A green building is a building developed strictly according to the principles of sustainability. This sustainability encompasses the building’s whole life cycle, starting with the planning of the construction project and continuing on through its execution, the building’s subsequent operation and maintenance, and its final demolition. Green buildings are designed to have as little impact as possible on the environment. Buildings, after all, are major consumers of energy and water, so they directly affect the environment and atmosphere.
The way a building’s technology is designed and operated plays the most important role of all.
Sustainability is one of Liebert’s most important principles. We can provide you with expert assistance in planning your innovative and sustainable building technology with the highest levels of energy efficiency and economy – from planning, to construction supervision, to monitoring. For office buildings, industry and production, laboratory buildings, residential buildings and healthcare buildings.
These are areas in which building technology can involve the following concepts:
- Rainwater and greywater utilisation
- Geothermal energy, solar heat, heat pumps, process heat utilisation
- Direct cooling, adiabatic air cooling, solar cooling
- Moisture recovery, adiabatic waste air cooling
- Wind power, hydropower
- Photovoltaic systems that generate a building’s own energy
- Geothermal energy and combined heat and power systems
- Cooling ceilings
- Heat recovery
- Building and energy management systems for permanently monitoring and controlling energy flows
The carbon-neutral building
Carbon-neutral buildings have to be highly energy-efficient and therefore require very precise anticipatory planning. Their energy has to be supplied exclusively from sustainable energy sources on site, or procured from sustainable sources. Operating a carbon-neutral building ultimately means that the electricity used by its technical supply systems has to be generated entirely from renewable sources. This fact alone places rigorous and complex demands on a specialised building’s technical equipment.
In our projects, we go a step further and develop technologies that make buildings carbon-neutral throughout their life cycles and also compensate for the carbon emissions produced during their construction. To achieve this, not only must their overall operation be carbon-neutral, they must produce a negative carbon balance, such as by generating energy renewably. This can only be achieved if the technology within the building produces more energy on site from sustainable sources than the building consumes by operating. It is for buildings like these, which are genuinely carbon-free over their entire life cycles, that the LEED and DGNB certification systems are being developed and updated.
Germany’s political aim of reducing its carbon emissions to zero by 2030 calls for innovative new strategies. If this target is to be met, buildings and technical supply systems that are being planned and built now will have to meet the requirements today.
Certifying sustainable buildings
The certification of buildings, including the technical supply systems installed in them, is becoming increasingly important in the world of sustainable and green building. Various national and international rating systems exist to this end.
Buildings certified in compliance with the DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council), BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, UK), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, USA) or equivalent national schemes not only produce less carbon emissions, they function more economically and efficiently and are comfortable for users. This in turn can make them more profitable to sell.
The LEED rating system, for example, requires that planning teams work together across different disciplines, from the preliminary planning phase to the completion of the building. It assesses a building across the categories of sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environment quality and design innovation. LEED certification comes in Silver, Gold and Platinum.
DGNB certification goes beyond the ecological factors of green building and gives equal weight to the economic performance of a building as well as its socio-cultural and functional aspects. The DGNB system therefore considers every aspect of sustainable building and awards outstanding projects Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates.
BREEAM is the longest established sustainable building certification system and awards six levels of certification using a simple points system involving ten assessment categories. Its criteria consider impacts at a global, regional, local and indoor level.
What all of these rating systems have in common is the idea of integral planning, which defines a project’s sustainable building aims at an early stage, then implements them consistently until the building is finished and operating.
If a building is successfully certified, its sustainability can be measured and compared against other buildings.
Liebert has been a member of the DGNB for years. Our expertise in sustainably and ecologically planning supply technology is demonstrated by numerous successfully certified projects. Many of our office buildings have received DGNB Gold and LEED Platinum awards.
At Liebert, we want to help shape our future sustainably, because we are aware of our responsibility and know just how much potential building technology has to help that happen.
You too can use your project to help make things more sustainable. Trust in our expertise, experience and standards. Working with you, we can develop your own sustainable overall solution so that you can be part of building the future.
Feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.
Thomas Liebert, Patrick Merkt, Stefan Ballmer
Phone +49 771 158979 - 0