The second day of the BIGGEXCHANGE started with Arab Hoballah speaking on climate change and resource efficiency. Hoballah began his presentation with some facts: “According to United Nations figures, the construction sector accounts for over one-third of global carbon dioxide emissions and produces more than one-third of global waste,” said the climate change expert and leader of the SWITCH Asia SCP Facility team, an EU project to promote sustainable consumption and production across Asia. “In addition, more than-one third of all energy and materials resources are used to build and maintain buildings. If we continue the mistakes that we have made so far, we will never reach the set climate goals.”
One problem that makes it difficult to make the construction sector “greener” are the many different participants that must be brought to the table, Hoballah noted. In addition, politics, undefined responsibilities, costs, time, and the availability of resources are challenges which must be solved.
“Buildings are a key sector both for climate action and for achieving overall sustainable development goals,” he said. “The goals of climate change cannot be achieved without the construction sector.”
A necessary step in the direction of green building, Hoballah said, is to set standards for energy efficiency — especially in buildings which have a great potential for energy savings and emission reductions. It also will be necessary to improve stakeholder collaboration, introduce new technologies, and use materials and equipment with greater efficiency.
According to Hoballah, it is particularly important to solve the problem of building in cities. It must be the goal, despite the huge input that comes into a city (material, products, water, energy, food), to produce neither emissions nor garbage. “Sustainable consumption is the most efficient strategy to tackle development and environmental challenges,” he said. “The industrialized countries must reduce their resource consumption, and developing countries should improve their resource efficiency, promote clean production processes, and consume sustainably.”
He concluded that all of the following are important in order to make the necessary transition to a more sustainable future: knowledge, innovation, products, consumer behavior, and government behavior.
Here you can download the presentation “Climate Change and Resource Efficiency,
the Sustainable Building Engine” in PDF format.
“Certification Schemes for Sustainable Buildings” was the title of the presentation by Julia Goerke from Thinkstep AG.
“The figures from the Climate Conference in Bonn and the UN climate study are sobering with regard to the status of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Goerke said. “There is an urgent need for consistent climate protection activities.”
She added that the construction sector plays a key role in international and national climate policy because it covers 30 to 40 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, from the construction of a building to its use and demolition.
The EU Commission is undertaking numerous measures to address sustainability in construction. Among other things, labels and certification systems are being further developed and sustainable building supported by public procurement. As a result, 25 percent of all investments now flow into green building.
Goerke also presented the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the World Green Building Council. According to these, aspects such as health, regenerative energy, a green infrastructure, circular economy, fewer emissions, higher biodiversity, and longevity are included in sustainable construction planning.
“These are the topics that play a role in the certification and awarding of a building with gold, silver, and bronze,” Goerke said. She noted that the certification system of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), for example, deals with ecological, economic, and socio-cultural aspects as well as the technical process and location quality of a project.
“With regard to technical building equipment, the DGNB initially rates passive systems,” she explained. “Here the focus is on ventilation, sun protection and daylight, but also the insulation standard and the passive heating and cooling.” Other issues include the use of renewable energy, a good accessibility for plant technology, the existence of integrated systems for integration into districts, and life cycle assessment and climate protection measures.
At the end of her presentation, Goerke shared with the BIGGEXCHANGE guests information about the Environmental Product Declaration. This is a document containing the results of the life cycle analysis of a product and is recommended by the Construction Products Regulation. This neutral instrument for communicating the environmental properties of a product provides the basis for a building life cycle assessment in the framework of the certification of sustainable buildings and supports access to tenders.
Here you can download the presentation “Certification schemes for sustainable buildings” in PDF format.
Manfred Lippe focused on the protection of buildings against fire as a challenge for planners and craftsmen. Lippe defined not only the protection of life and limb as the fire protection task, but also the reduction of the extent of damage and — in the industrial sector — the avoidance of production losses.
According to Lippe, the interface between building construction and building fire safety is an area where there might be difficulties because nobody wants to deal with it. “It’s too complicated for some to think about building technology and for others to think about fire safety,” the fire protection expert noted.
Lippe then described the legal aspects of fire safety. The protection goals of building regulations law are “to lay out, build, alter, and maintain buildings and facilities in such a way that public safety and order — in particular life, health and the natural basis of life — are not endangered,” he said. “Among other things, the special construction regulations, introduced technical building regulations, implementing regulations, and administrative regulations must be observed. We have to bring these rules together.”
As an important requirement in fire prevention planning, the expert named the fire protection bulkheading of piping systems, which he illustrated by means of an experiment with Aquatherm polypropylene pipe.
“In the course of my work, I have repeatedly found that plastic pipes can function better than metal pipes regarding fire protection, because there is virtually no heat conduction in plastic,” Lippe said.
He presented various fire protection bulkhead options and explained afterwards which details must be considered when planning rescue routes. From his point of view, for example, it is extremely important to ensure that the electrical function is maintained, and in the case of fire a smoke extraction system is operated for 90 minutes and security lighting for 30 minutes.
“The protection of buildings against fire only works if all functions are perfectly coordinated with each other,” Lippe concluded.
Here you can download the presentation “The protection of buildings against fire
– a challenge for planners and craftsmen” in PDF format.
How can ice energy storage and rooftop solar panels contribute to the energy transition? This question was addressed by Heiko Lüdemann.
First, the managing director of Viessmann Eis-Energiespeicher GmbH presented an ice energy storage system using water as the storage medium.
“The system stores renewable energy at a low temperature level between four and 12 degrees Celsius without loss,” he explained. “We use a heat pump to extract energy from the water. When the water reaches a temperature of 0°C, it ices up slowly. During this phase-change between the liquid state and icing as much energy is released as is needed to heat water from 0 to 80°C. This effect makes the system very efficient: First, ice is created, and the resulting energy is used for heating the building. Then ice then can be used by the customer next summer to cool the building.”
In conjunction with the power roof (a combination of a photovoltaic system with a solar air absorber) two more energy sources are opened up and energy-independence is increased.
“We have almost CO2-free applications and excellent cost-effectiveness,” Lüdemann said. “Based on simulations and then, during operation of the plant, real numbers, the system would be optimally designed and adapted to the respective needs of the customer.”
Lüdemann stated that in recent years, his company and its customers have received more than 40 innovation and environmental awards using this innovative method of heating and air conditioning.
He also drew attention to the cooperation between Viessmann Eis-Energiespeicher GmbH and Solsixy GmbH in Stuttgart. Together, the two companies offer a glass facade with an ice energy storage for electricity and heat generation.