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SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT OF HOUSES

Torsten Mielecke

The special significance of the building and real estate industry for sustainable
development has been recognized for a considerable time. This has been reflected in the
development of different analysis and evaluation system for the sustainability performance
of buildings. In the past few years in Germany, various tools for assessment of buildings in
terms of sustainability were developed. In particular, the public presence of DGNB system
Deutschen

Gesellschaft

fr

Nachhaltiges

Bauen

e.V.

(DGNB)

and

the

Bewertungssystem Nachhaltiges Bauen fr Bundesgebude (BNB) have achieved the


BMVBS. Earlier these systems were only focused on commercial buildings, such as Office
buildings, educational buildings, and industrial buildings. Hence an essential part of the
building environment has been excluded. Consequently the small residential buildings and
especially the single-family homes could not be analyzed with any of the sustainability
ratings named above. Just in autumn of 2012 a system version for the new small residential
buildings was introduced by the DGNB e.V. In the first application of this system showed
that this system which is derived from the office building system is an elaborating process.
The processing period of at least four to six weeks must be assumed. In that case this
system is too costly for the average owner of a single-family house. The DGNB system
aims in the current configuration to prefer prefabricated house manufacturers or developers
that prefabricate a building type several times and thus the costs of evaluation can be
spread on several buildings. According to a representative survey of the Federal Ministry
for the Environment, about 50% of the populations are willing to pay up to 10% more for
environmentally friendly products (1). By using this approach, a sustainability assessment
and optimization would cost a maximal amount of 2,000 to 3,000 .

This is the result of a LBS study which is based on conclusion that an average terraced
house in Germany costs 210,000 (2). For the sustainability assessment means this result
that the rating system is held so simple in its systematic that it can be used without
complex calculations and evidence guides. At the same time the system must capture the
essential aspects of sustainability, regardless of the proven construction experience of the
client. The main aspects of sustainability are divided into environmental, economic and
social-functional qualities of a property. Looking at the different qualities in details, at
least the following criteria should be considered in single-family homes:

Environmental quality: energy consumption, pollutants in the building / healthy


living, fresh water consumption, land consumption

Economical quality: life-cycle costs, user information / monitoring, site inspection,


maintenance schedule for building services

Social-functional quality: safety, acoustic protection, preparation of age-appropriate


housing, adaptability of the floor plans.

This approach is consistently developed at the IfM and in cooperation with the LCEE
GmbH transferred in an evaluation system.
(1) Borgstedt, Silke; Reusswig, Fritz (2010): Umweltbewusstsein in Deutschland 2010.
Ergebnisse einer reprsentativen Bevlkerungsumfrage. Bundesministerium fr Umwelt,
Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, Berlin 2010.
(2) LBS (Hrsg.) (2012): Markt fr Wohnimmobilien 2012. Pressemeldung vom
24.06.2012, Berlin 2012.