Guilds unite for better energy use in Germany
With energy efficiency a top priority worldwide, the Energiekompetenz project is now offering clients, building companies and architects comprehensive information about techniques, products, support and trends in low energy construction. Embodying the project is the ‘Show’ property, built according to passive design principles and demonstrating innovative resource-saving techniques such as heat recovery and solar panel use.
“Following advice from the Energiekompetenz centre, we checked with our architect on possible ways of saving energy in our home. One option was to install new windows with shutters, which would save us around 650 litres of fuel per year. With financial support from the KfW bank, we should have new windows installed by September.”
Sonja Lachnit, local citizen
With the right information, beneficiaries can save energy and/or switch to alternative energy sources, follow training courses and cooperate through networks of architects/planners and other relevant groups. The project saw the building of an Advice and Competence Centre and Training Centre, the latter having already trained 110 people.
A united community goes green
The project is the result of a public/private partnership between the Ostalb district, municipality of Böbingen, district trade association, individual guilds and district chamber of architects. The ultimate beneficiaries are mainly local guilds who are also among the founding members of the project association Energiekompetenz Ostalb. They include builders, electricians, glaziers, sanitary experts, heating and air-conditioning engineers, plasterers and carpenters. Such flagship projects have developed a sense of community spirit in the region, with regular citizens also able to seek advice or receive training on energy issues.
The project was made economically viable by designing the Show building as a multifunctional residential and commercial property using ‘passive house’ standards. Hot water is heated using solar thermal collectors and a photovoltaic system is used to generate electricity. Heat lost through ventilation is replenished by the heat emitted from the soil into the air, which is sucked into the building. Any remaining heat required is supplied by radiators and a wood chip-fuelled heating system.
Instilling a ‘passive’ approach
The 220 m² Advice and Competence Centre and Training Centre complement the passive house and aim to promote entrepreneurship and a more competitive region. To date, as part of the initial consultation sessions on energy efficiency, more than 2 000 members of the public have been given advice on innovative and resource-efficient strategies and energy-efficient building techniques. The training courses are taught by outside experts, members of the Energiekompetenz Ostalb association and energy advisors.