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Sustainable construction

The stories of buildings can best be told by the people who planned, built or designed them. Three BASF customers from Europe, North America and Asia explain how they see sustainability in building projects around the globe.

For Jean-Denis Mege, the people who live in a building are the key to its sustainability. He works for the social housing company Foyer Rémois in Reims, France. He believes building sustainably means that housing must remain affordable without losing sight of environmental considerations and the quality of living conditions.

In New York City, Michael L. Gentoso and his team from U.S. Concrete supplied the concrete for the historic rebuild of One World Trade Center, in which sustainable design played an important role. The owner of the building aimed to considerably reduce the carbon emissions from the concrete and thus lower the environmental impact of New York’s new landmark.

For Xie Yuanjian, environmental friendliness is also a major goal in China: He is Vice President of Landsea Group, a construction company that specializes in using environmentally friendly building technologies. Xie Yuanjian knows just how important China’s sustainable development will be for the future. Newly constructed buildings in China already have to comply with strict rules on energy efficiency. Xie Yuanjian does not want to just meet these targets – he wants to exceed them.

The Foyer Rémois housing company manages around 18,000 units in France. Jean-Denis Mege works for the organization as a development manager. For him, a home is ideal when the residents can’t imagine living anywhere else. Therefore he believes it is important to meet the people in the buildings he manages.

Right now he is managing the Ogeval renovation project in the French city of Reims. This project has to meet the highest standards for energy efficiency. But quality has to be a priority as well to secure the return on investment. Jean-Denis Mege is working with BASF to meet these requirements: BASF’s Neopor® insulation foam has made a significant contribution to the success of the Ogeval refurbishment.

18,000

buildings are managed by Foyer Rémois.

20%

higher insulation performance with BASF’s Neopor® insulation foam compared to conventional materials.

“At the heart of a sustainable building are the people who live in it.”

Jean-Denis Mege, Development Manager at Foyer Rémois  

With every metric ton of cement produced, around one ton of CO2 is also released into the atmosphere. Reducing the amount of cement used in the construction of One World Trade Center was therefore a key requirement of the owner. The company U.S. Concrete, which supplied the concrete mix for One World Trade Center, used the Green Sense® Concrete program from BASF. This technology allows BASF to optimize its customers’ concrete mixes to improve environmental friendliness and performance while lowering production costs.

A BASF Eco-Efficiency Analysis showed that, as a result, more than 15 million kilograms of CO2 emissions were avoided in the construction of the first 40 floors of One World Trade Center. How does it work? With the Green Sense® program, a concrete mix can contain a higher proportion of recycled materials. U.S. Concrete’s Vice President Michael L. Gentoso and BASF monitored the building of the concrete structures. Pumping the concrete to the height of the upper floors posed a particular challenge as the 541-meter-tall One World Trade Center is the highest building in the United States.

1 ton

CO2 is released with every ton of cement produced.

15 million

kilograms of CO2 emissions were avoided during the construction of the first 40 floors of One World Trade Center thanks to BASF’s Green Sense® Concrete.

“A sustainable concrete mix design reduces the amount of CO2 dramatically.”

Michael L. Gentoso, Vice President Atlantic Region at U.S. Concrete

In order to advance China’s sustainable development, legislation specifies the maximum energy consumption in new construction: New buildings in the largest cities must use at least 65% less energy than buildings built before 1980. This rule also applies for the buildings under construction by Chinese company Landsea in metropolitan regions such as Shanghai.

For Xie Yuanjian, Vice President at Landsea, this goal serves as motivation: The company specializes in construction using environmentally friendly technologies and has built the Green Island housing development in Shanghai. Its aim was to achieve even more energy savings than the prescribed 65% target. The technologies needed for this are specially adapted to local conditions, such as the climate and Chinese lifestyle. Products and solutions from BASF have helped the buildings to achieve energy savings of 70% to 80% compared to 1980 levels.

70% – 80%

less energy is used in buildings constructed by Landsea Group today compared to 1980 levels.

24.8 million

people lived in the Shanghai metropolitan area in 2011.

“Our planet will benefit greatly from a sustainable China.”

Xie Yuanjian, Vice President of Landsea Group

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