This company makes prefab facades that make old buildings energy efficient

To make for an even sweeter deal, these panels could be installed in as little as 20 minutes.

A German renovation firm called Ecoworks has developed technology that can make old buildings energy efficient simply by putting a big “coat” (or “second skin”) on them.

The process starts with a 3D scan of a house, after which Ecoworks makes wood panels of identical shape and scale to be attached to the outside. As a result, even the most inefficient buildings can be turned into net-energy producers.

In that sense, these panels come with built-in solar panels and insulation. They are also reportedly easy to set up, with the company claiming they could be installed in as little as 20 minutes. A full building conversion, including replacing fossil-fuel-powered heat, can be done in a few weeks.

Even the wood these panels use is eco-friendly as it has been harvested only after achieving optimal carbon capture.

In a demonstration, an apartment block from the 1930s that used 450 kilowatt-hours per square meter of space was equipped with Ecoworks panels while the company monitored the changes in energy consumption.

After the installation, it became so inexpensive to heat, cool, and power, that the solar panels on the roof made this a carbon-negative building, whereas before it was listed as one of the least efficient in the whole nation.

Ecoworks is using artificial intelligence to identify the buildings that will be best suited for its technology. And it will have a ton of work ahead, with reports suggesting that in Germany alone – there are 30 million buildings that are in need of renovation over the next five years to meet prescribed climate targets.

Takeaway

A German startup called Ecoworks is offering a new way for old buildings to potentially reach net-zero status: adding a prefabricated second skin.

The process starts with a 3D scan of an old building after which the digital model is sent to suppliers and a factory, where most of the second skin is prefabricated, including windows, ventilation, and channels for pipes.

The resulting new envelope includes a modular roof with built-in solar panels. Construction workers can install a facade panel at the site in 20 minutes. A full building conversion, including replacing fossil-fuel-powered heat, can be done in a few weeks.
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Action point

FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS:
One of the big challenges to reaching net-zero is converting existing buildings to reduce their carbon footprint. That's what Ecoworks is all about and its savvy technology could help your municipality "go green" faster. Their process of installing facade panels with insulation and solar panels at the site can be completed in 20 minutes, making it an easy sell to your constituents. This means it is also cost-effective and could help you score some (political) points in your community. So, contact Ecoworks and explore partnership opportunities to bring their tech to your city/town.

FOR BUSINESSES:
One of the big challenges to reaching net-zero is converting existing buildings to reduce their carbon footprint. That's what Ecoworks is all about and its savvy technology could help your municipal clients "go green" faster. Their process of installing facade panels with insulation and solar panels at the site can be completed in 20 minutes, making it an easy sell. This means it is also cost-effective and could help you score some points in the communities where you're operating. So, contact Ecoworks and explore partnership opportunities to bring their tech to the city/town clients you serve (or want to serve).