Switzerland is on the way to a challenging energy future. Against this background, the Swiss National Science Foundation launched the two National Research Programmes “Energy Turnaround” and “Managing Energy Consumption” in 2014 on behalf of the Federal Council. The NRPs address various aspect of the transformation of the Swiss energy system. Special importance is attached to the subject of “Buildings and Settlement” here: what, where and how we build and use structures significantly impacts the consumption of land and other resources as well as CO2 emissions. Especially impressive is the energy consumption of the country's building stock: it accounts for around 50 % of the energy consumed in Switzerland. Some 10 % is used for construction processes and building materials and 40 % for operations, i.e. for heating and cooling as well as the preparation of hot water.
The more than 100 projects of the NRP 70 and NRP 71 have identified a large number of factors that should contribute to reducing the high energy consumption of the building stock. On the one hand, energy efficiency should be increased and the behaviour of users modified. On the other, buildings should increasingly be operated with renewable energies, for example via multi-energy hub systems or photovoltaics at the properties themselves. Here, a focus is placed on results that address the following questions:
- How can state-of-the-art photovoltaic elements be integrated in the building shell in an aesthetically and economically acceptable manner?
- How can power, heat and cold be stored seasonally in a cost-effective way?
- Under which conditions do decentralised hybrid energy systems have a future?
- How can the energy efficiency of existing buildings be substantially and economically increased in a reasonable time?
- What contribution can be made by digitalisation?
- What role should the state play in the energetic conversion of the building stock?
These and other interesting topics as well as specific recommendations for action will be presented and discussed at the NRP 70 and NRP 71 closing event on the topic of “Buildings and Settlement”.