Building physics deals with the physical basis of structural engineering. It is incorporated into building construction and architecture right from the design phase. Heat, humidity, acoustics, daylight, air conditioning and fire protection are all areas of building physics.
Blue Buildings is Drees & Sommer's approach to ensuring optimum ecology and economic efficiency for buildings. The buildings are emission-neutral and energy-autonomous, consist of recyclable building materials and adapt flexibly to use. Digital networking is also part and parcel of it and the buildings can control their energy consumption more and more precisely.
BLUE CITY – Integrated Urban Solutions describes Drees & Sommer's approach to urban planning. It covers relevant economic, environmental and social aspects. This requires cooperation between a number of disciplines to take account of all the interactions, e.g. mobility and neighborhood development.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital method for planning and construction project management. Right from the start, all players in the construction process work on the same model of the future building, the ‘digital twin’, and are always at the latest stage of planning. This increases planning efficiency, quality and certainty. Details of the material, weight or surface area of each building element can be downloaded, as well as information on sound insulation or fire prevention. BIM provides investors, principals and developers with a detailed vision of how their building project will look later on.
Computer-Aided Facility Management (CAFM) is software for building management. It brings together the planning, execution and monitoring of all activities in connection with room administration, relocations, inventory management, maintenance and service planning, conference room management and many other services for employees or workplaces.
Cradle to Cradle (C2C) refers to an ecologically motivated theory of the recycling economy in relation to raw materials. By using only materials with low environmental impact, it will be possible to completely disassemble buildings into components of the same kind at the end of their life-cycle. Each of these components is either fully biodegradable or they circulate in technical cycles.
Customized Smart Buildings are intelligent, networked buildings, including smart commercial buildings. A self-learning, integrated system in the building – the brain – controls and networks all the technical equipment and processes via sensors, in which planning, building and user data is merged. The brain learns from data on the operation of the building as well as on users and the environment and makes suggestions for improvements.
General Technical Planning encompasses all the engineering competencies relating to planning and consulting. Sub-disciplines are façade engineering; energy design; mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering; building physics and ecology; the planning of the structural design and framework; and facility management.
Green Buildings are buildings developed on the guiding principle of sustainability. They offer users a high degree of comfort and a healthy indoor climate. The buildings also focus on regenerative energy and resources with minimal energy and operating costs.
Green City Development refers to the development of sustainable urban districts. The key elements of a green city include reducing CO2 emissions, the effective use of renewable energy and sustainable usage of the urban space.
Industrialized construction adopts approaches used in industrial production, such as in the automotive industry. It combines the principle of linear manufacturing with allowing a degree of customization of architectural designs. Digital and modular planning and the prefabrication of individual elements, cells and/or modules are prerequisites for industrialized construction. All that is required on the construction site is final assembly – ideally in accordance with lean principles, another approach adopted from the automotive industry.
Lean Construction (LCM) transfers the ‘lean production’ model from the automotive industry to the construction sector. As early as the planning stage, LCM analyzes all the construction processes and controls all the workflows and the entire flow of materials. This avoids errors and speeds up the construction process.
Modularized planning aims to simplify and accelerate the planning and construction process. Using a project coordinate system, it first arranges the geometry of the building – covering the entire range from the smallest to the largest structural elements – into standard areas that are as uniform as possible. In essence, the aim is to achieve dimensional coordination that is as uniform as possible across subareas. Key aspects for modularized planning are future users’ requirements and the adaptability of the building.
Project Management covers organization, structuring and smooth management and completion of construction projects. In addition to the typical project control activities, this includes project supervision, contract and award controlling, and coordination and communication in projects.
Project Control takes on any of the activities of the principal or developer that can be delegated, acting as a professional temporary construction department’ for the duration of a project. These tasks include project organization tailored to the specific circumstances, in addition to schedule and cost control and quality monitoring.
Digitization offers enormous opportunities for buildings, districts and entire cities, including greater amenity of living and working conditions. Further advantages include reduction of energy and resource consumption, and smooth, safer traffic flow. To achieve this, smart buildings, districts and cities constantly gather and process information in real time. For this reason, great importance is attached to the protection of personal data in smart buildings and smart cities.
Technical Due Diligence (TDD) is a thorough examination of the technical quality of a building and risk minimization during the selling process. The focus is on maintenance and repairs to the building and its systems, and what prevents these activities. In order to make a meaningful assessment concerning the investment sums needed and the future cost scenario, a detailed inspection of the building is essential. TDD inspections can also be carried out in the form of a multi-step process. In an initial basic inspection, potential deal-breakers can be identified and the purchase price being offered can be adjusted accordingly.
Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) equipment is part of a building’s utilities engineering system. In addition to building automation, it includes air conditioning technology, electrical engineering, sanitary engineering, and cleanroom technology.
Technical and Economic Construction Consulting (TECC) is used in all phases of a construction project. It is the provision of integrated consulting services to principals, design teams and project managers on complex construction projects. TECC is used in all project phases, from conceptual/preliminary design to warranty/follow-up management. The activities covered range from inspection of completed planning stages, through technical and economic calculations, to building quality and cost controls.
Urban farming produces food in the city – often in or on buildings, or as a temporary measure on vacant sites. The benefits include little or no need for transport, the (temporary) greening of sealed surfaces, and the establishment of value chains close to the city (supplying restaurants and food markets, for example). There has been a clear trend towards specialization and professionalization for some time, for example featuring a mix aquaponics, fish farming and crop cultivation.