Energy-efficient construction

  A graphic showing a house with a solar panel on the roof. It is surrounded by green trees and blue arrows. Copyright: © iPE  

With the adoption of the Climate Protection Plan in 2016, Germany was one of the first countries to present an implementation plan for achieving the climate targets agreed in the Paris Agreement. The German government's ambitious goal is to be climate neutral by 2050.

The building sector is highly relevant for the realisation of this goal, as there are around 21 million buildings in Germany, which account for around 35 % of energy demand and 30 % of greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, this means that the savings potential in the building sector is high and thus a central lever for achieving the climate targets. To achieve these goals, more energy-efficient buildings and a higher share of renewable energies in their heat and energy consumption are needed. To achieve this, the actors involved in the planning and construction process, from architects and project developers to the craftsmen and women who carry out the work and the users, must be considered and activated.

Despite the great technical progress and numerous innovations in the building sector, the implementation of energy-efficient buildings often fails and endangers the achievement of climate protection goals. The German government's interim target of achieving a greenhouse gas reduction in the German building sector of at least 66 % by 2020 compared to the reference year 1990 has already been missed. In order to achieve the future goals, implementation must be optimised for all parties involved and existing obstacles must be reduced.

Within the framework of the research area of energy-efficient construction, the many non-technical factors and framework conditions that influence the implementation of energy-efficient buildings are to be investigated. In addition to the economic efficiency of measures, this also includes investment incentives through regulations and legal requirements. In addition, the acceptance of measures to increase the efficiency of buildings by the stakeholders involved will be investigated. It will also be examined how this can be increased through participation.

This investigation will help to identify obstacles to implementation and potential for optimisation. From these, recommendations for action will be derived for increased implementation of energy-efficient buildings in order to promote the achievement of climate goals.

Researcher: Lisa von Wittenhorst, M.Sc. RWTH