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31.07.2012 | Hamburg | Germany

Co2olBricks' successful Hamburg Summer of Architecture

During this years Hamburg Summer of Architecture Co2olBricks organised three events to show an example where the historic brick façade was not touched but the total heating energy consumption was reduced by 2/3. Thanks to some funding by the City of Hamburg it was possible to keep the increase of the rent to a level almost equal to the saved energy costs. Because the house is in a low income area this is very important for the tenants as well as for the landlord. If the rent is too high people would move out and he would be left with an empty house gaining  no return on his  investment.

It has to be admitted that the historic building was not kept untouched. The back side was insulated externally, the attick was turned into additional flats, the roof was lifted up a little bit and insulated, new highly insulating windows were installed in the back facacde, the windows to the street side were as well modernised but only with double glazing instead of triple glazing, the cellar was insulated and a modern boiler installed for the heating and hot water. Additionally a solar thermal  system was installed on the roof.

The visitors were shown the street façade, the back yard, the roof with the solar thermal system and the cellar with the new heating system . Afterwards in a panel discussion the possibilities were discussed how the protection of the climate and of historic buildings can be combined.  One of the main outcomes of the discussion was that not all CO2-reduction hast to come from reducing heating energy, but that already a 30% reduction can be achieved by switching the electricity generation to 100% renewable. It is the political agenda to achieve this by 2050. This leaves only another 70% energy reduction that has to be achieved by the heating. This can also be achieved in a historic building as it was shown by the example demonstrated in the Summer of Architecture.


(source: Department for Heritage Preservation)