The building sector is responsible for about 40 percent of the global energy demand, 50 percent of the world’s population live in cities, around ¾ of the German population lives in cities or in peripheral areas. The carbon roadmap of the European community plans that by 2050 the CO2 emission related to the building sector have to be reduced by 90 percent in comparison to 1990. The realization of this target will affect the built environment and will transform it.
A platform for innovative research and advanced technologies
For the third time, the German American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco, a series of lectures at universities along the West Coast, to help students to connect their classroom studies to real-world developments, and to introduce German academic research and technologies in the field of energy efficiency. The lecture series at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, the University of Oregon and Portland State University was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Export Initiative for Energy Efficiency. Because of its innovation-oriented population and its progressive energy and energy efficiency policy, California and Oregon were predestined for the lecture series.
Sustainability enriches architectural possibilities
At the two hour lectures, Professor Auer presented in his Keynote “High Comfort – Low Impact” TUM strategies in teaching and research that help achieve optimized comfort conditions in buildings by reducing the resource demand both in buildings and in public space.
Professor Auer spoke about a specific building that he and his team at Transsolar worked on to overcome the unique climatic challenges in Winnipeg (Canada) and showcased that the “Manitoba Hydro Place” dynamically adapts to the continuously changing climatic conditions. The energy efficiency of this innovative office building was, for example, maximized by optimizing the orientation to use passive solar gains to condition the interior space; high ceilings to increase natural daylight; creating envelope buffer zones as winter gardens and double facades for passive solar pre-conditioning of fresh air.
He pointed out that energy efficiency in the last decade was driven by technology. However, the integral connection related to the district and the urban scale is being rethought nowadays. Moreover, the amenity value as well as the architectural and haptic quality is getting increasingly in focus and passive strategies to achieve energy efficiency and the integration of renewable energy sources are integral elements of architecture. He pointed out that sustainability does not necessarily limit architectural possibilities, but can certainly enrich them.
Personal contacts, networks and long-term relationships
A selected group of leading German companies from the field of architecture and green building technologies, including Behnisch Architects, GeoKoax, and Schueco also spoke at the series to present their latest innovative products and reference projects, which incorporated energy efficiency solutions. Their main goal was to build contact with future decision-makers, potential customers or future employees, and to establish long-term relationships with universities. Following the lecture series, students, faculty and experts used the opportunity for bilateral discussion in a subsequent networking reception.
The immediate response of all participants was positive in every respect and Professor Thomas Auer was invited to come back again for a lecture next year.
Desk: Dolores Volkert