The holistic life-cycle-oriented consideration of construction activities develops into a mega trend in the construction sector. The UNAB project aims at the "Implementation of sustainable construction through optimized project management processes and integral building envelopes” by an interfaculty and interdisciplinary cooperation between Graz University of Technology and project partners from industry.
Operationalizing sustainable construction two different approaches will be investigated. The first approach follows the idea of systems engineering focussing sustainability requirements of planning and project management processes. Current planning processes mostly focus on single sustainability aspects like energy efficiency, reduction of environmental impacts or reduction of life cycle costs. According to the upcoming CEN/TC 350 standards the evaluation of buildings sustainability should include, environmental, social and economic as well as functional and technical issues, preferably already in the planning stage. Early estimations of the expected buildings sustainability lead to the need of appropriate tools that allow both, the consideration of sustainability aspects including their systemic affects as well as the identification of the influence by different stakeholder preferences. Henceforth the knowledge about system interdependences of building optimization processes should provide basic information to influence building sustainability regarding a holistic approach.
The second approach aims at the design implementation in the building envelope. The main focus is laid on materials that combine variety of cross-section design, easy disassembly (with suitable joining technique) durability (with proper choice of material) and maximum recyclability. The new façade concept should combine a self-supporting, highly efficient supporting structure with new methods of forming and joining technology from the mechanical engineering sector as well as the integration of building systems in the building envelope. This represents a major challenge for the implementation in the field of design, static, building physics and equipment-related issues which only can be solved by a close interdisciplinary cooperation between the disciplines involved. So-called "Integral facades" influence a variety of socio-functional and technical as well as economic and environmental assessment criteria of a building. Thus they are best suited to improve the overall building sustainability.
Based on the interaction of both approaches the results of this project should provide project owners, planners and project managers with basic information needed for a holistic life cycle orientated planning process.