Comparison of eco-effectiveness and eco-efficiency based criteria for the construction of single-family homes

Research output: Journal contributionsConference article in journalResearchpeer-review


The built environment faces diverse sustainability challenges concerning the ecological, the economic and the sociocultural dimension. However, common construction practices mainly focus on the reduction of environmental impacts, especially the energy consumption in the usage phase. Despite their long tradition of implementation, these eco-efficiency based strategies can only be regarded as a useful and groundwork lying step and opportunity to reduce the ecological impact in the short-term, but are insufficient for addressing the need for fundamental redesign of buildings in the long-term. In contrast, the cradle to cradle concept offers a model for fundamental redesign of buildings allowing positive interaction with the ecosystem based on the eco-effectiveness approach. The paper will analyse and compare eco-efficiency and eco-effectiveness based criteria for the construction of single-family homes with the help of guidelines and assessment methods for buildings and materials. The analysis serves the aim of identifying learnings from the long-term experience in the field of eco-efficiency and benefitting from it for the future implementation of eco-effectiveness based strategies. Single-family homes are chosen as typology as they represent the most popular housing type in Germany, but show numerous disadvantages regarding the ecological, economic and socio-cultural dimension compared to other forms of housing. Representing the smallest but worst typology from a sustainability point of view, they offer an ideal starting point. In a next step, the results can be transferred and expanded to other typologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012041
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 25.02.2019
EventBAMB-CIRCPATH: Buildings as Material Banks - SBE 2019 Brussels: A Pathway For A Circular Future - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 05.02.201907.02.2019

Bibliographical note

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 642384.