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Building Certification for Sustainable Construction

Ecological requirements for buildings are tough: Maximum energy savings must be achieved to enhance a building's overall energy balance. A number of certification systems can attest that your building has met these goals. However, the energy savings potential that can be achieved with these systems are not properly accounted for. The “eu.bac” system now closes this gap.

Benefits of a Certified Building:

  • Securing and increasing the market value of your building
  • Gaining a competitive edge on the real estate market through meaningful certification and a detailed eco-efficiency balance
  • Ecological sustainability and long-term profitability thanks to life cycle approaches
  • Protection against potential consequential costs using CO2-neutral Green Building concepts

  • Specialty controls for achieving the target building quality and results in operation
  • Optimization of building operation and reduction of operating costs
  • Portfolio optimization through lean approaches for energy and sustainability

Wide Range of Different Evaluation Systems for Building Certification

Tools and aids which map the entire life cycle of a building and make corresponding information available in the planning process are required for sustainable planning. They are also necessary for describing and evaluating buildings in terms of ecological, economic and social aspects. A number of such tools for evaluating the sustainability of buildings and construction products have been developed internationally during the last few years. Most of the seals of approval which exist today were specifically developed to reflect the needs of specific countries and are based on these countries' climatic, cultural and legal norms.

Why certify?
The goal of sustainable construction is to minimize the use of energy and raw materials. The focus here is on the entire life cycle of a building. As an important tool to promote sustainable construction, certification systems have been developed to evaluate the sustainability of buildings. In addition to a comprehensive overview, investors and architects also receive a tool to simplify planning and implementation. Buildings are also comparable to one another through certifications, providing builders with benchmarks.

Internationally Recognized Systems for Building Sustainability

BREEAM
The “Environmental Assessment Method” (EAM) for buildings was originally developed by the “Building Research Establishment” (BRE), a British research institute, under the name BREEAM. BRE has certified and operates more than 100,000 buildings in 15 countries outside Great Britain. This makes BREEAM the world's leading and most widely applied certification method for buildings.


DGNB
“German Society for Sustainable Building” (DGNB): The task of this organization is to develop and promote ways and solutions for the sustainable planning, construction and use of buildings. The DGNB evaluates quality over the complete life cycle of the building. When the specified criteria are fulfilled through the standard, DGNB awards bronze, silver and gold level certificates. DGNB also offers advance certification during the planning phase.

LEED
“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) is a classification system for ecological construction developed by the “U.S. Green Building Council.” The aim of this certification standard is to define a high-quality, ecological method of construction for healthier, more environmentally friendly and more profitable buildings. Buildings are evaluated by awarding points for individual criteria. The sum of points awarded determines how the building is classified for certification.

Automation Is Part of the Energy Certificate

On taking effect of EnEV 2014 on May 1, 2014, building automation (room, building, individual devices) is now part of the energy certification and the analysis procedure based on DIN V 18599 “Energy Efficiency of Buildings …, Part 11: Building Automation.”

Most Automation Systems Are Set Incorrectly
An investigation by the EU Commission has revealed just how important certified automation systems really are for the implementation of the EU Building directive: Around 50% of the energy used in buildings is wasted. The causes for this include incorrectly set or inefficiently operating automation systems. More than 70% of building automation in use operates using incorrect controller defaults.

Energy Savings Potential Widely Ignored for Building Certifications
The energy savings potential and life cycle aspects that can be achieved through building automation are not properly accounted for in today's building certifications (e.g., LEED, DGNB). The “eu.bac” system closes the gap present in assessment systems such as DGNB or Green Building, which do not provide the groundwork for comprehensive evaluation of automation systems in buildings.

“eu.bac” System Audit

Since the beginning of 2013, eu.bac has offered the “eu.bac” system audit for BACS building automation systems for energy-efficient and sustainable operation of building automation systems. Well designed and managed systems not only achieve the desired comfort, they also simultaneously optimize energy requirements. The process is based on existing standards (EN 15232, DIN V 18599) and has been scientifically investigated by the TU Dresden. Planners, investors and property owners use the system audits to save energy and operating costs over the entire life cycle of the building and ensure efficient and sustainable building operation. eu.bac certification guarantees users that the products and systems used in the construction of their building comply with the European standards for energy efficiency – such as EN 15232.

WAGO – Member of eu.bac
In joining the European Building Automation and Controls Association (“eu.bac”), WAGO strategically expanded the scope of its building automation operations: Seven WAGO staff members from the firm’s Project Sales Building Automation division are part of a group of specially trained “eu.bac” system auditors. Over the course of an audit, they provide transparency and fully inform operators about the state of their technology. eu.bac system certification helps save energy and operating costs and ensures energy-efficient and sustainable operation of the HVAC, lighting and shading systems installed in the building.

Building Certifications with WAGO:
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