Category 18 April 2019

The Baubook portal provides ready-made green technical specifications for small municipalities

The Baubook portal provides ready-made green technical specifications for small municipalities aiming at sustainable construction and supports as well the augmentation of green public procurement.

The Baubook system facilitates communication and knowledge exchange regarding energy and material efficiency of construction material and processes. Its services encourage municipalities as well as companies to identify and exploit business opportunities in sustainable construction projects.The Baubook company is a non-for profit public-private partnership in Austria.

The challenge

The construction sector is crucial to EU environment and energy policies as buildings use 40 % of total EU energy consumption and generate 36% of greenhouse gases in Europe. Procurement of eco-innovation can increase the innovation competences of firms in the sector. Supporting local communities would be the societal benefit of such a responsible purchasing, but small municipalities often lack green procurement expertise. Since environmental impacts of component construction materials are high, Baubook was created as eco-innovative solution to it.

The innovation

The base for Baubook GmbH is the successful first list of ecological products for the construction sector from 2001. Part of its service is an online tool offering different databases like ecological building products, green public procurement guidelines as well as particular technical specifications, supporting technology adopters in the field. This comprehensive resource includes environmental, energy-efficient and free-to-use criteria, including substitution of hazardous material or eco-innovative insulation solutions, adding up to a benchmarking for the built environment, and thus providing advice for procurers.

Why did it work?

The City of Vienna and an industry cluster commissioned the project, and in 2008 Baubook became the largest German-speaking platform for sustainable and energy efficient construction and renovating. Baubook provides information about materials, products and processes, but allows as well for manufacturers to declare new eco-innovative products on the platform for a fee. This announcement must follow given quality criteria and will be published only after review. A particular, chargeable service targets planners, architects and public procurers allowing for a tailor-made search for the particular construction project.

Further deployment

Baubook Ltd. represents a promising example for promoting eco-innovation by facilitating up-take and dissemination of more sustainable processes and products. This policy is supported by public entities like the Federal State Vorarlberg or Federal Ministries as well as the very successful public procurement initiative „Ökokauf Wien“. Seminars, events and combining activities with its many partners also help raising consumer awareness regarding sustainable living. Planning exists to enlarge Baubook to foreign regions, qualifying it for an estimated level 7 on the generic maturity scale GML.