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Identifying the relevance of construction products for building certification

: Wittstock, Bastian; Sedlbauer, Klaus; Wallbaum, Holger

Hauser, Gerd (Ed.); Lützkendorf, Thomas (Ed.); Essig, Natalie (Ed.) ; TU München; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology -KIT-; Fraunhofer-Institut für Bauphysik -IBP-, Stuttgart:
Implementing sustainability - barriers and chances. Book of full papers : April 24 - 26, 2013; SB 13 Munich
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2013
ISBN: 978-3-8167-8982-6 (E-Book)
Sustainable Building Conference (SB) <2013, Munich>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IBP ()

The certification of sustainable buildings can easily be seen as one of the relevant drivers for current discussions concerning sustainability in the construction sector. The quality of.a certification depends on various factors, one being the choice of the materials and construction products used. The importance of the choice of the right material is frequently emphasised, yet rarely proven or quantified. Quantitative information on the performance of products with regard to sustainable buildings certification, however, forms the basis for the selection of objectively best performing products, as well as for further optimization of construction products.
This article outlines a method to analyse the influence of a construction product on the outcome of a building certification process. The method identifies links between categories of construction products and certification indicators. On the basis of these links, the relation of product properties and indicator mechanisms are described and the influence of individual products and their properties can be quantified. The use of the method is applied to the certification system of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) and demonstrated for one specific construction product, a wall-mounted acoustic absorber.
The results of the case study highlight the relevance of specific indicators for the product. They indicate, on which product properties the focus of future product improvements should lie. Additionally, a thorough understanding of the systematics of the underlying certification system can be extracted from the application of the method.
The method reflects a basis for further systematic analyses of the principles and mechanisms of building certification systems. It also provides a scientific foundation for an impartial discussion on the relevance of construction products or product categories for building certification. On this basis, further product developments and product innovation, as well as objective product choices by planners, may be anticipated.
This article summarizes the dissertation of the corresponding author.