Dr. Jürgen Schnieders / Development of Energy Efficient Buildings

The premiere of Dr. Jürgen Schnieders’ video presentation on “The development of energy-efficient buildings and their impact on the climate” took place on November 30, 2021 during the live moderated broadcast of the Passive House Centre’s International Conference Connecting Buildings & Sustainability.  Discussions focused on the changes needed in the approach to the assignment, design and construction of buildings to reduce energy demand, develop urban areas and support the adaptation of buildings to climate change.

by , ClimArchiNet

Published: 09 June 2022

Dr. Jürgen Schnieders

studied physics with a focus on solar energy and energy efficiency. Since 1997, he has been a member of the “Passivhaus Institut” in Darmstadt, where he is The Chief Operating Officer since 2019. The Passive house Institut in Darmstadt has a wide range of activities. From the certification of materials and technologies suitable for the construction of passive houses to the determination of passive house impact methodologies for larger areas.

The main idea that sums up his inspiring contribution:

“Let’s act now! The moment a building is modified or new buildings are constructed, let’s use the most efficient technologies and materials available. In this way, we will achieve a gradual improvement in the quality of the building stock. “

How does Dr. Jürgen Schnieders see the impact of implementing energy efficient buildings and their subsequent impact on climate change? Let’s take a look at that right now.

Summary of contribution: 

  • The main goal is to achieve a state where buildings do not negatively affect the climate and its protection. The way to achieve this is a climate-neutral building stock. This needs to start now, especially with buildings with long lifetimes (e.g. public buildings). 
  • According to the Paris Agreement, we only have about 10-20 years to achieve climate-neutral buildings. 
  • The Passivehaus Institute is working on how to achieve these goals technically, economically and socially. Therefore, they have created a model of all buildings in Germany (their energy needs for heating, hot water and electricity) and based on this they have modelled different scenarios for achieving a neutral building stock. 
  • The current legislative constraints (in Germany) are very light and even in 50 years buildings will not meet these criteria. With the use of quality materials (at a level suitable for passive houses) and components in gradual renovations while constructing new buildings in passive standard, about 80% of the energy will be achieved in 50 years. In combination with renewable energy sources, neutrality can thus be achieved by 2050. 
  • Continuing to build and renovate buildings at the current quality will not allow the targets to be achieved and is also the most expensive way to go given rising energy prices. 

⇒  Listen to his personal opinion on Sustainability in everyday life.

Another 17 video presentations of the conference speakers, which are stored in the virtual CENTRE, can be viewed free of charge via registration on the conference website. The conference and discussions were held in Czech.

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