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Adequate and Robust

Sustainable building also includes a long service life for building materials and technical equipment. For this reason, users' expectations of the building and the building services should be coordinated at an early stage and appropriate construction methods investigated.

Determining Permanently Functioning Solutions

Sustainable construction does not favour specific technical solutions, but rather compares the ecological, economic and socio-cultural impacts of different systems. With a holistic planning approach, the optimal implementation for each construction measure is to be developed. It often turns out that in buildings the expected effects (e.g. energy savings) are not always achieved through the use of high technology. One possible cause may be excessive system complexity.

The degree of technologisation of buildings is increasingly discussed because the expected advantages do not always occur. The goals and requirements should therefore be agreed upon at an early stage.

Certain technical solutions are the result of user expectations - for example, when a summer interior temperature is expected that can only be guaranteed by mechanical cooling. Adequate user expectations and robust technology solutions are part of sustainable building, even if no measurable criteria have been introduced. Technology assessment therefore takes place at the level of individual planning decisions.

In a broader understanding of sustainability, the planning, construction and subsequent operation of a building can also be about keeping complexity as low as possible and preferring robust solutions. A high durability of building products and technical installations is also an important prerequisite for the robustness of a structural solution

The technical quality is addressed in the sustainability rating, but the degree of technology and technical reliability so far have eluded the sustainability rating. Possible risks include unscheduled processes, defects and damage in the operation of buildings.

One aspect of technical quality is to balance low tech and high tech - neither is more sustainable per se. But both have to do with sufficiency: What do we really need, what is enough to cover construction needs? A guiding principle in this context is the simplicity of the solutions in planning and during the use phase.


At the centre of the considerations for an adequate and robust building design are:

  • Intensive consideration of what users actually need (sufficiency strategy)
  • Transparency of decisions in the planning process and with regard to the functions of the building
  • Innovations without excessive demands for building operators and users - based on available competence and trust
  • Simple and robust solutions - "tolerant behaviour" of buildings towards defects and operating errors

The points mentioned apply to the planning concepts as well as to construction procedures and the subsequent operation. For example, built "low tech" can be "high tech" in planning.