Zero Energy Buildings... Living the Future

Successful through Innovation - Zero Energy Buildings... Living the Future

Successful through Innovation

Interview with Bernd Ludwig, Bott Bau
In 1842, when Valentin Bott founded his company in Guldental, he couldn’t have imagined that the traditional family business would live on for seven generations. Vision and innovative decisions have always shaped the family philosophy.

Building is a complex subject. Where do you see your own role in it?
A smoothly running process can only be guaranteed if the many building trades perfectly interlock. Consequently, keeping track of everything requires years of experience. For more than 170 years, our family business has been planning and realizing projects of different sizes ranging from energy-efficient single family homes to sophisticated industrial buildings.

How ‘sustainable’ are your constructions?
Right back in the early 70s, we built our head office in Guldental as a show house equipped with solar cells, heat pump, and floor heating system. Such
building installations have since been perfected and are now standard, but at that time they were dismissed as rather “exotic”. This building is now 40 years old, but it still functions perfectly and has meanwhile proven itself to be a trendsetter.

Is this principle also applicable to commercial and industrial buildings?
Renewable energy is an important subject in our region: in 2004, the first communal hall for sports and cultural events with integrated pellet heating was opened in Grolsheim. Its energy consumption is about 73 percent below the German Energy Saving Ordinance. The building has already established itself as a showpiece for the local Agenda 21.

The next step would be a low-energy building…
... and we took that step four years ago. The 2,000m² sales hall for the Outdoor Furniture Centre Wingenter is equipped with a photovoltaic roof and heat pump. We’ve built kilometres of energy-saving floor heating tubing into the concrete floor, which was necessary for statical reasons. On average, the building produces more energy than it consumes. In fact, it’s really a ‘plus-energy building’.