Pioneering aspects of Blue Buildings
Networking is in. Particularly since Web 2.0: Today, nearly everyone is a member of a social network, and friends and business associates talk about smart grids and the “Internet of Things”. Buildings are no exception to this trend – and increasingly they are being networked not only internally but also externally with other properties and infrastructure. Amongst other features, the building of the future will be able to optimize consumption and cut costs in a targeted way.
The price of electricity and energy will continue to increase in future. Buildings are already being designed to be energy self-sufficient – and even to produce surplus energy – to make them independent of this development. In the coming years, such passive and active homes will become standard and – in conjunction with smart grid energy – will redefine energy supply.
In the face of climate change, attempts to reduce carbon emissions have been made in all fields in recent years. The construction and real estate sectors are of great significance here, as they are responsible for approximately 33 percent of emissions. Zero-emission operation over the entire life cycle is therefore a declared goal of Blue Buildings – one that can only be achieved by fully addressing all influencing factors.
The building of the future has a symbiotic relationship with its surroundings and the environment. As part of closed material cycles, it works on the Cradle to Cradle® principle. According to this principle there are biological and technical cycles. At the end of their service life, all materials are returned to one of the material cycles. As a result, the building of the future does not produce any waste - all materials that leave the building are reprocessed or assimilated.
Flexibility of use
If a building's use changes, it must also adapt - quickly and without great expense or effort. With Blue Buildings, principals and designers do not limit themselves to a particular user or use, but keep future requirements in mind from the outset. Flexible axis grids simplify layout changes. Partition elements are designed to permit easy relocation. These initial investments are outweighed by the economic benefits over the life cycle of the property.
Steps of economic realization
Increasingly, the development of new technologies and ongoing globalization are accelerating work processes and changing work practices. To make your company innovative, productive and cost-efficient in this environment, work and production processes have to be optimized before you think about a building or remodeling.
Before the actual planning phase starts, the product - the Building - and project execution must be clearly defined. Project goals and performance specifications for the planners ensure a common thrust in accordance with the principal’s wishes. These are backed by an optimal execution strategy and the necessary project organization for its implementation.
Trouble-free construction requires careful planning. Building Information Modeling (BIM) optimizes the conventional planning process. This method allows innovations that were previously quite simply not possible. The result is production- and quality-oriented planning as the basis for cost-effective, largely defect-free and more efficient construction.
But even with BIM planning, a project can still go wrong. Ineffective processes delay the construction process, deadlines are missed, costs spiral and quality targets are not met. This does not happen with Lean Construction Management (LCM). Harmonized planning, logistics and construction processes in conjunction with KAIZEN enable production-focused construction with a predictable outcome.
Although building operation is the longest phase of the life cycle, it is often given too little thought or viewed in isolation from planning and execution. The consequences are disastrous: Building operation costs too much or does not meet expectations. Operation is economical if the principal decides on modular, standardized construction. This includes interdisciplinary product continuity as well as a sustainable product quality that is integrated into the material cycle.
The owner of an ageing building faces a number of questions: What should and can I do to keep or gain tenants and generate a reasonable rental income? As an owner-occupier, how can I increase the productivity and attractiveness of the building? With buildings constructed according to the criteria outlined above, such questions can be answered much more easily and cheaply - even in the case of a deconstruction.