Stakeholder interview: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Siri Krauß, Hochschule für Technik, Stuttgart

SH Siri Krau

Siri Krauß is a professor at the University for Technology in Stüttgart. She works at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Building Physics and Economics. Among other things she’s specialised in the fields construction management and construction industry.

‘Information and inspiration are key for a necessary transformation in construction’

What is the most important catalyst for further sustainable development in construction?

‘Sustainability in construction covers a lot of different aspects: in a narrow view it focuses on the delivering of green buildings to clients and users, in a holistic approach it includes all activities of a construction company. Thus, companies will always have to look in detail at the location and the client of a building as well as the local market conditions to find out what drives sustainability under given circumstances. Costs, however, are often mentioned as a general key barrier for further sustainable development overlooking the fact that there is a growing evidence that this does not necessarily have to be the case.

I think that above all the most important catalysts to promote the necessary transformation in construction will be information and inspiration: We need more reliable data to fully understand the financial implications of a more sustainable run construction business and more best practice examples to facilitate the embedding of sustainability into business practice.’

How do we ensure sustainability will continue to be a theme – and what role does digitalisation and innovation play?

‘I am convinced that innovation and digitalisation will lead to more sustainability in construction, concerning both products and processes. 

From the product view, data in a building model can be used to take a whole-life view of buildings, for example concerning carbon performance or operating costs, leading to better and more sustainable design decisions especially at the start of
a project. 

From the process view, the use of a building model will promote communication and collaboration between design specialists, contractors, clients and suppliers, helping construction companies to win over partners in the value chain and create greater productivity during the design and construction phase.

In consequence, digitalisation and innovation will help companies to deliver buildings that provide greater satisfaction, well-being and value to the client as well as it will help them being more profitable and competitive.’