How can we design our buildings so that they are not only environmentally friendly, but also economical? The answer is green building concepts.
Green buildings aim to minimize their impact on the environment, conserve natural resources, and create healthy and comfortable indoor spaces.
Around the globe, there are now a number of successful sustainable buildings that are making an important contribution to climate protection. We have summarized what it takes, where the successful “green buildings” are located and why it makes sense for companies to rely on green building concepts.
Right on trend: Green building concepts are also becoming increasingly popular in business and politics. Investors are demanding sustainable projects, both in terms of ecological aspects and economic success. This is not just about the CO2 balance. Thanks to the use of renewable energies, the use of sustainable materials and the implementation of intelligent building management systems, investments experience added value and high savings can be achieved in the long term.
The European Union’s guideline for the sustainability assessment of financial products, the ESG principles (Environment, Social and Governance), plays an essential role. With the help of the ESG factors, we create a uniform and transparent classification system for sustainable economic activities and allow investors and companies to determine and plan the impact of sustainability in buildings.
What is the goal of ESG compliance?
Goal of ESG compliance is to provide a common language and criteria for assessing sustainability. It aims to ensure that sustainable activities have a clear and measurable positive impact on the environment and society.
Green buildings leading the way
The issue is not only driven by regulation, rising energy prices are prompting building owners to act as low utility costs become a competitive advantage. Real estate revaluation driven by rising interest rates is also driving compliance with ESG criteria to secure financing into sustainable real estate projects, bringing green building concepts to the forefront.
We have summarized some examples of green buildings here:
- Bullitt Center in Seattle, USA: The office building is considered the most sustainable in the world. It is completely self-sustaining with renewable energy and uses 80% less energy than a comparable office building. The architects used materials with a low ecological footprint, such as recycled wood.
- House of the Future in Vienna, Austria: If you want to live sustainably, live here. The building is a passive house and has a zero-emissions balance. Renewable energy and regenerative resources such as rainwater and solar energy are used.
- One Angel Square in Manchester, United Kingdom: One of the most sustainable buildings in the world that already meets the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement 2050. Thanks to the intelligent building management system, which optimizes energy consumption and improves the well-being of employees, One Angel Square achieves a high environmental standard, which has also been confirmed by BREEAM certification (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).
- The Edge in Amsterdam, Netherlands: An outstanding example of a green-building office building that underlines the claim of sustainability. It has received numerous awards and certifications, including LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. It is also one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe. Thanks to an intelligent building management system and renewable energy, The Edge generates more energy than it consumes.
- Smart Green Tower, Freiburg: The building was designed with a focus on energy efficiency and uses a combination of passive house and plus energy house principles to minimize energy consumption. It features a highly thermally insulated building envelope, energy-efficient windows and sophisticated building technology to reduce energy demand. A large part of its energy needs is generated on site from renewable energy sources. The use of smart – technology and the use of sensors and automation systems ensures to optimize energy consumption and improve the comfort of users. The building has green facades and rooftops that help improve air quality and serve as habitats for plants and animals, and sustainable materials that are environmentally friendly and have a low environmental impact were used in the construction of the Smart Green Tower. This includes, for example, the use of recycled or recyclable building materials.
Examples that show us that there are many ways to put green building concepts into practice, saving energy, conserving resources and having a positive impact on the environment. But it’s not just residential and office buildings that rely on ESG factors. REWE Group has also been focusing on sustainability for many years, implementing projects in the field of green building concepts. Already in 2018, the logistics center in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt am Main opened, which was certified according to the criteria of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) and received the highest award in gold. It is the first logistics center in Germany to be certified to this standard.
The utility sector can also use green
Optimized energy efficiency and a photovoltaic system that covers part of the electricity requirements make the logistics center a sustainable building. A heat recovery system uses the waste heat from the cooling units to heat the center. As a result, the logistics center consumes around 40% less energy than a conventional building. Another important element of the building is the green roof. This not only helps to improve the microclimate and reduce the urban heat island effect, but also serves as a habitat for plants and animals. In addition to the logistics center in Neu-Isenburg, REWE Group is also implementing other green building projects, such as the REWE stores, and is thus not only setting a strong example for sustainability, but also demonstrating that green building concepts can be successfully implemented not only in office or commercial construction, but also in retail.
Component for a green future
Overall, green building concepts are an important component for a sustainable future. By implementing and realizing ESG factors, investors can ensure that projects are sustainable and thus successful in the long term. One partner that supports the implementation of green building concepts and thus future-proof, sustainable real estate projects through thoughtful ESG consulting is workcloud24. The company offers a wide range of solutions from ESG consulting, ESG software, ESG certification to financing of energy efficient modernizations for real estate investors and developers.