Building sustainably: The CREE Way

Investing in a Greener Future for Construction

At CREE, sustainability is not a nice-to-have: it is our reason for being and part of everything we do. Our methods accelerate green construction, saving resources while increasing efficiencies. With responsible material use and CO2 reductions every step of the way, we massively improve lifecycles and carbon footprints. Each investment in constructing with CREE moves the building industry closer to a sustainable net zero future.

“CREE goes beyond mere sustainability, embracing instead a comprehensively regenerative approach. This is truly a new paradigm in green construction, using renewable materials and scaleable disruptive processes. It’s not about talking but doing, not about competing but collaborating – and together building a future we all want to live in.”
- Hubert Rhomberg, CEO & Founder CREE Buildings

SDGs

How CREE supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals aim to build a better and greener future for all by 2030. In both our actions and our methods, the CREE philosophy is innately aligned with this. We have long been committed to implementing the SDGs across our organization, operations, and partnerships.

We are currently focused on building towards the following goals:

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

We act by fostering building occupant health and well-being by providing indoor environments of the highest quality.
We do this by ensuring use of high-quality materials and visible-wood structural building components, sustainably constructed.

 

In a visible-wood environment, productivity increases by approximately 5%. On average, the number of sick days is proven to be reduced by 2 working days (per employee per year).
Find out more in this report by Graham Lowe.

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

We act by fostering innovation, research, and development towards increased technological capabilities and the promotion of structural timber within the construction industry.
We do this by supporting local technological development, our information-sharing platform, and our growing network of global partners.

 

Currently we are a key partner in the SPHERE consortium which aims to digitalize workflows to optimize building lifecycles, reduce costs, and improve efficiencies.
Find out more about SPHERE.

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

We act by ensuring efficient and economical resource management and by widely applying circular economy principles.
We do this by using local renewable resources where possible and substantially reducing waste generation through off-site prefabrication. Our adaptable spaces facilitate occupancy customization and promote reuse of building components.

 

The Handwerkerhaus, Bremen was erected in only 12 days with completely prefabricated components, incorporating European timber in the primary structure.
Check out our time-lapse video here.

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts:

SDG 13: Climate Action

We act by reducing embodied carbon emissions and operational energy demand of buildings, actively pushing towards net zero carbon targets.
We do this with our sustainable timber-hybrid concepts, sequestering carbon in the structural timber components, and using only as much material as necessary. Our buildings are designed for low energy demand, reducing operational carbon footprints.

 

The IZM building’s entire lifecycle emissions are 63% lower than a comparable conventional building.
Find out more about the project and check out the LCA results.

Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

We act by establishing global partnerships to create more sustainable buildings.
We do this by openly sharing knowledge and experiences with those who have the same vision for a better future.

 

The CREE Platform shares information and state-of-the-art processes with all our partners worldwide. For example, with this knowledge, CDCL Luxembourg made the first timber-hybrid CREE building a reality in their region.
Check out the CREE Platform.

ESG

CREE Buildings: Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and metrics are increasingly important in ensuring transparency and helping investors make informed decisions.
With construction a major source of global emissions, the integration of ESG criteria into decision-making helps mitigate the negative impact of the industry and facilitates greater transparency in relation to sustainability efforts.

CREE buildings are designed to meet ESG criteria, instilling investor confidence and trust. We support associated stakeholder reporting through the availability of well-documented and high-quality data regarding both building components and building performance.
Learn more

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)

CREE buildings are supporting ESG by:

Supporting the “E” in ESG

Up to 80% fewer carbon emissions from building materials
50% reduction of building lifecycle CO2 emissions
Reduced waste and pollution
Circular approach to resources
Customization increases building use phases

Achieving a reduction of up to 80% embodied carbon emissions from structural building materials

Lowering carbon emissions in the building industry is crucial for mitigating climate change. A key part of this is substituting conventional construction materials with sustainable alternatives. In CREE buildings, the total volume of concrete is substantially reduced by utilizing the structural advantages of timber. Our patented timber-hybrid system provides up to 80% reduction of embodied carbon emissions from structural materials.

 

Realizing a 50% reduction of carbon emissions during the lifecycle of a building

By building envelopes designed to Passive House standards and combining energy-efficient building services, the operational energy demand of CREE buildings is substantially lower. Our methods are proven to reduce carbon emissions by 50% and more during the lifecycle of a building.  This is truly huge step forward in moving the construction industry towards tangible net zero targets.

