The issues moves between concepts -such as lessons learned from the proposed zero-carbon Masdar City- to case studies, on which several experts analyze a series of case studies in terms of lighting, materials, energy, etc.
More after the break.
Sustainability is high on the agenda of public debate, but the variety of interpretations of what this term actually means is bemusing. They range from idiosyncratic definitions to “greenwashing”, or giving a veneer of sustainability to buildings, products and services that are definitely not environmentally sound.
Certification systems like LEED, BREEAM and DGNB are aimed at bringing more transparency to the business of rating sustainability. They claim to cover and assess all the aspects of sustainability that are relevant to buildings. But precisely this is what some architects are sceptical about: Once these schemes are introduced, will all those other qualities of a building be neglected – the ones that can’t be expressed in figures? Or do such labels simply broaden the way people look at architecture? In future issues of DETAIL Green, we will be looking more closely at these issues. Certainly, the certification criteria do leave scope for a wide variety of architectural solutions, as the projects featured here show. Among them is Germany’s most sustainable office building, rated according to the DGNB system, and the first building fulfilling the requirements for Swiss Minergie-P-Eco certification.
Other questions explored this month by contributors to DETAIL Green include: How sustainable are constructions made of timber or timber-based products? What impact is climate change having on building design? And: How do you go about planning a zero-carbon city in the desert of Abu Dhabi? Masdar City, an urban development supplied exclusively with renewable energy, inspired the cover design for this issue. It shows the shading over the city’s central plaza, in a complex to be built in the coming years to designs by LAVA Architects. Masdar City, too, has had accusations of “greenwashing” levelled at it. Too expensive and exclusive to qualify as sustainable, say the critics. The supporters respond by pointing out that, as a test lab for sustainable technology, the city will spur on advances from which we will all later benefit. Find out more about the different types of technology behind this venture and how they are integrated into the energy concept for the city in the “Background” section. As well as DETAIL Green the magazine, we also offer our readers regular up-to-date information on sustainable architecture on our website. Just go to www.detail.de/english and click on the “GREEN” tab.
- Jakob Schoof, DETAIL Green
Editor-in-chief: Christian Schittich
Editor: Jakob Schoof
Freelance Assistants: Burkhard Franke and Yvonne Meschederu
Hype or a vision of the future? “Cradle to Cradle” in the Netherlands / Anneke Bokern
Publications, News and Information, Events
Building for climate change – global waming and its consequences / Peter Werner, Elke Chmella-Emrich
Learning from Masdar City? How to plan a zero-carbon city / Interview with Matthias Schuler
Paul-Wunderlich-Haus in Eberswalde / Urban rejuvenation
3-family house in Liebefeld / Solar-powered home
Zero-energy housing development: solaR2 in Munich / Winning the energy game
Research and practice
Solar-thermal air conditioning / Bernhard Lenz
Improving the energy efficiency of historic buildings / Michaela Hoppe
Sustainable use of materials: wood and wood-based products / Martin Zeumer, Viola John, Joost Hartwig
digitalSTROM: Building automation using high-voltage technology / Richard Staub
Products and materials
Testing green credentials: “Deutsches Gütesiegel Nachhaltiges Bauen” / Interview with Christine Lemaitre and Peter Mösle
Sustainable sourcing of construction products / Jo Mundy
Persons and organizations involved in the planning
Editorial and publishing data/photo credits