Webinar Series "Energy Efficiency in Buildings" |

New webinar series “Energy Efficiency in Buildings” in Chile and Germany

The first meeting brought together experts from Fraunhofer ISE, Passivhaus Chile Institute, the Construction Institute and the Chilean Ministry of Energy.

Within cities, buildings are amongst the largest contributors to CO2 emissions, being responsible for approximately 40% of global emissions of this pollutant. The role of large buildings in the emission of carbon dioxide, the main gas implicated in global warming, is extremely high, and shows clearly that one of the fundamental keys to the solution to this pressing problem lies in the improvement of the architecture and energy performance of buildings, aiming to higher efficiency and making them more environmentally friendly.

There’s a widespread consensus that climate protection is only possible through a significative reduction of energy consumption and green-house gases’ emission in the building sector. At the same time, there are intense discussions about which instruments are adequate to reach the Paris Agreement’s goals.

Due to these reasons, AHK Chile, together with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and Fraunhofer Society, have organized a series of webinars about “Energy Efficiency in Buildings”, in the framework of the Energy Partnership Chile-Alemania, which started on April 9th, 2019, following the signature of a declaration of intent between the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Chilean Ministry of Energy. The Energy Partnership has a full-time secretariat in Santiago de Chile. GIZ is the implementing organisation of this partnership. Together with the Chilean Ministry of Energy, they have been successfully cooperating for more than 10 years. For its part, AHK Chile contributes the synergies of trade cooperation to the Energy Partnership.

First webinar: "Large Buildings"

Under this title, the first episode of this series took place on August 25th, seeking to delve in the possibilities for constructing more energy-efficient large buildings and to identify where and how to invest to achieve short-term benefits and savings.

Nicolás Pintor, Head of the Infrastructure, Building and Cities Unit of the Chilean Ministry of Energy, contextualized the importance of the new Energy Efficiency Law, under which the energy rating of new buildings will be mandatory. Arnulf Dinkel, Project Manager of the Department for Energy Efficiency in Buildings at Fraunhofer ISE, explained the organisation’s work and the current developments around this topic in Germany, where the Law of Energy Efficiency in Buildings demands energy certification for all new buildings. He also highlighted the importance that building re-conditioning has, going into further details about how this could be achieved.

Hernán Madrid, Head of Sustainable Building’s Certification at the Construction Institute, stated that 424 buildings are currently undergoing this process. He concluded his presentation with the bi-provincial Hospital Quillota Petorca, which was awarded an Outstanding Certification.

Finally, George Sommerhoff, General Manager of EEChile at the Passivhaus Institute, presented this certification developed in Germany, which aims at energy efficiency, the elimination of CO2 emissions, and the comfort of the inhabitants. To acquire this certification, it’s required to not exceed 15 kWh/m2 in heating and cooling, not exceed 25°C in summer, and to be airtight. Applying these criteria to houses in Temuco, a city with air pollution issues, it was observed that the certification could reduce their energy demands by 90%, compared to current consumption.

The next episode in this webinar series is scheduled for mid-October, with the topic "Applications and Best Practices in Chile and Germany", where, together with the Chilean Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MINVU), AgenciaSE, Fraunhofer ISE, and others, promotion programmes in Chile, façade-integrated photovoltaic systems and concrete examples in both countries will be discussed.