GENERIS®: Life-cycle-oriented planning of buildings
The worldwide demand for resources, which already today greatly exceeds the capacity of our environment for natural regeneration, continues to increase. The building and construction industry, one of the most resource-intensive economic sectors, makes a significant contribution to this effect: Around 40 percent of primary energy requirements and around 33 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe are due to the built environment. To counter this development, future buildings must be optimized not only with regard to their energy requirements but also in terms of their environmental emissions over the entire life cycle. The extraction of resources for production of the building materials, energy requirements in the use phase, and dismantling and the recycling of materials, are parameters that must be given due consideration with a view to economical treatment of resources.
The progress made in energy savings over the past few years can be statistically confirmed: The primary energy demand of a residential house averaged 150 kWh/(m²a) in 1990, but is now less than 50 kWh/(m²a) (see Fig. 1). Promising pilot projects in the area of energy-efficient building construction undercut this figure, for example plus-energy houses, which produce more energy than is required for their operation.