06.07.2021 | Sustainability in construction: The Ingérop Group's strategy

Interview with Barbara Schärfl

Why does Ingérop place sustainable construction at the center of its corporate strategy?

The construction sector produces 25% of total CO2 -emissions and 55% of total waste, and consumes 85% of all raw materials and energy. Ingérop aims to exploit this savings potential to help end climate change, save our ecosystems and thereby secure our future. In addition, political programs such as the EU's Green Deal, offer potential for new areas of activity: The refurbishment rate is projected to double in the next ten years. This corresponds to a figure of 35 million buildings that need to be refurbished across the EU. The Federal Climate Protection Act has set the target of reducing CO2 emissions in the building sector by 2030 compared with 1990 levels by 40 %.

Do the requirements of "climate-neutral construction" already apply to project work?

The change to resource-saving and sustainable construction is here. We are noticing that the projects put out to tender are increasingly focusing on climate-neutral execution in development, building materials and operation. Topics such as end-of-life considerations, evaluation of embodied energy in buildings, climate-friendly building materials, recyclable materials and construction methods, climate-optimized construction processes, closed resource cycles, modified work processes and cost parameters have therefore already become the basis of our construction projects.

Are there other possibilities besides CO2 reduction, to build in a climate-neutral way?

The concept of the closed-cycle economy is a further element of sustainability. Raw materials are limited. By reusing materials that have already been processed, is to protect resources for future generations that would otherwise be disposed of. Building materials such as gravel, sand and crushed stone are already so depleted to the point that they have to be imported from abroad. This drives up both prices and CO2 emissions upwards.

The EU requirement that the amount of municipal waste must be reduced to below 10%, supports a closed-cycle economy. In the future, we will have to build in such a way that we can separate and recycle building materials. For demolition and construction companies must be given the opportunity to offer recovered materials on digital platforms.

To what extent does the change in construction to sustainable methods affect the service profiles?

A large service area is the consulting of our clients. The market with new building products and construction methods is developing very quickly. Experience must be gained and accumulated, which is why we promote the development of good networking both within and outside Ingérop. We also support the development of new standards, evaluate CO2 balances of refurbishment/conversion vs. new construction, prepare life cycle analyses, calculate life cycle costs and issue building certificates as auditors.  

How does the transformation make itself noticeable in everyday work?

Sustainability, consisting of the three pillars of economy, ecology and social affairs, is a Group-wide, cross-functional approach to environmental quality. Therefore our day-to-day work is also changing: We are reducing energy and office material consumption, promoting the use of renewable energies and public transport.

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