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Knauf Insulation plays key role in EU building sustainability project

By Laura Croze
December 04, 2017

A ground-breaking Knauf Insulation building is playing a key role in a European Commission Level(s) pilot project that could pave the way for exciting new sustainable building legislation.

Vincent Briard, our Sustainability and Product Regulatory Affairs Director, today [dec4] unveiled details about a new 640m2 Knauf Insulation training centre in Slovenia at a special Commission meeting to kick-start a Europe-wide building sustainability initiative known as Level(s).

“The new building has attracted considerable interest from Green  Building Councils, DGNB, architects and the Slovenian Government because it is contributing research to a two-year pilot phase for Level(s) — a project designed to develop indicators that assess the environmental and social performance of buildings throughout their lifecycle,” says Vincent.

“We have invested significantly into this project and it will support the Level(s) initiative by providing feedback on methodology and data on specific areas such as energy efficiency and environmental impact. It will also be the first building in Slovenia to be fully DGNB certified.”

“At Knauf Insulation we believe Level(s) is hugely significant because it could form the cornerstone of a future European legislation on Sustainable Buildings.”

Knauf Insulation has consistently campaigned for a holistic approach to sustainability that examines the entire lifecycle of buildings from the sourcing of raw materials and product use to ultimate end of life.

Our work on Life Cycle Assessments and Environmental Product Declarations is highlighted in our new sustainability report and we also provide green team expertise to specifiers who are keen to navigate the sustainability challenges of Level(s).

“Our Slovenian project in the context of the Commission’s pilot initiative is hugely significant on many, many levels,” says Vincent. “It will help contribute towards, hopefully, better building lifecycle-based building directives across Europe. It will help Knauf Insulation in its drive towards continuous improvement and it will also help Slovenian ambitions for greener buildings nationwide.”

The project is being followed closely by partners in the Slovenian government, the European Regional Network of Green Buildings Councils, neighbouring national green councils, architects’ organisations and representatives of DNGB.

“The Slovenian Government is looking into Level(s) as a way to reshape building sustainability requirements at a national level so we are delighted to have the opportunity to observe Knauf Insulation’s pilot project from initial design to final completion,” says Saša Galonja, Head of Construction Division Spatial Planning, Construction and Housing Directorate at the Slovenian Environment Ministry. “This project is vitally important because it represents a reality check for the application of new sustainability requirements in our country.” 

Work began on the mixed-use training centre, meeting and office space, close to our Skofja Loka plant, in October and is expected to end at the end of 2018.

BIM technics will play an important role in the building’s development as well as lifecycle analysis and lifecycle costing. When it is completed, the building will feature our Urbanscape Green Roof Solutions, OEM solutions, our Heraklith Wood Wool and Knauf Gypsum, Knauf AMF ceiling tiles and Velux products. The aim is to have the building certified DGNB Gold.

“It is a great opportunity for Knauf Insulation to be part of such an exciting initiative as Level(s) and it will be fascinating to see what impact it will have on national and international legislation,” says Vincent.

Further information about Level(s) is available here and below.

What is Level(s)?

Level(s) is a framework that focuses on key building sustainability issues such as energy performance and climate change as well as improving resource efficiency, water use, indoor air quality, thermal comfort, acoustic performance and lifecycle costing.

It is a reporting tool with no specific goals — no silver, gold or platinum levels — and the initiative does not replace Green Building Rating Systems such as LEED, BREEAM or DGNB but it is complementary.

This is where Level(s) can help.

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