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Berlin startup to wrap homes in ‘second skin’ as heating costs soar

One Berlin-based startup is planning to renovate Bochum apartments. They will give them a custom wooden “second skin”, which makes them more energy-efficient and efficient.

Ecoworks’ project is a reflection of the increasing demand for energy-saving renovations and climate-friendly remodeling as a result of Germany’s energy crisis. This has caused a rise in heating costs.

Before the crisis, landlords considered renovations to increase energy efficiency in residential buildings an option rather than an integral part of a sector that had failed to meet its CO2 targets last fiscal year.

This is changing because of rising energy prices. A new law divides a CO2 tax among landlords and tenants, based on how efficient buildings are.


Emanuel Heisenberg, CEO of Ecoworks, stated that Bochum apartments have an energy efficiency of 70% to 80%.

Germany is the largest economy in Europe and accounts for 35% of Europe’s total electricity consumption. Nearly a third of Germany’s buildings are involved. According to a February study done by GdW housing association, nearly a third of Germany’s 19.25million residences have the lowest energy efficiency ratings.

Andreas Schichel, spokesperson for GdW says that a rise in interest rates, rising raw material and energy prices, as well changing subsidies are all limiting investment opportunities.


Other obstacles that landlords may face in accepting such projects are a lack of skilled workers, and the long renovation process.

Heisenberg’s company works to overcome these problems by producing prefabricated facades climate-neutral that take only a quarter of the time and employ half the labor force.

“Normally, these projects take six to nine month. In our case, it takes 15 weeks,” said Heisenberg.

According to the company, its renovations are carbon-neutral because they use cellulose insulation and wood for their outer facades.

It is impossible to take down all houses and then rebuild them with cement and steel. It’s well beyond our carbon budget. Heisenberg said that wood and other renewable materials are needed to build.

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