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Bauwerke effizient und nachhaltig planen, bauen und managen mit BIM-Software von der Nemetschek GroupBauwerke effizient und nachhaltig planen, bauen und managen mit BIM-Software von der Nemetschek Group


Sustainability plays an important role in the resource-intensive construction industry, not only in terms of achieving climate targets, but also for the future of the AEC/O industry.

Therefore, the requirements for sustainability and greener construction are increasing. Architects, engineers of all disciplines, contractors, property managers and building managers can use the solutions of the Nemetschek Group to plan more foresightedly, exchange information more efficiently and collaborate more productively.

This way of working can reduce the consumption of energy and resources throughout the entire construction life cycle, right through to the operation phase of a building

Germany’s most sustainable building yet is in the state of Swabia – in Kirchheim unter Teck, to be precise. It is known as the “polar bear building” and is the headquarters of the design company BANKWITZ. It has already received several awards from the German Sustainable Building Council (DBGN): Following successful platinum certifications in 2019 and 2020, the “polar bear building” is leading the way, as no other building to date has achieved such a high overall achievement rate in DGNB’s certification procedure. The building comprises three components, which were designed based on the passive house standard. One of the components even comes without its own heating system and is therefore considered climate-positive purely from a structural perspective.

BANKWITZ intends to raise public awareness of sustainability through its company headquarters. Moreover, the building was planned entirely using BIM. The reinforced concrete/timber hybrid construction lays a rigorous focus on sustainability: Resource-efficient concrete (RC) was used for the concrete work where possible. A timber frame construction made from prefabricated wooden elements with cellulose insulation forms the external walls. The facade of untreated, rough sawn timber can be dismantled and recycled without affecting the supporting structure.

Sustainability and conservation of resources are also priorities in the interior of the building: The heat needed for heating the building extension, component C, is derived from surplus energy from the existing “polar bear building”, components A + B, while electricity is generated and stored using the building’s own photovoltaic system and water is collected using a rainwater cistern. In addition, all the building technology is controlled by software, which means that shading can be adjusted exactly to the current conditions, for example.

The world’s first net-zero restaurant from McDonald’s in Florida serves not only as a fast-food restaurant, but also as a learning center for testing and developing sustainable approaches for the group’s restaurants. When the building of around 8,000 m² was renovated, solar collectors, mobile wall units, natural shading, solar lighting, innovative heat reduction technologies and a unique steel structure were used to create a sustainable building. The McDonald’s branch generates enough renewable energy to achieve a balance between the quantity of emissions produced and removed from the atmosphere – in other words, it is “climate neutral.”

The architecture of the building is also impressive, as the 18,000 m² butterfly roof, with its 10 m cantilever and mountings for over 1,000 solar panels, is unique. Due to wind sensitivity, the structure of the roof had to be anchored deep into the ground. The mainstays of the Drive Thru, which support the highest end of the roof, also had to be two-thirds filled with concrete. It was possible to plan the quantities exactly and thus also sustainably only through the use of software.

On the large outdoor terrace, interactive kiosks provide customers with information on environmental issues, how the renewable energy and efficiency features of the unique building work and why they are important. McDonald’s aims to obtain zero-energy certification from the International Living Future Institute for this branch.

The passive house “De Zonnegroet” – or “The Sun Salutation” – was built primarily from hemp lime. In addition, other high-quality ecological and bio-based building materials were used in this project in the Netherlands.

ORIO Architects from Soest designed a sophisticated structure for “De Zonnegroet,” which stands out for its dynamic design language. The highly clayey subsoil on the site in Zeewolde presented a particular challenge for this project. Accordingly, a special slab foundation was chosen: a continuous reinforced concrete slab with edge beams on an insulating and load-bearing layer of foamed concrete. This approach means that the ground pressure is very low, and the likelihood of settlements has been greatly reduced. The building itself is 95 % wood construction - roof slabs, floor slabs, walls and facades, beams and columns are all part of the structure - which was supplemented by a steel beam in the first floor living room area.

For the structural design, B2CO, Bureau voor Bouwkundig en Constructief Ontwerpadvies, worked with our SCIA Engineer software. With this solution, it was possible to create the entire building model and design most of the structural components. And: The complex building could be modeled very easily in SCIA Engineer for this purpose. Because several variants were calculated without much effort, the design could be adapted as needed during the construction process. The result is optimal stability conditions, which are particularly important for lightweight timber structures. The software also served as a communication tool within the planning team and ensured that both technicians and customers were always up to date.

Vienna is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. To meet the rising demand for affordable housing, a new district is being developed in the east of the city: aspern Seestadt. It is one of the largest urban development projects in Europe and is being built on the site of a former airfield. A large proportion of the buildings are being built using prefabricated construction methods. This involves manufacturing the elements off-site before transporting them to the construction site and combining them with other building components. This prefabrication method increases quality, reliability, and safety. It also raises productivity on the construction site and significantly reduces the amount of construction waste through more precise planning and optimizing materials. In addition, waste can be recycled directly at the factory. Prefabricated construction methods thus actually make it possible to reduce waste by 90 %. The impact of construction noise and dust on local residents is also reduced and there are time and cost savings. Working with software-based planning tools is a basic prerequisite for this. Planbar from ALLPLAN is one of the tools used by the planners at aspern Seestadt. One of the first prefabricated projects constructed in aspern Seestadt is the award-winning “town house D10”. The building complies with a low-energy standard and has a particular focus on resource efficiency. The origin of materials also plays a major role: The distance between the construction site and the production sites of some building materials is under 100 km.

Woodie’s, the market leader for DIY and construction market products with 35 branches in Ireland, uses a combination of energy management solutions and ongoing energy optimization techniques to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Woodie’s has already decreased CO2 by 14 % in the first year by using the DEXMA platform from Spacewell.

Woodie’s is supported by Energy & Technical Services (ETS), a European energy management and building technology provider. ETS follows a data-driven approach that uses real-time energy consumption data to generate sustained energy and CO2 savings. Woodie’s also uses the DEXMA platform to monitor energy consumption in all 35 branches in Ireland on a half-hourly basis. The map function of the DEXMA platform provides a geographical view of each branch and a color-coded benchmark. Each branch, with the lowest to the highest energy consumption, is categorized using various criteria. This function shows the user at a glance which branches in the entire portfolio are performing best or worst.

Energy-reducing measures can be defined on this basis. Automated notifications inform users regarding excessive energy consumption and help identify patterns of behavior. This creates outstanding opportunities to save energy on an ongoing basis and substantially increase sustainability.

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Alexander Siegmund

Senior Manager Digital Media +49 89 540459-255

Alexander Siegmund

Senior Manager Digital Media +49 89 540459-255