Table of Contents
For trade disciplines
and those involved in the construction of the building
Improving a building's energy-efficiency and integrating renewable energy sources into the building's energy supply are the most effective measures for reducing space heating demand. We can implement these approaches swiftly to respond to the current energy supply crisis. Of course, “behaviour-related energy savings” can and will play a role in this respect, we will discuss this in another article. However, all three together - renewable energy, efficiency, and sufficiency - complement each other perfectly and are not “in competition” with one another, as is sometimes assumed. This article will focus on structural and technical approaches for reducing the heating demand, and thus fiel consumption, of buildings. There are a variety of skills found across different trade disciplines that play a singificant role in this topic.
The Passive House Institute has decades of experience with systems engineering, concentrating on heat pumps and other heating strategies, ventilation, windows, thermal protection and airtightness. The Institute has developed considerable know-how relating to the most effective implementation of such measures. Much of this information is documented on https://Passipedia.de. For tradespeople and their respective disciplines, specific step-by-step information is summarised here. For those wishing to expand their professional skills, the Institute and its course provider partners worldwide offer courses on energy-efficient construction especially for tradespeople. You can find out more here: Tradesperson Course on Energy Efficiency.
Some basic guidelines in advance:
- Work with - and not against - each other! No discipline (with rare exceptions) should stand in the way of any other trade. Friction can be avoided by scheduling dates for specific tasks in advance, coordinating them with the applicable construction phase. It is important to remember that every trade contributes to the new solar thermal system. This includes applying appropriate insulation to the facade, pipes and roof, installing high-quality windows correctly and so much more. By practicing your trade to the best of your ability, you play your part in the building reaching its full energy-efficiency potential.
- There are significant differences in the effectiveness of measures. This is especially clear when measures are implemented to only slightly better levels than in the “business as usual” scenario. This leads to lock-in effects, wasting an opportunity to improve the building's energy-efficiency and reach its potential! Opportunities should be taken whenever they appear. By applying the principle of “if it's worth doing, it is worth doing properly!”, lock-in effects can be avoided.
- There are many further education opportunities for tradespeople interested in expanding their skills. We will list compact course options here.