The Level of Technology

Thomas Geuder
1. februari 2019
Climate-control façade of the Satellite Terminal at Munich Airport (photo: Florian Hausladen) 

Against the background of digitalization, building services, in particular, have been making great strides forward for years. We talked to Elisabeth Endres, member of the management board of Ingenieurbüro Hausladen, about current developments and trends. 

Interview partner: Elisabeth Endres from Ingenieurbüro Hausladen (Kirchheim, DE)

ISH Talk + Tour:  Elisabeth Endres «HighTech vs LowTech» Monday, March 11, 12:00 - 14:00

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Thomas Geuder: Mrs. Endres, for over 30 years, Ingenieurbüro Hausladen – under the direction of Prof. Gerhard Hausladen and Florian Hausladen – has stood for an integrated approach to energy planning for buildings. What priorities do you set in this context and what are the guiding principles behind your corporate philosophy?

Elisabeth Endres: As a trained architect, I direct my attention to the implementation of integral planning done by of our office, with a focus on the two questions of "How much and which technology do we need in the context of the load profiles of the building or the energy supply?" and "How is this integrated into the buildings?". Due to the connection to building climate control, the level of technology is in our office closely related to the façade design and the building construction. Integration is an essential issue for me, as it should be designed in such a way that buildings with long life cycles can continue to last even if they are converted to suit a new use or the technical facilities are refurbished.

Thomas Geuder: At what point in the project are you usually involved and how do you then approach the concept development?

Elisabeth Endres: At Ingenieurbüro Hausladen, we cover not only the planning of technical HVAC and power supply systems but also the consulting services for building physics and energy supply in all HOAI service phases. My work focuses on advice on concepts during the competition phase respectively at the start of the project up to HOAI service phase 3. Beyond execution planning and implementation, I remain involved in so far as the ideas of the concept are maintained in the implementation and are accordingly incorporated into the execution. A decisive basic attitude of the Hausladen office is the intensive cooperation of architecture, structural design, building climate control, and building services in the first two HOAI service phases of a project, since important aspects have to be defined and coordinated at this early stage. A coordinated planning that answers the aspects of integral planning determines the success of a project.

Thomas Geuder: The credo of the moment is to simply "save energy". However, specialist planners know that this formulation of the overarching topic of "energy management" is far too short-sighted. What advice do you give to a client who wants (or has) to do something for the environment but only has a limited budget?

Elisabeth Endres: In the discussion about building of the future, the focus is no longer on savings within the system boundary of buildings; the issues of CO2 emissions will be crucial, from the construction of the building to its operation, supply, and recyclability. The land consumption per capita and the associated CO2 emissions per capita will be a decisive adjusting screw. This figure will replace the measurement unit kWh/m2a and thus represent an important contribution to climate-friendly construction. In addition, the integration of buildings into the energy supply as buffers will become necessary to achieve the required shift from fossil to renewable energy sources.

Eiermann building in Apolda, branch office of IBA Thüringen; "House in house concept for the revitalization of the monument without interfering with the building structure" (photo: IBA Thüringen) 
Thomas Geuder: In a smart home or smart building, all or at least as many building components as possible are connected and can communicate with each other. Many things are possible, but what level of technology – perhaps even with respect to materials and architecture as passive technology – do you consider sensible?

Elisabeth Endres: I am critical of the combination of many components to create a comfortable indoor climate and to control usage, since the sources of error increase with the growing number of components. Highly technical buildings are usually optimized for a maximum point, which requires a flawless operation of all systems. However, the measures for monitoring and continuous operational optimization are often lacking. In my understanding, the robustness of a simple, low-component strategy is decisive for the efficient operation of a building and the intended involvement of users. The influence of this action increases with the degree of technologization, as the sources of error also increase. The user influence is therefore one of the most uncertain marginal conditions besides the development of external climatic conditions for the operation of buildings.

Thomas Geuder: The digitalization of buildings has by no means reached its end yet, especially with regard to energy planning and the heating, ventilation, and cooling management. Where do you think the journey is taking us in these segments and what developments can we expect in the future?

Elisabeth Endres: With respect to temperature control, the availability of electricity will be a decisive factor in building operation. Buildings will have to buffer electricity in times of solar- and wind-dependent peak loads in the generation of electricity in order to be able to use this stored energy in times of lower load profiles. In the course of the optimization of heating and cooling loads in buildings through improved envelope structures, systems for individual room control will play a subordinate role. This last step has not yet been taken after optimizing technical possibilities in the façades, but it means a great simplification in planning and operation. Digital planning tools are indispensable for decision-making in the conception and implementation phase of such concepts; here, a better linking of different dynamic as well as static calculation tools should take place.

Thomas Geuder: Finally, a more personal, almost fictitious question: Which device that doesn't yet exist, but which could change energy planning and climate design decisively, would you like to have?

Elisabeth Endres: I would like to have a interpreter that optimizes the communication between architects and engineers and supports interdisciplinary collaboration to create buildings that do not correspond to a standard or a fashion, but provide answers to the questions of the future.

Interior view of Ingenieurbüro Hausladen: conversion of an agricultural building into an office building in Kirchheim near Munich (photo: Florian Hausladen) 
Elisabeth Endres

works both in practice and research at the interface of architecture and technical systems and their integration into building structures. The question of what indoor climate in buildings is created by means of passive strategies, which technology is complementary, and how it is integrated into the buildings is the focus of her considerations. At first, Elisabeth Endres studied architecture at the Technical Universities of Kaiserslautern and Munich, graduating with a diploma. In 2007, she joined the chair of "Building Climate Control and Building Technology" under the direction of Professor Gerhard Hausladen as a research assistant. In addition to individual research projects, she was responsible for the teaching activities in the Architecture degree program, built up the “Energy-Efficient Sustainable Building” degree course, and directed the integral modules in the "ClimaDesign" degree program. Since 2013, she has been a project manager at Ingenieurbüro Hausladen and, as a doctoral student at TU Munich, a member of the International Graduate School for Science and Engineering. In 2018, she was appointed to the management of Ingenieurbüro Hausladen. She thus has a decisive influence on the development of the office, which has stood for integral concepts in the field of tension between passive and active parameters in building planning for over 30 years. She holds teaching positions at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich and at the Universities of Wismar and Salzburg.

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From March 11 to 15, 2019, more than 2,400 exhibitors, including all market and technology leaders from Germany and abroad, will be presenting new products and innovations at ISH, the world's leading trade fair for water, heat, and air conditioning technology. The top theme ISH Water with the "Colour" trend show focuses on innovative bathroom design and sustainable sanitary solutions. Within the framework of ISH Energy, the industry is addressing topics such as energy efficiency and comfort in buildings. At the same time, ISH meets the growing demand for individualization, well-being, and aesthetics. Solutions across systems cover all requirements and make a decisive contribution to energy-efficient and resource-saving building services. As the international meeting place for the industry as a whole – 64 percent of exhibitors and 40 percent of around 200,000 visitors come from abroad – ISH plays a leading role worldwide.

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