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Dimensions and Protection Goals of Sustainable Building

Sustainability is usually described in the classical three dimensions of ecology, economy and socio-culture, from which specific sustainability goals are derived. Among the objectives are the protection of the environment, resources, health, culture and capital. The three dimensions must be considered simultaneously and equally.

Simultaneous and Equal Consideration of Different Goals

Protection goals are assigned to the social and cultural dimension that affect both social and cultural identity and the perception of human values. These include above all values such as health, mobility and quality of life as well as participation and cultural diversity. This dimension of sustainability thus focuses on the one hand on user needs and functionality, and on the other on the cultural and aesthetic quality of the building.

With regard to the ecological dimension of sustainability, the protection goals pursued are the conservation of resources through the optimised use of building materials and building products, low land use, the conservation and promotion of biodiversity and the minimisation of energy and water consumption.

In the economic dimension of sustainability, the follow-up costs of construction in particular are considered in addition to the investment costs. The focus is therefore on the building-related life cycle costs, the economic efficiency and the value stability of building measures.

In Germany, the three dimensions were supplemented by further dimensions for the building sector: The technical quality and the quality of planning and construction processes extend the assessment of building quality as cross-sectional qualities. The proposal for this national approach to sustainable building was discussed at the 2008 Sustainable Building Round Table, defined and anchored in the Assessment System for Sustainable Building. In addition, the selection of the location - and thus the location characteristics - also has a decisive influence on the sustainability quality of the building.