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Unternehmenszentrale Vonovia
Press Release

Serial retrofitting for climate protection – Vonovia presents Energiesprong project

  • Method shows benefits of sustainable serial retrofitting.
  • Resource-efficient pre-assembly increases speed of transition to green energy.
  • Mayor Thomas Eiskirch welcomes Vonovia`s pilot project in Bochum.

Bochum, 03. March 2022 – The ready-made insulating panels – each 7.5 m long and one floor high – have now been fitted to the façades of the three houses with 24 flats in the centre of Bochum. The heating system has been converted to sustainable geothermal energy, and the solar panels are to follow soon. At the end of last year, Vonovia launched its first serial retrofit project under the Energiesprong principle in Bochum. It has now presented the progress made in this pilot project.

“Climate protection is one of the central challenges of this century, and the housing industry now needs to implement Germany’s energy transi-tion plans in its existing buildings,” says Konstantina Kanellopoulos, Chief Representative at Vonovia. “It’s ambitious – partly also because there aren’t enough skilled workers, especially in the trade sector. Serial retro-fitting offers immense potential due to the high level of prefabrication.”

The Mayor of Bochum, Thomas Eiskirch, also welcomes the Vonovia project: “I’m very pleased that this innovative method is being piloted here in Bochum. To tackle climate change, we need new and efficient solutions that work in the neighbourhood and can be applied on a broad scale. These are precisely the technologies which we, as a local council, want to prioritize.”

High level of off-site manufacturing and sustainable use of resources

Energiesprong stands for a carbon-neutral makeover of buildings, based on serial production. The façade elements are pre-assembled to the millimetre, using above all sustainable building materials, of which some are recycled. The frames are made of timber and filled with sustainable insulation material. They are then assembled at the actual building site, thus reducing the need for on-site staff and lessening the impact on residents. Solar panels on the roofs produce green energy. This all-round concept reduces carbon emissions to zero.

Resource-efficient pre-assembly increases speed of transition to green energy

Energy transition has the highest priority at Vonovia. However, climate protection in existing buildings must not put an undue financial burden on tenants. The Energiesprong principle offers important starting points and thus new stimuli for faster, resource-efficient retrofitting. After all, serial construction is low-cost and green energy is produced within the neigh-bourhood itself. As a long-term result, depending on individual user behaviour, the upgrade stays neutral in terms of rental prices plus utility charges.

Once Vonovia has completed this project, it will work with its partners in industry to explore the potential of this upgrading method for all its existing buildings. “For a full-scale rollout of this method, we do, however, need legal specifications that will reduce red tape and provide planning security concerning subsidies. Realistic long-term solutions in protecting our climate can only be achieved if we can work with robust and reliable parameters,” says Konstantina Kanellopoulos.

Jana Kaminski