04 April 2019 | updated: 27.10.2021

The number of research projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in the field of energy-optimised buildings and neighbourhoods is rising steadily: while there were 148 newly approved projects in 2016, there are already 234 in 2018. The accompanying scientific research on energy-reversing buildings analyses, compares and evaluates some of the research projects. One result of these activities is the publication series "Tiefenbohrung" ("Deep Drilling"). The results from surveys of more than 900 projects and their sub-projects were included.

With a total of five publications in the series, the accompanying research provides an overview of current research projects in the fields of "Digital tools and software-based solutions", "Heat pump applications", "Sector coupling", "Heat networks" and "Energy balancing of buildings and neighbourhoods". The aim is to offer the interested public an insight into research and its results in the field of energy-optimised buildings and neighbourhoods. To this end, the accompanying research conducted surveys of the participating research institutions from 2017 to 2018. In addition, the experts structured and analysed existing reports and publications on the various projects. The results of these evaluations are summarised in the following publication titles:

Digital tools and software-based solutions

Against the background of networked building and neighbourhood concepts, systemic approaches are becoming increasingly important. These include the role of the user and increasingly focus on the aspect of sector coupling. Digital tools and software-based solutions are gaining in importance. This report provides an overview of research projects dealing with this topic.

Heat pump applications in research and practice

The authors describe the developments to date in the use of and research into heat pumps. The first part focuses on the practical use of heat pumps as main heat generators in new and existing buildings. In the second part, current research questions on heat pumps in the area of "Energy in buildings and neighbourhoods" are examined.

Sector coupling

On the basis of projects and results from workshops and publications, the authors present obstacles and problems that can arise in the use of cross-sectoral technologies. These results will be compared with scientific publications and future fields of research will be identified. In addition, the authors present the common definitions of the term "sector coupling" and develop their own draft.

Integration of renewable energies in the heating network

The focus of research has shifted in the direction of a systemic approach due to the funding of "Model Project Heat Grid Systems 4.0". Earlier funding was usually limited to individual technologies and component development. The cross-analysis shows that lowering the system temperature as the basis for the efficient integration of renewable heat is an important topic in many research projects. In 56 subprojects, the teams of scientists focused on the topic of heating networks. Half of these projects dealt with the practical implementation of the heating network.

Energetic balancing of buildings and neighbourhoods using primary energy factors and CO2 equivalents

The study examines the energetic evaluation of buildings during operation on the basis of CO2 equivalents in comparison to the non-renewable share of primary energy. The study is based on projects in the field of energy turnaround construction. The authors investigated how the significance of different supply concepts changes when the greenhouse gas emissions emitted by buildings are considered instead of the non-renewable primary energy share.

The analysis is based on an example building and various quarters. Interested parties will find here all publications from the series "Tiefenbohrung" with bibliographic information for download. Other publications on research topics in the field of energy-optimised buildings and neighbourhoods are also listed there.