OPERATORS
1,500 – 6,000 people are directly involved in a typical residential development covering 15,000 m² – in planning, production and construction, and during use.
500 – 5,000 MANUFACTURERS
We all bring about change Sustainability is not just a topic discussed in elite circles. It’s a big issue that affects all of society. A building project involves many people. If it’s small, it may only be a few individuals, but if it’s a large-scale project, a development can affect several thousand stakeholders – from the building owner and architects to the firms that produce the construction materials, their upstream suppliers, road hauliers, skilled manual workers, specialist planners, local officials, building operators and occupants, energy and water providers, cleaning firms, and even nearby residents and passers-by. They’re all involved in a building in one way or another, and sometimes they’re surprised by a particular decision or approach taken to improve sustainability. In the best scenario, however, they will be inspired or motivated to reflect and even change their minds. It’s this sort of impact on all kinds of stakeholders along the entire value chain that makes the work of DGNB and the DGNB System so unique.
buildings means taking environmental impacts and social factors into account as early as the requirement planning stage. This entails involving all relevant stakeholders, considering sustainability criteria in the tender and commissioning, ensuring building sites are kept quiet and clean with a minimum level of dust, documenting the qualities and features of a building in meticulous detail, including quality and sustainability as quantifiable criteria during construction, supervising the initial operation of a building, providing building occupants with adequate information and taking future facility management into account. It has been proven that the more professionally all these different aspects are handled, the more sustainable a building will become.
Our industry provides many people with employment: the building and property industry in Germany alone numbers over two million employees. Around 730,000 people – or roughly the population of Stuttgart1 – work for architectural and engineering firms. Since the planning phase is a decisive period for a development, these firms play a particularly crucial role in the quality of a building. Planning sustainable
Sustainable buildings: ■ Create low emissions and conserve natural resources ■ Contain a low number of harmful materials and are recyclable ■ Promote biodiversity ■ Optimise costs over their entire life cycle ■ Are adaptable, versatile and make optimum use of space ■ Are marketable ■ Enhance comfort and health ■ Are easy to use ■ Are barrier-free ■ Foster communication ■ Are safe ■ Are energy efficient ■ Are robust ■ Are easy to clean ■ Are optimised for sustainable mobility ■ Are integrated into the local area 19
08 Time “Let’s just wait and then comply with legislation – that’ll be enough.”
The future means a lot to us The EU and Germany have set themselves the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 to 95 % by 2050. In terms of technology, this goal is achievable. But if developments such as the expansion of renewable energies continue at the current pace, it will only be possible to reduce greenhouse gases by about 62 % by 2050.1 The transition to green energy therefore requires a more decisive political framework that provides reliable long-term incentives for limiting greenhouse-gas emissions and enables marketdriven, technology-neutral, innovative optimisations across all sectors of industry. Buildings account for a high proportion of emissions that affect the environment, so a long-term plan is needed urgently. Sustainable construction is holistic, so it must remain open to a wide variety of technologies and solutions. This is where there are clearly limitations in terms of what can be achieved through legislation – too often, regulations are simply unable to leverage synergies and focus too much on individual measures. Legislation in a number of countries also fails to place the right emphasis on long-term considerations. Instead, it focuses on the interests of industry, short-term returns and legislative periods. If we fail to make more progress in this area by bringing about wide-reaching change from the grass-roots level, too much valuable time will be lost and costs will shoot up, affecting everyone. For this reason, the aim of the DGNB System is to reward people for going beyond current requirements. This approach
works. Experience with more than 3600 DGNB projects has shown that most developments are already being planned and carried out in ways that go far beyond merely complying with legislation. Ensuring developments are marketable – independent of legal requirements – also plays an important role in this, but it also has a lot to do with the ambitions of architects and planners, building owners and investors. Ambitious, future-oriented building is entirely possible today and it is already part and parcel of business practice.
Facts about climate change ■ The annual costs of climate change will rise from 1 to 5 % of global gross domestic product if action is not taken immediately.2 ■ The German Federal Environmental Agency estimates that the environmental follow-on cost of greenhouse gas emissions will increase from €80/t of CO2 in 2010 to €260/t of CO2 in 2050.3 ■ Climatologists believe that the danger of us entering a "Heat Age" will still exist even if the Paris Climate Treaty is complied with. The earth could then heat up by around 4 to 5°C in the long term, causing sea levels to rise by 10 to 60 metres.4 ■ Over the next 30 years, ten air conditioners will be installed worldwide every second.5
It is not enough to wait for legislation to avoid unwanted damage to the environment, health and society as a whole. The know-how we require to make the environment we build around ourselves sustainable already exists, now, and it’s both available and accessible to building owners, occupants and society. 20 GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB)
UA L IITTÄYT 66 4 QU OEZSES SQ .,55%
1.1 EN V
ATTAIN 74% FULFILMENT ON AVERAGE
DGNB-certified office buildings are awarded a good Gold certification on average. Attractive (marketable) buildings adhering to higher requirements normally achieve scores of 60 to 70%. Certification is a reflection of demonstrably high building quality.
74.2% Performance Index
DGNB-CERTIFIED OFFICE BUILDINGS
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Compliance with minimum legal requirements achieves an evaluation score of just 12 % under the DGNB certification system. Depending on customer requirements, attractive (marketable) buildings score significantly higher on several aspects of sustainability. We believe that several decades will pass before legislation results in genuinely sustainable buildings.
