Review of FIW Thermal Insulation Day 2012

Importance of energy efficiency in the context of the energy revolution. Concepts! Implementation?

Following the slogan "Importance of energy efficiency in the context of the energy revolution. Concepts! Implementation", this year's FIW Munich Thermal Insulation Day took place on 15th of June 2012 in the Haus der Bayerischen Wirtschaft.

Dr. Marcel Huber

Klaus-W. Körner, Managing director of the FIW Munich, was very happy to be able to greet further personalities in addition to 250 guests at the Thermal Insulation Day in addition to the Bavarian State Minister for Environment and Health, Dr. Marcel Huber, Member of the German State Parliament. In his remarks concerning the subject of "The FIW in the energy efficiency and climatic change environment", he addressed the fact that the institute, which was founded purely for the purposes of improving thermal insulation in buildings and industrial processes (nowadays known as energy efficiency) almost 100 years ago, and also addressed the tasks resulting from the decision to undergo an energy revolution and the results of the climate change. According to Mr Körner, they cannot be separated from one another. "Many questions about the future competitiveness of our economy, the retention of our prosperity through the avoidance of social rejection, in other words the economic future of Germany and also coping with the global climate change, are dependent on our success in converting the energy supply and the enormous social and economic changeover process which is caused by this". Further core points of Mr Körner's remarks were that the energy revolution which has been conjured up is utopic without an improvement in energy efficiency, and that the building condition plays a dominant role within energy efficiency.  "This is where the largest, quickest to activate, most ecological to complete and ecologically-challenging potential is. For this reason it isn't simply a question of increasing the implementation speed, but also to increase the renovation rate to at least around 2% of the building stock. In order to achieve this, plannable and increased financial incentives, i.e. a long-term stable funding background which also must contain tax-related components and changes to the rent law, are necessary."

Dr. Matthias Metz

The Thermal Insulation Day 2012 was officially opened by a greeting from the Bavarian State Minister for Environment and Health, Dr. Marcel Huber, member of the German State Parliament. The Minister stated that the importance of the FIW Munich is nowadays greater than ever. "You were originally founded in 1918 in order to promote the scientific principles of heat and cold insulation. Almost 100 years later, the FIW Munich has become a modern research institute, a testing, monitoring and certification body for insulating materials and structural elements. I warmly congratulate you on this" said Dr. Huber.

During the course of the day, 20 individual lectures were held in two different rooms so that the participants could change depending on their interests. Over half of the lectures were concerned with structural engineering, the rest with industrial insulation.

Dr. Matthias Metz, Chairman of the Board of the Schwäbisch Hall Building Society, gives a talk on the subject of "German residential stock is getting old - financing tasks in building renovation". Dr. Metz's lecture made it very clear that there is a considerable unused potential in the building energy efficiency sector, and that it is definitely possible to mobilise private capital through the use of subsidy incentives. Dr. Metz said, "This capital is available, but is still waiting to be called up. The energy revolution and its success are important for both prosperity and sustainability far outside our generation alone, and the savers can cope with this task".

A further talk was given by architect Dr. Burkhard Schulze Darup from the Schulze Darup & Partner architectural offices in Nuremberg. He talked about "Renovation with a factor of 10 - project examples with monitoring results". It became impressively clear that energy-efficient measures or upgrades are not only of a theoretical nature. On the contrary, their application is permanently being practised and is also economic. Using project examples with monitoring processes, Dr. Schulze Darup put several incorrect media portrayals into place.

After the day's events, a social evening containing three highlights followed Thermal Insulation Day 2012 in the Vier Jahreszeiten hotel.

The first highlight was the talk given by construction Minister Dr. Peter Ramsauer, Member of the German Bundestag. To quote the Minister, "To many of us, it appears that thermal insulation is a subject originating from the last 10 or 20 years. However the subject is undoubtedly of major economic importance precisely because of the climatic change. Retention of energy with the help of modern insulation and highly efficient masonry is one of the basic requirements for mastering the energy revolution.  Without a doubt, the government considers that the building sector plays a key role in the energy revolution.  40% of the final energy consumption takes place in the building sector. The energetic renovation of the building stock, the increase in energy efficiency within the transport sector and conversion to renewable energy provision are therefore of central importance. The FIW's expertise is, therefore, much in demand."
Klaus-W. Körner then took the opportunity, in the company of Dr. Ramsauer, of restating the fact that tax laws also need to accompany the necessary ecological changeover in addition to public and subsidy policies, and at the same time thanked the government for the subsidy policy measures already put into practice. At the same time, he pointed out that unused energy is the highest level of energy efficiency and the best domestic energy source. "It makes us independent of expensive energy imports and highly-subsidised energy providers or those spoiling the ecological balance - in other words energy efficiency is the best protection available against higher energy prices. The FIW Munich will introduce the existing knowledge, professional expertise and its current reputation into the necessary dialogue between political lawmakers, the manufacturing industry, commercial processors in a scientific manner with research activities, and also through exchange and clarification with the aim that the generation's duty should become a generation's fairness. However, to do this it will be necessary to achieve a further basis for negotiation strategies for solving and overcoming the many obstacles still present, and also the information deficit in the building sector. This should be made clear through the direction of Thermal Insulation Day both this year and in the future, and through practical application examples. To sum up, a decoupling of value appreciation and energy consumption must be striven for through an increase in energy efficiency and productivity.

The second highlight of the evening was the eulogy given by Klaus-W. Körner to the retiring managing director Dr. Roland Gellert and the official handover of the position to his successor Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Holm. Mr Körner thanked Dr. Gellert for his 12 years of successful institute management, and attested to his flawless work during continuously great modesty. Mr Körner then awarded Dr. Gellert honorary membership of the FIW in the name of the FIW Munich Board of Directors. As a leaving gift Dr. Gellert, who is an impassioned golfer and hobby cook, was presented with two suitable vouchers. Prof. Holm then offered Mr Körner his best wishes for his future responsible tasks at the FIW Munich.

The third highlight was of a musical nature, which pleased a further evening's guest of honour, President of the Bavarian Music Council State Minister Dr. Thomas Goppel, member of the German State Parliament. Prof. Dr. Karl Gertis, honorary member of the FIW Munich and also a composer in his time, presented the FIW Munich with an anthem he had composed himself, and gave his best during the premiere performance together with a brass quartet. The public's response was extremely enthusiastic, and Klaus-W. Körner was really moved. Prof. Gertis then presented him with the sheet music for the piece, and said that it was really rather a good thing that the FIW Munich was able to have its own anthem six years before its 100th birthday.

The FIW can therefore look back on an extremely successful Thermal Insulation Day 2012, and is looking forward to being host in Munich again next year.

All the lectures presented on Thermal Insulation Day 2012 are available here for free download.