Our view of energy will have to change drastically. Fossil fuel-based energy must be replaced by sustainably produced energy. Today, however, these sustainable sources are not sufficient to meet our energy requirements. By combining new and existing technology and getting people to work together, Deerns is making great progress towards alternative sustainable energy sources.

CO2 reductions calls for innovation

The effects of CO2 emission on our planet is clearly visible. Investments will therefore have to be made in clean, renewable energy sources such as solar, hydrogen and wind energy. Special attention should be paid to the efficient production and storage of energy without harming the environment. Breakthrough innovation requires investments amounting to billions of euros, which can only be achieved through international partnerships between, for example, oil producers, energy suppliers and governments.

Local successes

In anticipation of these global partnerships, many initiatives are already being taken to meet the energy challenge. As far as buildings are concerned, sustainable combinations of existing and new techniques are being applied that greatly improve the energy performance of both existing and new buildings. In addition, increasingly more building owners, users and developers want this sustainability to be measurable and comparable. This could be achieved through certification methods such as BREEAM and LEED. But also apart from these certifications, sustainability ambitions for buildings are increasing considerably. Hospitals and government buildings are being increasingly designed with the emphasis on operation and performance, whereby good building performance, including low energy use, is guaranteed for many years to come. On the one hand these ambitions derive from organisational philosophy, on the other hand they are a reaction to the tightening of the international energy standards.

Successes are also achieved in terms of cooperation. One example is the emergence of Smart Utility Networks. Buildings, districts and even regions are being connected, resulting in harmonisation of the surpluses and shortfalls of the participants. Participants in such networks can thus be providers and consumers of energy, water and other media simultaneously.

Sustainable solution beyond client demand

Deerns always approaches the energy issue from a sustainability point of view. Within the framework of the assignment, often a more sustainable solution is sought than initially requested. As a result, we realise huge reductions in CO2 emissions through our projects each year (Deerns Multiplier), and our designs are among the most energy efficient designs in the world. Examples include the office building The Edge and the energy-neutral office complex LVM 5 in Münster, Germany. These are great steps towards 100% renewable energy for everyone.