Sustainable living (Smart Homes)

Global warming, along with population growth and increasing environmental pollution, is one of the major challenges that have scientific, political, and societal consequences worldwide. In the near future, there will be a need to intensively address how acceptable living conditions can be created in areas with extreme air and climate conditions.

Germany is also confronted with the negative effects of climate change. To counteract these effects, the Federal Republic has set goals for sustainable development and the transition to renewable energies, among others. The latter is intended to be achieved by 2050. As three quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to urban areas, the greatest potential for meeting energy policy targets is seen in buildings and neighborhoods. Overall, buildings account for around 40% of energy consumption in Germany. Therefore, significant energy-saving potentials are predicted in the building sector.

There is a reason why many sustainable concepts include the area of "building and living". A question that many cities will have to address in the future is: "How can people feel comfortable and cozy in their city while consuming as little energy as possible and using the available resources sustainably?" In recent years, there has been increasing talk of digital connectivity in residential buildings in this context. This is primarily intended to increase the living quality and life quality for residents. The terms "intelligent house" or "smart home" are often used here, which stand for an innovative form of comfortable and economical living and describe the interaction of various specialist disciplines.

The aim is for the building stock in Germany to be climate-neutral by 2045. The topic of sustainable construction is therefore a core element of the German government's strategy for sustainable development.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) has launched the Assessment System for Sustainable Small Residential Buildings (BNK) in order to concretize the topic of sustainability at the level of private residential buildings. The criteria catalog for this is based on the pillars of "sociocultural and functional quality", "economic quality", "ecological quality" and "process quality". The topic of indoor air quality is part of the "socio-cultural and functional quality" pillar.

The Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Building (BMWSB) has developed the Quality Seal for Sustainable Buildings (QNG), which can be awarded to residential and non-residential buildings that fulfil certain requirements in terms of ecological, socio-cultural and economic quality. The QNG catalogue of requirements, Annex 313, addresses "Avoiding harmful substances in building materials" and defines general and special requirements for materials used in the interior construction of buildings, including installation materials, adhesives and sealants, coatings and wood-based panels.