26. January 2023 | Magazine:

Sustainable management of existing buildings Development of a guideline for owners and project developers

Demolish or reuse? To enable owners and project developers to make better decisions, the Chair of Infrastructure and Real Estate Management and the Chair of Construction Engineering and Management want to develop a holistic support model for the sustainable management of existing buildings in a joint research project.

The research team wants to develop a holistic decision support model for the sustainable revitalisation of non-residential real estate (from left): Professor Patrick Schwerdtner (IBB), Axel Fricke (IBB), Meno Requardt (VW Immobilien), Professor Tanja Kessel (IIM), Ivan Binder (Volksbank BraWo Projekt GmbH), Constantin Falter (IIM), Jan-Peer Skupin (VW Immobilien). Photo credit: Dieter Beckert/TU Braunschweig

The building and real estate industry plays a central role on the path to climate neutrality. The resource and energy consumption of the building stock as well as construction activities take up around 30 percent of the global shares in the respective consideration category. For the efficient use of space – especially in inner-city areas – it is therefore necessary to reduce the vacancy rate of office, commercial and industrial properties and to create space that meets demand through conversion.

However, up to now, deciding between the development of existing buildings and demolition with subsequent new construction has often been based primarily on economic aspects. The aim of the project is to create a holistic evaluation basis that supports the decision-making of owners and project developers. In doing so, the research team wants to focus more strongly on the ecological and social sustainability dimensions.

The aim of the research project is to develop a decision-making basis for the sustainable use of existing buildings. Picture credits: IIM/TU Braunschweig

By developing a guideline for action and a decision-making model, the researchers want to make the handling of existing buildings more transparent and promote the preservation and sustainable further development of the real estate stock.

The project “GEnRe NWI – Ganzheitliches Entscheidungsunterstützungsmodell zur nachhaltigen Revitalisierung von Nichtwohnimmobilien” (GEnRe NWI – holistic decision support model for the sustainable revitalisation of non-residential real estate) is part of the “Zukunft Bau” initiative of the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development and is funded with 200,000 euros. The project also receives funding from Volkswagen Immobilien GmbH and Volksbank BraWo Projekt GmbH. These partners are also providing support in the form of existing buildings in their respective portfolios in order to validate the decision model that is being developed.