Build for Sustainability with Modular Construction
What is sustainable construction?
Sustainable building means consciously dealing with and employing available resources and the reduction of energy consumption to a minimum, thus protecting the environment. When speaking about sustainable construction of buildings, one often thinks only of energy efficiency in operation and in the utilization of the building. However, the production of building materials as well as the construction and dismantling of a building consume large quantities of energy. A look at the entire life cycle - from the integral planning, through production, utilization and re-utilization, all the way to dismantling - and minimization of energy and resource consumption is therefore advisable for evaluating the sustainability of a building.
The concept for evaluating sustainability is based on a three-pillar model; frequently referred to as the “three-pillar principle of sustainability” or “three-pillar concept of sustainability.” It takes ecological, economic and sociocultural aspects into account and assumes that sustainability can only be achieved through the simultaneous and equal implementation of environmental, economic and social goals. Sustainable construction refers to the implementation of the three-pillar model in the planning and construction process.
The Three-pillar Model of Sustainability in the Construction Process
When talking about sustainable construction, the three pillars must not be considered individually, but all aspects must be included in the planning of the building on an equal footing. This is referred to as integral planning. It consists of the three following pillars.
The ecological quality of a building represents one of the three main pillars of sustainability. It considers the aspects of resource conservation, environmental protection and minimizing the energy requirements of a building. This aspect is increasing in importance due to climate change, rising energy prices and dwindling resources.
The economic quality is the second pillar of sustainability. For sustainable construction, this means that all phases in the life cycle of a building are taken into account in its economic assessment; from planning through construction to dismantling. The cost efficiency of a construction project is evaluated using the so-called life cycle cost analysis.
Sociocultural and Functional Quality
The third pillar of sustainability is sociocultural and functional quality. This is about the acceptance and appreciation of a building by its users. Social values such as healthy living, quality of life and aesthetic design play a role here.
Aspects of the Ecological Quality of Modular Buildings
Aspects of the Economic Quality of Modular Buildings
This makes it possible to dismantle a modular building without leaving any residue by disassembling it into its individual modules. These can then be reassembled as a “mobile property” at another location — or the modules can be returned to the factory.
Aspects of the Socio-cultural and Functional Quality of Modular Buildings
ALHO Modular Construction is the Recipient of the Gold DGNB-Mehrfach-Zertifikat
The German Sustainable Building Council - DGNB e.V. - is an organization that has set itself the task of developing and promoting ways and solutions for sustainable planning, construction and use of buildings. The heart of the DGNB is the association with its approximately 1,200 members, which also include ALHO.
ALHO supports the values and principles of the DGNB and would like to make a contribution to the topic of sustainability in construction with its membership. The DGNB is committed to raising public awareness of sustainable construction. To this end, DGNB certifies buildings that provide evidence of the sustainability of the building. ALHO has been recognized for not only a single building, rather an entire building system has received the Gold DGNB-Mehrfach-Zertifikat (certification of sustainability for multiple and serial construction) as proof of sustainable construction.
The DGNB certification system for sustainable construction serves the objective description and assessment of the sustainability of buildings and neighborhoods. In DGNB-certified buildings, quality is assessed comprehensively across the entire building life cycle. The system takes all essential aspects of sustainable construction and the sustainability of buildings into account. In addition to the topics of ecology, economy, sociocultural and functional aspects from the three-pillar model, the areas of technology, processes and location are also assessed.
The DGNB awards the “Seal of Sustainable Construction” in the quality levels of platinum, gold, silver and bronze. ALHO has received the multiple certificate in gold for its construction system.