Added value, i.e. leaving a positive footprint, is a central concept of the Cradle to Cradle school of thought. Our added-value measures are to be understood as suggestions that can also be incorporated into an ongoing design process. The claim is by no means a suggestoin to implement all measures in a single project. Rather, they should serve as an inspiration to show how construction measures can have a positive influence on users, the environment and the surroundings.


Building renovation instead of demolition & material recovery instead of disposal (i.e. testing, approval and storage of secondary materials) Intelligent resource use and protection of the climate
Healthy building material use Healthy indoor air, healthy occupants, no disposal costs for hazardous wastes
Renewable raw materials use, avoid CO2-intensive building materials High chances of a good CO2 balance, the building as a carbon storage
Maximum use of secondary raw materials, second-hand building products, and recycled building materials, when proven that the materials are non-toxic, and a small carbon footprint remains Natural resource conservation, recycling management promotion, energy conservation/CO2 savings if necessary


Biodiversity green roof, bee pasture or urban gardening instead of an extensive green roof Biodiversity promotion of flora and fauna, summer and winter temperature buffer, and rainwater retention through higher substrate build-ups
Intensive green walls, including rainwater or grey water use when possible Summer and winter temperature buffer, air purification through window ventilation, air purification in the streets, noise reduction at street level, additional protection from the elements and facade shading, positive psychological and health effects, beautiful cityscape
Preservation of the tree population on building sites Summer and winter temperature buffer, air purification through window ventilation, air purification in the streets, noise reduction at street level
Intensive greening of open spaces See above
Check tree planter placement on sealed or areas that are critical for roots See above
Indoor greening (can replace an air humidification system if necessary) Indoor plants promote healthy indoor air and high indoor comfort by cleaning and humidifying the indoor air


Cascade water use to use water several times, e.g. rainwater is used for toilet flushing, grey water is used for greening Reduce drinking water consumption leads to reduced operating costs
Constructed wetlands Constructed wetlands support cascaded water use
Collecting and processing rainwater from roof surface (e.g. in rainwater cisterns) Use of rainwater cisterns enables rainwater utilisation at the building level. Rainwater use at the building level acts as a buffer for both heavy rainstorms and for dry phases by relieving the sewer system, and ground water.
Maintaining rainwater on a building site promotes drainage or evaporation on site, e.g. via green roofs, and outdoor drainage surfaces allowing rainwater to permeate the ground (e.g. parking lots, subsoil, playgrounds, paving slabs, lawn grid stones, etc.) Sewer system relief, city climate adaptation to heavy rainfall events
Promote urine separation toilets where pragmatic (e.g. in outlying districts/ garden cities, and rural areas) Synergies with (neighbourhood-level) constructed wetlands, using nutrients (phosphorus)


Optimal building orientation and Facade/window design Energy savings during building operation, thermal insulation for maintaining cool interiors in summer, a net-positive energy building is possible
Higher building insulation standard for the building envelope Energy conservation during building operation; a net-positive energy building is possible
Net-Positive Energy Building Electricity from net-positive energy buildings can be fed into the grid or used in the neighbourhood; cost reductions during operation and, if necessary, feed-in tariffs are possible
High thermal storage capacity of building components Temperature buffer, thermal inertia, temperature peaks and valleys are reduced
Optimize energy production: Evaluate different technologies such as combined heat and power plants, heat pumps, fuel cells, solar electricity generation, etc. and adjust them to demands Energy use is to be optimised to the required load profiles, base load and energy peaks are to be secured optimally and cost-effectively, reduce operation costs


Exchangeable building services, building services separated from supporting structure and extension elements Conservation of resources + waste avoidance: the building does not have to be torn down because of outdated plant technology thereby reducing modernisation/renovation costs
Accessibility, modularity of building services technologies and installation shafts Maintenance cost reduction, improved hygiene (e.g. where air ducts can be cleaned)
Foundation and building structure design to accommodate future additions of extra upper floors (especially in inner-city areas) Resource conservation and waste avoidance: additional building floors can be added to existing buildings instead of building demolition to make way for new buildings with more storeys
Building materials/components are either recyclable without quality loss (technical cycle) or are biodegradable (biological cycle) Waste avoidance, no disposal costs for hazardous wastes, building as material storage
Components are dismountable (i.e. no composite materials) and are detachable (e.g. using clamps, screws, nails, dowels, Velcro, etc.) and connections are easily accessible Waste avoidance, easier and cheaper repairs and maintenance (lower life cycle costs), building as material storage
Possibility to separate building components with different service lives (e.g. pipes and cables laid in central supply shafts) Conversion, renovation and dismantling measures are simpler and more cost-effective (lower life cycle costs); save on buildings as material storage, save hazardous waste disposal and disposal costs
As-built documentation, deconstruction concepts, and material passports (see EU project BAMB – Buildings as Material Banks) See above
Simple structures and forms; interchangeable, standardised and modular systems See above
Avoid coatings that restrict recyclability See above
Use prefabricated and partially standardized assemblies that can be installed and removed as modular units Saved time during building construction, conversion, renovation and deconstruction measures (life cycle costs), building as material storage


Involve future occupants and neighbourhoods at an early stage of the planning process Less resistance to construction projects, people identify with the project/building, reduced risk of legal action, increased social cohesion and integration
Promote social interaction through architecture Promotion community, and contributions to city life
Promote sharing concepts through architecture (e.g. space for load-bike sharing, common rooms, joint workshop, etc.) Promote community, waste avoidance, resources conservation by saving space and materials
Real estate rental concepts: Product as a service (e.g. façade or interior greening as a service, flooring as a service, lighting as a service, etc.) Building product responsibility remains with the manufacturer, assuring quality for the occupants, better planning reliability of maintenance costs