Buildings and energy

The goals of the sub-team can be divided in three different time frames: long-term, medium-term and short-term. One of the long-term goals is sustainable construction. This is a fundamental topic to prepare the university for a sustainable future. “Long-term does not mean that we do not have to start right now and request, for example, highly energy-efficient buildings in our usage requirement”, says Professor Lukas Schmidt-Mende, speaker of the sub-team that is part of the Sustainable Development Working Group, established on the initiative of our Senate.

“We as a working group can lobby,” says physicist Schmidt-Mende, who also sees the working group as an opportunity to exert influence. For him, university and science act as role models influencing society. “Everything we can build sustainably now will be more efficient and cheaper than having to retrofit in a few years,” says team speaker Schmidt-Mende.

The university as well as every individual person have to do their share. A medium-term goal is, for example, waste heat. Currently, Lake Constance water is used to cool the university’s server rooms. The sub-team “Bauen und Energie” will work towards using this thermal energy for heating instead of returning it as waste heat to Lake Constance.

Finally, the short-term goals: The team plans a competition to identify the research teams or working groups which use energy resources most efficiently. The incentive will be that the costs saved that way will be returned to the corresponding team.

Every individual person can do a lot. The sub-team intends to increase the awareness of the fact that even “small-scale” ideas lead to the goal, says Schmidt-Mende. This includes avoiding typical situations such as heating on and window open. The working group is looking forward to exchanging many ideas to make our university a sustainable university.

Contact: Prof Dr Lukas Schmidt-Mende (extension: 5409), Department of Physics