Covestro leads modernisation project

26 October 2015

An unparalleled building modernisation project under the overall leadership of materials manufacturer Covestro is driving the ecological transformation of the city of Bottrop in western Germany’s Ruhr industrial region. One of the world’s first office buildings enables to generate more energy than its occupants consume – thanks to a total refurbishment – opened there on Friday, October 16. The building could serve as a model for many similar properties. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Dr Barbara Hendricks, the German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. The building also was included at the same time in the lineup of groundbreaking achievements for climate protection in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Known as the ‘Covestro Building of the Future’, the project in downtown Bottrop was realized under the auspices of the InnovationCity Ruhr initiative. The initiative’s objective is to pursue numerous individual measures in large areas of Bottrop to reduce CO2 emissions by half and improve quality of life. And now the approach is also being taken in other cities in the region.

Considerably less energy consumption

"The Building of the Future can serve as a model for the many commercial properties in Germany and throughout the world that have not yet been refurbished for improved energy efficiency,” said Dr Joachim Wolff, who heads the Polyurethanes Business Unit. "There is quite obviously a need for such action. And it is also clear that we can take steps to remedy the situation. After all, with expert refurbishment and the latest building technology, the energy needs of a house can be cut by as much as 80 percent.”

More than 50 years old, the commercial building in Bottrop’s pedestrian zone was transformed into an energy-plus building by applying a tailored refurbishment concept in combination with highly effective products and solutions. Its previous energy use was reduced by almost 75% without significantly changing the building’s total area. The minimal energy needs remaining are more than covered by environmentally friendly, renewable energy sources.

Highly effective insulation

A key to realising the energy savings is a high-efficiency insulating material made of polyurethane foam, whose components are produced and continuously improved by Covestro. In addition, partners from the EcoCommercial Building Program – a Covestro-led international network of experts specializing in sustainable construction – supported the renovation project with products and know-how, including energy-efficient windows and innovative lighting and building services technologies.

Taking part in the inauguration ceremony were Bottrop’s Mayor Bernd Tischler, project developer Oliver Helmke and InnovationCity CEO Burkhard Drescher. Also in attendance was Dr Heinrich Dornbusch, Senior Managing Director of the KlimaExpo.NRW initiative. He presented Covestro manager Wolff with a certificate documenting the building’s official inclusion among the major climate protection measures in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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