Integral Improvement of Buildings

Publication, 2009


T. Schrag, H. C. Leindecker, E. Heiduk, W. Gollner, C. Wartha, E. Stocker - Integral Improvement of Buildings - Proceedings of e-nova 2009, Pinkafeld, Austria, 2009, pp. 39-47


The research project “life cycle improvement of the building quality” has been developed in cooperation with five Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences (FH Kärtnen, FH Kufstein, FH Joanneum, FH Oberösterreich, FHS Burgenland), named „FH_netzwerk_BAU“. The focus of the project is to analyse and evaluate methods to assess decisions in the planning and their consequences on the life time of a building. With the aid of this integrative assessment within life cycle costs, ecological consequences and the user satisfaction a paradigm shift could be supported towards sustainable buildings. There is a considerable amount of sub topics related to the issue of LCC that have already been subject to analyses. Others have not been addressed at all. The calculation of investment costs often serves as the only basis for decision-making. Yet some buildings are already built and operated on the basis of LCC considerations. The same is true for ecobalances—sometimes referred to as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The existing set of approaches for assessment is used only in a limited number of decision processes. However the purpose of a certain building does not lie in cost efficiency or in environmental compatibility—its main purpose needs to be focused on usabil-ity. This inevitably is connected to the planned and accomplished quality. Hence any exami-nation of the building would not be complete without an assessment of its quality. This issue is included in the—much discussed—systems of certification (e.g. LEED, DGNB) on one hand and in several measures for quality assurance on the other hand. The development of a common methodology for this issue is planned as well. (Total Quality Assessment = TQA) Calculations of expected effects on the life cycle (both ecological and economic) due to deci-sions in the planning phase are hardly carried out. One reason for this lies in the complexity of existing models making them hard to apply in praxis. This naturally leads to a break be-tween the planning and the operation of a building. In addition controllability of conse-quences of a certain building in an ecological and economic sense is the highest in the plan-ning phase. This, however, decreases with the time elapsed. In this context is only very roughly structured data for early decisions necessary. The project features two main outputs. One is the creation of a common database on building life cycle topics, the other is a com-prehensive guideline on sustainable building. This delivers means for both planning sustain-able buildings in the future but also for further research on this highly important field.