New buildings are designed to be more sustainable as an important first step towards climate-neutrality. However, existent buildings are often not green at all with a massive impact on our natural environment. Changing these buildings is, therefore, crucial for the sustainable transformation, and Jona and Christian from our incubation program ‘TheMission: Construction’ have already developed a solution for this ambitious (and urgent) task.
Climate neutral by 2045 – this is your vision with Enervate. Can you tell us more about your startup idea?
Jona: The building sector is one of the largest CO2 emitters in Europe. To make this sector more sustainable, the energetic renovation of many buildings is necessary. However, the current renovation rateis too low due to traditional processes so that it will take 500 years before our building stock is climate neutral. With Enervate, we offer a new way ofrenovation that enables a more efficient and predictable climate neutral transformation of old buildings.
To put it bluntly, you develop a novel renovation concept for the rapid and sustainable modernization of existing building stock. How does it work exactly?
Christian: We focus on the serial and energetic renovation of the facade of uninsulated multifamily-houses. For this purpose, we developed a modular system that attaches a panel heating together with insulation to the exterior wall. To scale our product, we use a digitally assisted value chain. In the first step, a digital twin of the building is generated through a laser scan. After that, our parametric software is used for the automatic planning and configuration of our modules. A generated report then gives an overview of all the important information for decision-making. Once this is done, our partner company manufactures and delivers the modules to the construction site, which can be attached to the exterior wall in just a few steps without requiring many skilled workers and disturbing residents.
What does serial renovation mean?
Jona: The serial renovation of buildings originates from the Netherlands and is also called Energiesprong. This type of renovation has arrived in Germany as well and gained further awareness throught he implementation of pilot projects. The Energiesprong method means that large facade elements are prefabricated in the factory, similar to prefabricated houses, for existing instead of new buildings. In this way, a large part of the work on the construction site is shifted to the factory. The advantages of this approach are a high degree of planning reliability, and faster and more cost-effective renovation.
Behind every strong idea, there is an even stronger team. What is your (individual) background and how do you work together as a team?
Christian: I recently completed my master's degree in computer science. My primary area of responsibility is the development of our planning software and the interaction of the digital value chain. Before that, I was able to gain experience with numerous new technologies during the technical implementation of innovative projects.
Jona: At ENERVATE, I am responsible for the business development and finance. I have gained several years of experience in engineering firms and start-ups. Christian and I complement each other very well in our skillsets and our know-how, working together to realize our vision.
And lastly: how do you work together with our ‘TheMission’ ecosystem, and what will you miss the most after the program ends?
Christian: The close cooperation and exchange with the partner companies and their network is one of the most valuable components of the program. In fact, we are in constant dialogue with technology experts, potential partners, and users. Through the workshops, we were able to develop our first prototype very quickly and had the chance to evaluate our idea.
What we will miss most is the close exchange with the other teams and the after-work table tennis games.