Sustainability plays a crucial role within the construction sector. There is a major challenge to have a lower impact on the environment. Reducing the use of primary raw materials, energy, less waste and polluting emissions are the most important. There is a high demand for energy efficient buildings. This is also reflected in the increasing number of measuring instruments, standards and guidelines used to assess the sustainability of buildings. Van den Berg Bouwkundigen advises clients and contractors in determining which measures are necessary in order to qualify for the desired quality marks and to comply with the applicable standards. We prefer to do more then the standard.
The concept of sustainability has several definitions. How do we look at sustainability? Is a building with a low environmental impact sustainable? Or a building that will last a long time? Or is it the balance between them? Do we think a building that generates energy is sustainable? Or do we think a building that has added value for its environment is sustainable? In the Netherlands, BREEAM, GPR and MPG are important nationally recognised sustainability certifications for the assessment of sustainability within the construction industry. Each certification method assesses buildings on different categories, such as energy, environment, health, quality of use and future value. BREEAM and GPR look beyond the building.
Thanks to our extensive experience with these certification methods, we know which sustainability requirements are linked. Based on these calculations, a score is determined for each category. The higher the score, the more valuable the awarded certificate. The moment we test a too low score, we are able to give you the right advice on which measures are necessary to meet the requirements of the desired quality mark. We are not the one to decide on this, but we are happy to play an advisory role.
From the perspective of sustainability, circularity is an essential subject for construction. We provide an insight into circularity by means of several measurement programmes. Based on the results, we provide advice on which materials and their applications will raise the circularity to the desired level. BIM plays an important role in this. By recording the materials, including all specifications, in BIM, it is immediately clear after the utilisation phase of a building which materials it can supply for the development of new buildings.
For new buildings, both residential and non-residential, permit applications must meet the requirements for “nearly zero-energy buildings” (NZEB). In the Netherlands, we record energy performance using the BENG indicators. These proposed BENG requirements only apply to new buildings. The three BENG indicators on which the requirements are based are: energy demand, primary fossil energy use and share of renewable energy. Van den Berg Bouwkundigen is well aware of these developments and is therefore preparing for the introduction of BENG.