The House of the Future – this is how Klaus Schnepf, founder and Managing Partner of Schnepf Planungsgruppe, describes his latest project. The title is not too lofty. In the town of Nagold, Baden-Württemberg, an energy self-sufficient apartment building has been built that sets the standards in many respects.
Modern, senior-friendly, attractive, and efficient
“My vision was to build a modern, senior-friendly, attractive, and energy-efficient building in which both young families with children and older people feel at home,” says Klaus Schnepf. “With no difficult-to-access underground garage, no dark staircase, no elevator that makes me claustrophobic, no balcony that doesn’t even have space for a table. But with state-of-the-art, easy-to-use, and efficient technology.” Ultimately, the building is to be his “energy-efficient business card”, in which he also lives in a senior-friendly penthouse. The declared goal of partially offsetting the construction-related investment and thus rental costs with significantly lower additional expenses has already been achieved.
Trendsetting, intelligent energy concept
In close cooperation with the energy supplier, Energie Calw GmbH (ENCW), Schnepf created a trendsetting, intelligent energy concept. After drilling to a depth of almost 240 meters, which was a first in Baden-Württemberg, two geothermal probes were installed, which, in conjunction with the highly efficient Viessmann Vitocal 350-G heat pump, ensure that the entire house is always kept at a comfortable temperature by underfloor heating throughout. This can also cool the building interior in the summer.
In addition, the heat pump also prepares hot water for the bathrooms via a fresh water station for each apartment. A photovoltaic system and a Vitocharge energy storage device from Viessmann not only supply the heat pump but also the Vitovent 300 air-conditioning units in the apartments and cover the building’s entire power requirement. And as if that were not enough: all apartments are supplied with solar power generated by a tenant electricity model. The remaining solar energy is currently fed into the power grid. However, Klaus Schnepf is already working with Viessmann and ENCW on an innovative energy storage technology, which is slated to go into operation soon.
The initial results for 2017 are now in: “Our project has been a complete success and even exceeded our expectations,” says Schnepf. “My tenants are happy because our energy concept means that, thanks to the tenant electricity model, they get their electricity 25 percent cheaper than they would from the grid.”
Quick-charging stations for electric cars and bikes
Of course, the concept also takes e-mobility into account. Each of the garages belonging to the building is equipped with a quick-charging station for electric cars and e-bikes.
“Working with the district of Calw, the town of Nagold and ENCW, we are currently planning further garages and carports, which are to be built next to the building and will also be equipped with photovoltaic systems and charging stations for e-vehicles.”
Klaus Schnepf and his company
The founder of Schnepf Planungsgruppe Energietechnik launched his company in 1981 as a “lone warrior” from his own home. He quickly built up a reputation as an environmental pioneer within the planning industry and continued to expand in the years and decades that followed. Today, Schnepf is one of the leading planning groups for energy technology in Germany and develops innovative concepts with renewable energy sources at the highest level. Many of his projects realized all over the world – from airports to pharmaceutical factories – have an iconic character. Currently, the company has almost 70 employees. Great importance is attached to good personnel development. Apprenticeships at the company guarantee a steady stream of new talent. The practice-focused approach that Klaus Schnepf exemplifies to his team every day has been a constant for almost 40 years. An approach that always pursues the same goal: to use energy sensibly, sparingly, and creatively. And to always break new ground to find unusual solutions in the field of energy technology.