The term "sustainability" is currently in danger of becoming hackneyed. This is a pity, as the extensive public approval for this topic is fundamentally helpful, it being something on which we have long focused – provided that a holistic architectural approach is applied. We are convinced – an integral approach alone is able to support sustainable concepts. For example, we incorporate not only aspects of the quality of a location, but also processuality: how will the use of a building develop over the course of time, in the urban environment, taking into account the life cycle costs? We believe that in the future the building solutions that will prove the most convincing will be those that with very few structural changes can offer a very high number of different uses.
We direct. The building reacts.
A successful and sustainable concept incorporates ecological, economic and technical qualities and also takes into account sociocultural aspects, e.g. demographic developments. This is no fashion trend, but a forward-looking strategy that affects all of our integrative working processes. This begins with the outer appearance of the architecture, which is characterised by objectivity and usefulness and not by fashion currents which ebb away again. Our solutions offer positive, conservative intrinsic values – and have done for more than 60 years. We are of course pleased that this attitude is once more becoming a focus of interest.
The market still needs a good deal of convincing. We see our role as a coordinator in a team of specialists. One of the reasons for our acive membership of the DGNB, the German Association for Sustainable Construction.
For decades we have been dealing with the various facets of sustainability. These include, for example, a consistent commitment to the model of the European city. This is expressed in our underlying attitude to architecture and district planning. The system of living very closely together is predestined for a sustainable model of urban development. Here the focus is on land recycling, the conversion of brown field sites and changes of use for existing areas. This involves the upgrading of towns and cities through the application of new ideas, which after an era of effects are again based on timeless modernity. Here the requirement is for solutions that are not only intelligent, but also simple, which we are able to find much more readily in a team than alone. The many awards for our current concepts are evidence that with our integrated interpretation of sustainability we are on the right track. The latest examples of sustainable buildings are the Karolinen Karree in Munich and the UN Campus federal building in Bonn, which have been selected for pilot certification by the DGNB.