Identification of greenhouse gas emissions benchmarks for the construction of buildings in different planning phases

Apart from the 'performance gap', we now know how to achieve low or even negligible energy consumption in buildings in the operating phase. However, the savings are clearly at the expense of building materials and their consumption of non-renewable primary energy ('grey energy') and associated greenhouse gas emissions. The final extent of building material consumption is influenced to a greater or lesser extent, favourably or unfavourably, by decisions made in the various planning phases of a building. Progressive builders and planners often want to know how much environmental savings potential can still be tapped in specific planning phases through the use of alternative 'green' building materials.

The proposed project therefore pursues to identify benchmarks (incl. possible variations of greenhouse gas emissions) for the construction of buildings in the respective planning phase. For the preliminary study phase, MINERGIE-ECO projects will be evaluated on the basis of suitable key figures for the project. Case studies of different types of load-bearing structures will be used to show the savings potential that can be achieved in the preliminary design phase. Then case studies comparing the most common building components and materials with ecofriendly alternatives will be used to demonstrate the savings potential that can be achieved in the construction phase. Finally, case studies of interior fittings will be used to demonstrate the savings potential in the implementation phase.

The results of the study will be condensed into a guideline in German, French and Italian on the optimisation potential of greenhouse gas emissions in the construction of buildings and common components at different planning phases. These results can also serve as a basis for developing alternative new construction solutions and as a starting point for specific additions to reconstruction procedures.