Cumulative energy demand (KEA) as criteria for funding in the building sector


Federal Environmental Agency

Duration  June 2021 – March 2024


For now, the focus of climate protection measures has been on the final energy consumption of buildings within the use phase. The legal and funding framework focuses on the efficient operation of buildings through incentives for efficiency measures on the building envelope and the installation of efficient heat supply technologies based on renewable energies. The consideration of the life cycle of buildings and thus the production and disposal of building materials and insulation materials as well as heating technologies has not yet been addressed in the central policy instruments or the funding programmes.


However, the choice of construction methods and materials is also crucial for achieving climate protection goals. Resource-efficient construction requires a holistic view of buildings over the whole life cycle. A holistic energy view of buildings requires not only the actual use of the building, but also the consideration of the energy expenditure for the production of materials and the direction of construction, through maintenance and deconstruction. By calculating the cumulative energy demand and the global warming potential, the energy expenditure over the life cycle of different construction methods and building materials can be calculated and compared. The project aims to record the KEA of construction methods and building materials. Concrete recommendations for future funding programmes are to be developed, taking the KEA into account. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a suitable method for analysing and calculating the energy consumption and the resulting emissions that arise in the production, use and disposal phases of buildings and their components.

Tasks of IREES

  • Quantification of the cumulative energy demand for different energy levels and reference buildings

  • Life cycle assessment of building materials and components

  • Definition of climate target compliant building materials taking into account energy efficiency standards

  • Derivation of recommendations for funding programmes and regulatory standards


Dr. Jan Steinbach
Dr. Jan Steinbach
Jana Deurer
Jana Deurer
Lennart Bunnenberg
Lennart Bunnenberg