 

Generating less waste and reducing pollution

Standardization and systemized planning are key parts of CREE design, eliminating any inefficiencies through detailed pre-construction planning processes and digital twins. Moreover, the large amount of prefabricated components transforms the construction process. These arrive from the closest production facilities possible and mean less work need be completed on-site. This simultaneously reduces transportation emissions while substantially decreasing on-site energy demands and waste generation.

 

Managing resources sustainably

In CREE buildings, responsible and circular use of resources is assured by using timber from sustainably managed forests and ensuring compliant supply chains. Timber offers numerous advantages over conventional construction materials. Unlike steel and concrete, timber is acquired from renewable resources. In addition, end-of-life scenarios, with the possibility of upcycling or later energy recovery, enhance the positive environmental footprint of timber.

 

Creating flexible and adaptable spaces

Occupancy customization plays an important role in providing circular economy solutions and prolonging a building’s use phase and lifespan. CREE buildings offer column-free, flexible interior spaces that can be easily adapted to the changing needs of existing and future occupants, thereby reducing the demand and need for new buildings.

Supporting the “S” in ESG

Increased productivity
Creating a clean and safe environment

Enhancing occupant health and well-being

CREE buildings use sustainable construction materials and provide healthy environments to end users. Timber components of the structure are exposed, supporting the biophilic atmosphere of the building.

In a visible-wood environment, productivity increases by approximately 5%, while studies have shown reductions in sick leave by 2 working days per employee per year.

 

Moreover, a high degree of prefabricated components transforms the conventional construction site into an assembly site. Only little work is left to be completed on-site, significantly reducing emissions, waste, noise, and fine dust pollution. Creating a clean and safe environment during construction and deconstruction improves the health and well-being of not only building occupants but also the local community nearby.

Supporting the “G” in ESG

Integrated planning processes
Build investor trust

Fostering transparency through whole lifecycle building data availability

Buildings built with CREE facilitate data transparency and, consequently, better assessment and efficient company reporting thanks to data generated via digital twins, a product of integrated planning processes utilizing the Building Information Modelling (BIM) approach. Well-documented CREE buildings underpin transparent processes, ensuring compliance and helping build investor trust.

 

To this extent, the CREE way also helps make sustainability goals measurable and traceable, and we support disclosure within the EU’s Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).

 

 

How CREE Buildings enable EU Taxonomy reporting

What is the EU Taxonomy?

A classification system established to provide companies, investors, and policy makers with a clear outline of what constitutes sustainable economic activities to stimulate much needed sustainable investment in the EU.

 

The EU Taxonomy sets out specific technical screening criteria for six environmental objectives. To be eligible under the EU Taxonomy, an economic activity needs to make a substantial contribution to at least one of these environmental objectives while not causing any significant harm to the other five and adhering to minimum social safeguards.

 

Thanks to these defined technical screening criteria for green construction and real estate activities, the EU Taxonomy has created a common language for the sector.

Substantial Contribution

Taxonomy Environmental Objectives for Construction of New Buildings

The CREE headquarters in Austria, LCT ONE, is a shining example of compliance with EU Taxonomy and DNSH criteria.
Find out more below.
Download case study
External shot of sustainable Cree building with green exterior

Substantial Contribution:

Climate change mitigation technical screening criteria

-Total primary energy demand is 117 kWh/m2/yr, 20% lower than the threshold requirements

 

– Up to 50% reduced carbon emissions from building construction and operation compared to similar buildings

DNSH:

Climate change adaptation technical screening criteria

-Detailed climate risk and vulnerability assessment was conducted

 

-Extensive measures taken to create a resilient and more sustainable building

DNSH:

Water and marine resources technical screening criteria

-Low-consumption water taps and flushes throughout the building

 

-Toilet bowls and flushing cisterns suitable for 4.5 liters flushing volume

DNSH:

Circular Economy, waste prevention and recycling technical screening criteria

-Off-site production to reduce waste generation on the construction site

 

-Verifiable recycling and disposal concept based on test dismantling for deconstruction, and reuse of the construction materials

DNSH:

Pollution prevention and control technical screening criteria

-Formaldehyde accumulation per m3 of material as 0.025 mg and 0.027 mg, substantially lower than the threshold value of 0.060 mg per m3 of material

 

-Measures to reduce noise, dust, and pollutant emissions during construction

DNSH:

Protection of healthy ecosystems technical screening criteria

-Transformation of brownfield land

 

-Enhanced biodiversity with biodiverse landscaping, nest boxes for birds, beehives and additional raised beds for vegetation

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Architectural Consultant
Elif Istanbulluoglu
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