Study published

Sustainable building and renovation will only succeed with binding regulations


At a joint online event today, the German Energy Agency (dena) and the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM) presented a study on the legal framework “Sustainable Building and Renovation”. The study comes to the conclusion that ecological, socio-cultural and economic sustainability aspects in the building sector are legally addressed, but that the system of European and national regulations as well as technical standards is very convoluted and thus intransparent. This could cause difficulties for the building sector in its application.

“The topic of sustainability is being talked about by everyone in the industry and, as our analysis shows, has certainly found its way into the legal system of the building sector as well. This is a positive development, as binding regulations are essential to avoid greenhouse gas emissions and waste over the entire life cycle of buildings. They can also help to improve the quality of life of the people living in the buildings,” says the study co-author and IKEM sustainability expert Lioba Thomalla. “Unfortunately, in contrast to voluntary certification and assessment systems, the current legally binding regulations often only cover partial aspects, such as energy supply. However, we can only achieve a sustainable building sector with a holistic – addressing all three dimensions of sustainability – legal framework.”

The study was initiated by dena and is now available on the website of the “Gebäudeforum klimaneutral”. The Gebäudeforum klimaneutral is a central platform for quality-assured information on climate-neutral buildings and neighbourhoods. It combines a partner network and innovative workshops to build and multiply knowledge. More information on Gebäudeforum klimaneutral: Gebäudeforum klimaneutral (


IKEM – Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility e.V.