Blog/Why sustainability is a great way to backup design and product choices
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Why sustainability is a great way to backup design and product choices

Architects, first and foremost, face the challenge of designing a building that appeals to clients and investors. Another challenge is convincing contractors to adopt the selected products and materials. As it turns out, the topic of sustainability is a great way to encourage contractors to do just that. In this blog, we further elaborate on the matter.

Sustainability: effective leverage to justify design and product choices
So why does sustainability make for such effective leverage to justify design and product choices? Its power is related to the interest that clients and investors have in green buildings — and, consequently, in green building labels. A green building label is a sustainable construction certification that is accredited by a green building certification system. It states that a building is sustainable, and also how sustainable it is. The largest and most authoritative green building certification systems are: 

  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design);
  • BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method);
  • DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen [German Sustainable Building Council]).

To read about green building labels in greater detail, we recommend our whitepaper on the topic. 

But why exactly do green building labels matter to clients and investors? We answer that question first, before we follow up with why sustainability is an effective way for architects to justify design and product choices.

Why are green building labels so important for clients and investors?
A green building certification enables clients and investors to establish the quality and value — and therefore the competitiveness — of a new building beforehand. Clients and investors will increasingly require buildings to be sustainable because they generate less maintenance and operating costs, and because they represent a higher market value. The topic is discussed in greater detail in this blog. 

How does this relate to contractors adopting design and product choices of architects? 
For a project, a contractor has most likely received sustainability requirements from clients, investors, or owners, so it is in his best interest to produce a building that’s eligible for a green building label as well. As a result, architects can leverage the sustainability requirements to back up their design and product choices to contractors — on the condition that they use sustainable materials in their designs. The argument that sustainable materials contribute to the acquisition of a green building label is highly powerful.

If you would like to learn more about the contribution of sustainable materials to the acquisition of green building labels, this article should be of help. If you would like to learn about the green building label DGNB — and how this benefits architects and architect firms greatly — we recommend our new whitepaper on the topic. You can download your free copy here.