ADHERING TO MINIMUM LEGAL
12% FULFILMENT IS ACHIEVED BY
5 %4 , .51 Y4
A L I TTÄ YT11,.99 % R OEZSESS SQQUUA %
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I TÄYT 119 . 93, 3% %
S NIO OOM
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB). 21
01 Globale Relevanz – So groß ist der Einfluss der Bau- und Immobilienbranche gar nicht.
THE ‘YES, BUT ...’ OPTION Waiting and complying with current legislation means:
Allergies and asthma will rise sharply, particularly for children, due to poor air quality in buildings.
Existing buildings will lose more and more value.
Renovation shortfalls will increase.
The climate protection lobby will be actively weakened.
Environmental follow-on costs will rise and have to be met by society as a whole.
Natural resources will become increasingly scarce, construction will become even more expensive and the negative environmental and social impacts of raw material extraction will continue to intensify.
Capital will still be invested unsustainably and will not yield financial returns.
Investment in obsolete products and solutions will continue.
Geopolitics will be disproportionately determined by our dependence on oil and gas imports.
Capital will continue to flow abroad to meet energy costs.
The financial burden on future generations will increase.
In summary: reduced quality of life, slower growth, lower gross national product, less prosperity.
22 GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCILB (DGNB)
Understanding and implementing sustainably as the new normal means: ■ No health impairments due to buildings – indoors or outdoors. ■ Materials will be recovered from buildings, thus preserving natural resources. Building will become an option for everyone. ■ There will be a strong climate protection lobby, in harmony with other interests. ■ Money will flow directly into building improvements. ■ Environmental follow-on costs will be avoided. ■ Depreciation in the value of buildings will be minimised. ■ Economic stimulus packages will replace renovation backlogs. ■ Investments will be made in marketable products and solutions. ■ Less dependence on oil and gas imports and less vulnerability to energy conflicts. ■ The local economy will be strengthened resulting in long-term returns. ■ There will be less of a financial burden on future generations. The result: improved quality of life, more growth, higher gross national product, more prosperity.
THE ‘LEAP TO THE FUTURE’ OPTION GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB). 23
REFERENCES PAGE 4
1 Deutsche Bundesbank monthly report 2016, p72
1 Evaluation of certified buildings 2017 (internal study), DGNB e.V., 2017
2 Waste Balance Germany 2016, German Federal Statistical Office, 2017
3 Topics Geo Natural Disasters 2017, Munich Reassurance Company, 2018
1 Ambient (outdoor) air quality and health, World Health Organization WHO, 2018
4 Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene, Steffen, W. et al., 2018
2 Evaluation of certified buildings 2017 (internal study), DGNB e.V., 2017
5 dena Building Report 2018 – Statistics and analysis of energy efficiency of existing buildings, German Energy Agency (dena) 2018
6 Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) (2016): Climate Action Plan 2050, p. 42. Online available at: https://www.bmu.de/publikation/climate-action-plan-2050/ PAGE 5
1 Interior Workplaces – Recommended Approaches for Assessing Work Environments, German Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BGIA), 2005 2 Federal Environmental Agency Press Release 2017, https://www. umweltbun- desamt.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/luftqualitaet-2017-rueckgang-der — Section on particulates (PM10)
1 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2018, Federal Environmental Agency, 2018 PAGE 16
1 Prashant Kapoor, Chief Industry Specialist, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Washington, DC
1 Evaluation of certified office buildings 2018 (internal study), DGNB e.V., July 2018 PAGE 19
1 German Federal Statistical Office, 2018
1 Evaluation of certified office buildings 2018 (internal study), DGNB e.V., July 2018
2 DENA Pilot Study on Integrated Energy Transition, Berlin, 2018, p6 PAGE 10
1 Evaluation of certified office buildings 2018 (internal study), DGNB e.V., July 2018
3 The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Stern, N., 2006 4 Estimated ecological costs of the environment and traffic, Federal Environmental Agency, 2012
1 Added value of certified urban districts, DGNB Report, May 2018
5 Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene, Steffen, W. et al., 2018
2 Evaluation of certified office buildings 2018 (internal study), DGNB e.V., July 2018
6 The Future of Cooling – Oppertunities for energy efficient air conditioning, International Energy Agency IEA, 2018
3 Added value of certified buildings (unpublished), DGNB Report, 2018 PAGE 12
1 Country Overshoot Days 2018, Global Footprint Network National Footprint Accounts 2018, 2018 2 WBCSD-CSI Technology Roadmap 2018, World Business Council Sustainable Development – Cement Sustainability Initiative, 2018 3 Urban Mining – Resource Conservation in the Anthropocene, Federal Environmental Agency, 2017 4 Waste Balance Germany 2016, German Federal Statistical Office, 2017 5 Umweltbundesamt (Hrsg.): Rohstoffeffizienz – Wirtschaft entlasten, Umwelt schonen, 2010 6 Mineral Commodities Summaries 2016, U.S. Geological Survey, 2016 7 Evaluation of certified office buildings 2018 (internal study), DGNB e.V., July 2018
24 GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB)
Authors: Dr. Anna Braune, Dr. Christine Lemaitre. Stefan Oehler, Mikala Holme Samsøe, Ulrike von Gemmingen, Felix Jansen © DGNB September 2018 All rights reserved. All information has been prepared and compiled with the utmost care. The DGNB assumes no liability for the accuracy or completeness of this content or for any changes that may have occurred since its publication.
GERMAN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING COUNCIL (DGNB). 25
Contact: Dr. Anna Braune Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen – DGNB e.V. German Sustainable Building Council Tübinger Straße 43 70178 Stuttgart, Germany
+49 711 722322-0