Print page
Magazine G2/2012

Green 2/2012

DETAIL Green 2/2012

In recent months, there has been a remarkable transformation of awareness in Germany. At last, the ‘energy turnaround’ towards a way of living and economic management without fossil fuels and nuclear energy has become the focus of a concrete public conversation. Instead of mere political declarations of intent, attention is finally being paid to the conflict of goals and interests, the questions of finance and the cultural consequences inevitably associated with such an ambitious millennial project.

This development is often painful, but nevertheless necessary and welcome. However, it also requires increased awareness, particularly among experts. Otherwise, well-intentioned solutions will be torpedoed and prejudices will be upheld when differentiation is what is actually needed. We have seen numerous examples of this in the recent public discourse. Blind polemic against thermal insulation – to mention but one of them - is just as fruitless as its non-selective application to historic facades.

Awareeness is also essential so that the energy discussion does not constrict the view of the overall, large-scale situation. Issues such as water management and bio-diversity are just as important as protection of the climate. There are also the social and economic questions of sustainable building: how can the gentrification of entire city districts be halted? How do we prevent future speculation bubbles in the real-estate market which result in thousands of vacant new buildings as on Spain’s Mediterranean coast? How do we retain clean, healthy indoor air in today’s new buildings, whose composition is often rather like an unknown cocktail of chemicals?

This current issue of DETAIL Green looks beyond the boundaries of the energy debate. It showcases buildings that offer solutions for the efficient use of water, healthy interiors as well as more bio-diversity in our cities and towns. However, these examples also underline the fact that it is not sufficient to merely do the ‘homework’ involved in ecologically sustainable building. It is also high time that architects once again bring the positive potential of their own discipline into the debate. After all, humans have two cerebral hemispheres: the left one for rational problem-solving, while the right, for perception, intuition and creativity. Only with buildings that stimulate both hemispheres equally, does sustainable building have a future.                                                    

01.11.2012
Translations of issue 0/2012
French (432,29 KB)
Italian (308,60 KB)
Contents in issue 0/2012

BedZED and after - the enduring influence of Britain’s best known eco-district

S. 4

One of, if not the key sustainable housing projects of the early 2000’s in Britain was BedZED, the South London ...

mehr

Electro-mobility: a dead end?

S. 18

More than a dozen ‘surplus energy’ homes are currently available by the German prefab housing market, a trend that is ...

mehr

»Low-carbon buildings are all about people«

S. 70

»You could say that I spent 10-15 years of my career doing computer modelling and calculations of buildings and climate ...

mehr

Quality management for healthy indoor spaces

S. 55

Air is our most important form of sustenance, nevertheless the quality of indoor air in buildings is often disregarded to ...

mehr

A resource-saving synergy: hybrid timber constructions for high-rise buildings

S. 50

Multi-storey buildings are still rarely built from timber. Usually building codes and fire protection regulations prohibit greater heights than four ...

mehr

Zero Energy Buildings - a term with ­various meanings

S. 70

Since the beginning of the 1990s buildings have been built all over the world which claim to achieve ‘zero energy’ ...

mehr

Solar technology in building envelopes

S. 52

A common criticism is that moves to integrate solar technology into buildings would fail due to architects who are seldom ...

mehr

Buildings as resource stores: Recycling-friendly construction in practice

S. 48

Completed in December 2011 in Berlin, the pilot project, »Efficiency House Plus with Electric Mobility« is a significant step towards ...

mehr

Progress through restraint

S. 42

Up until today, Halle-Neustadt has retained its built structure from Soviet times. Despite their vast scale, the large L-shaped blocks ...

mehr

Tradition and progress combined

S. 36

Referencing regional features has become commonplace among Voralberg's architects. Timber building, wood craft and recently also façades clad with wood ...

mehr

Official role model

S. 30

To challenge, to promote and to set an example – this simple set of three rules should be taken to ...

mehr

Energy turnaround made affordable

S. 22

The residential buildings designed by bogevischs buero are part of a new development comprising a total of 142 apartments in ...

mehr

Cities and climate change

S. 18

The figures are impressive: Berlin aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% by the year 2020, London is planning ...

mehr

Growth potential

S. 9

Lancaster University is undertaking efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by 35% between 2005 and 2012.

mehr

Triangle of sustainability

S. 11

A zero-energy building for the same price as a ‘normal’ new-build is what the town of Hørsholm, close to Copenhagen, ...

mehr

Municipal power centre

S. 12

The merger with five other municipalities provided the stimulus for the Danish town of Viborg to develop a new town ...

mehr

Where tradition meets technology

S. 10

The outward appearance of Glenn Howell’s ‘The Triangle’ housing estate in Swindon is somewhat deceptive.

mehr

Energy efficiency export

S. 12

The German Passive House Standard is now also gaining ground in the United States. An example is “Haus 125” in ...

mehr

Mission Zero

S. 8

The logistics company TNT is planning to become a totally CO2-neutral business within the next few years.

mehr

Not just buildings: Sustainability and the London 2012 Olympics

S. 4

In a few weeks’ time, “the least unsustainable Olympic Games yet” will climax in two weeks of sporting events, watched ...

mehr