Data-based building management gains importance in certification

For the real estate industry, planning, building and managing buildings sustainably is the order of the day. That is why certifications for sustainable buildings – such as DGNB, BREEAM or LEED – play an ever more important role. They enable a structured approach to rating buildings based on social, ecological and economic criteria while also acting as an external indicator of a building’s sustainability.

Real estate funds’ certification strategies focus primarily on existing properties. This can be explained by a variety of factors. For one thing, existing properties account for the majority of CO2 emissions. What is more, efficiently renovating a building avoids the additional emissions that would result from demolishing it and starting again, including those from manufacturing new construction materials. 

However, the sector has realised that even careful planning cannot ensure that a building will actually achieve optimum energy efficiency once it comes into operation. Data-based information on the building’s actual characteristics, usage situation and consumption is required to leverage the full potential of energy efficiency and indoor climate quality. Incorrect configurations that go unnoticed can lead to enormous operating costs over the property’s entire life cycle.


Service recognised by the DGNB

The DGNB’s Buildings In Use certification system provides building owners, operators and users alike with a tool for realising all the optimisation potential relating to operations, so that existing buildings can be made fit for the future. Data-based solutions that are capable of optimally controlling a building and exploiting additional potential using smart data are playing an ever greater role in the optimisation of operations. Creating a digital twin makes it possible to exactly replicate a real building and the behaviour of its physics and technical systems over time. This allows the best possible 24/7 operation to be calculated in advance by way of simulation and optimisation.

Deka Immobilien is now using such a solution in the form of MeteoViva Climate to save energy at a large number of properties in Germany and abroad. The average reduction in energy costs is 25 per cent. Complaints are significantly reduced as a result of the noticeably improved quality of the indoor climate.

The reduction in energy costs and emissions is the most important benefit, but not the only one. Continuous target/actual comparison of data also provides valuable information on precisely where something is not working properly in the building or where part of a system may be broken. Searching for defects and malfunctions in large office buildings is often very time-consuming. An automated, data-based solution makes it possible to turn searching into finding more quickly, saving resources and preventing hassle with tenants.

MeteoViva Climate – certified sustainability

MeteoViva is the first company whose product, MeteoViva Climate (2020 version), has been officially recognised by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) as a service for its “Buildings In Use” certification system. As a result of the recognition by the DGNB, the use of MeteoViva Climate automatically guarantees a certain degree of fulfilment, which is included in the result of the certification. This means that MeteoViva Climate secures its users at least a DGNB Silver rating from the outset – or even Gold status if the building is fitted with additional variable indicators from MeteoViva Climate.

MeteoViva Climate has a positive effect on eight of the nine environmental, economic, socio-cultural and functional criteria defined by the DGNB. The smart data solution covers fixed and variable indicators for the following criteria: climate action and energy, operating costs, risk management and value preservation, procurement and management, indoor comfort, and user satisfaction. Depending on the project, MeteoViva also meets the indicators for the criteria of water and management of recyclable materials.

MeteoViva fulfils eight of the nine criteria for DGNB Buildings In Use
The diagram shows how MeteoViva meets criteria for DGNB buildings in operation. The diagram is divided into the three sections "socio-cultural and functional", ecology and economy.

The exceptional performance indicators shown during the DGNB certification underscore the importance of data-driven, proactive building management as part of a sustainability strategy.

Author: Markus Werner, advisory board and founder of MeteoViva GmbH