Ecological building

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Exemplary for ecological building: modern passive house in straw bale construction with clay plaster and wooden facade

Ecological construction , internationally known as green building (ger .: green building called), is a comprehensive teaching of the interrelationship between people, their built environment and ecosystems to leave a livable and intact environment with the aim of future generations.

History in Germany

Building biology is considered to be the forerunner of ecological building in Germany thanks to its founder, the doctor Hubert Palm , who became known with numerous lectures in the 1960s. His book "The Healthy House" is the first basic work on building biology and environmentally conscious building in Germany. One of the first ecological or building biological residential buildings is the Folkerts House, developed and built by the architect Heiko Folkerts in 1975–1976 in Bernried on Lake Starnberg .

In recent years, international awareness of ecological building has also grown, also due to the foundation of the DGNB in 2007 and the increasing spread of the term sustainable building , an economically and ecologically differentiated form of ecological building.


Wooden house with green roof , outer wall made of untreated larch wood in post construction . Thermal insulation made of blown wood shavings , interior walls made of clay plaster on reed panels (interior painting casein paint ), floors made of larch and pearwood. Heating and hot water through a ground stove and solar panels .

The building should be integrated into the natural material cycle . Above all, the disposal of a structure that is no longer required must be considered here. But it must also be resource-efficient during operation . The following points are considered essential:

  • Ecological location finding (infrastructure, traffic development, landscape protection)
  • Use of building materials whose raw material extraction / use is environmentally friendly and which can be easily disposed of, are ideally biodegradable and, if possible, were produced without major energy and transport costs (procurement of regional building materials)
  • Avoidance of building biologically questionable or toxic substances
  • Total external area of ​​the building kept small in relation to the building's contents or volume
  • Low energy consumption while the building is in operation
  • Sealed (built-up) area and / or building greening kept small
  • Sustainable drainage technology , possibly by separating drinking and service water that is used for washing or watering flowers (see also cistern )
  • Herbal sewage treatment plants and natural swimming pools

In addition to residential buildings, there are now numerous examples of ecological office and commercial buildings. In addition, ecological and sustainable principles are also applied in settlement construction and urban planning .

Concrete features

If you want to build ecologically, you will ultimately critically examine every single product that you use in building for its ecological properties. In order not to be overwhelmed as a client, it is advisable to realize the goal of ecological building together with the architect or engineer .

Green roofs - for many the epitome of ecological construction

Examples of important decisions in ecological building are:

  • Generation of electricity through solar technology on the roof
  • Natural building materials ( clay , bricks , natural stones from the area, wood , bales of straw , plants, e.g. for green roofs )
  • natural insulation materials made from renewable raw materials ( e.g. wood fiber insulation board , flax fiber , hemp fiber , sheep's wool , straw ) or recycling material (e.g. cellulose from waste paper)
  • Attaching a very good thermal insulation
  • Natural paints , adhesives and varnishes based on plants without solvents and with a low proportion of volatile organic compounds
  • Multi-insulated windows made of local wood instead of plastic
  • As extensive use of daylight as possible to illuminate the building (where no windows are possible, it can be guided to its destination with light control systems - i.e. a system of tubes and mirrors)
  • natural floor coverings (e.g. cork , solid wood floorboards and wooden parquet from regionally grown wood, linoleum )
  • Hot water generation by means of a solar thermal system, supplemented by alternative heating systems (e.g. geothermal energy , pellet heating ) if required
  • Hot water connection for the washing machine
  • Use of the so-called gray water (waste water from bathtub, shower and washing machine) for flushing toilets, use of rainwater after coarse filtering to wash laundry. Specifically, this means a two-chamber system (gray water and rainwater are collected separately). The rainwater must also be filtered or you can divert the first rainwater after a long period of drought and only use the rainwater when the roof has already been washed clean (after prolonged rain)
  • if the local conditions permit: construction of a plant-based sewage treatment plant, use of the resulting biomass as fertilizer in your own garden, an alternative would be to build such a (small) sewage treatment plant together with several neighbors
  • Particularly important when building multi-family houses: Creation of options for waste separation, covered bicycle parking spaces

See also


  • Wolfgang Frey: The five-finger principle: strategies for sustainable architecture . Herder, 2010, ISBN 978-3-451-30387-6 .
  • Michael Bauer, Peter Mösle, Michael Schwarz: Green Building - Concepts for Sustainable Architecture . Callwey, 2007, ISBN 978-3-7667-1703-0 .
  • Vandana Baweja: A Pre-history of Green Architecture: Otto Koenigsberger and Tropical Architecture, from Princely Mysore to Post-colonial London. Ann Arbore, MI 20008, (A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Architecture) in The University of Michigan Ann Arbore, MI 2008, 234 pages full text online PDF, free of charge, 264 pages, 16, 9 MB).
  • Karl J. Habermann, Roberto Gonzalo: Energy-efficient architecture: Basics for planning and construction . Birkhäuser, Basel 2006. ISBN 978-3-7643-7255-2 .
  • Detlef Glücklich: ecological building. From the basics to overall concepts . Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-421-03541-5 .
  • Fred Ranft, Bernhard Frohn: Natural air conditioning . Birkhäuser, Basel 2004, ISBN 3-7643-6939-6 .
  • Arwed Tomm: Planning and building ecologically . Vieweg, 2000, ISBN 3-528-28879-5 .
  • Hubert Palm: "The healthy house". Our next environmental protection. The biological building regulations in the Architectura perennis. Ordo-Verlag, Constance 1979
  • Manfred Hegger , Matthias Fuchs, Thomas Stark and Martin Zeumer: Energy Atlas - Sustainable Architecture. Birkhäuser, Basel 2007. ISBN 978-3-7643-8385-5
  • Per Krusche, Dirk Althaus and Ingo Gabriel: Ecological Building. Published by the Federal Environment Agency. Bauverlag, 2001, ISBN 978-3-7625-1412-1 .
  • Markus Schneider, Margareta Schneider and Michael Guggenberger: The purity law for the house - building pollution-free - healthy living. LEAN media publishing house, 2012, ISBN 978-3-0003-9008-1 .
  • Bruckner / Schneider: Naturbaustoffe Werner Verlag, Düsseldorf 1998, ISBN 3-8041-4140-4
  • Kurt Schönburg: Natural substances in buildings, properties, application, German Institute for Standardization eV, Beuth, 2010, ISBN 978-3-410-17355-7 .
  • Bund Architektur und Umwelt eV: BAUWERKE 2014 , R & W-Verlag der Editions, 2014, ISBN 978-3-942108-11-9 .

Web links

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