Workshop - Building authorities and energy departments experiences exchange

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This workshop with members of public authorities was conducted within the CABEE project in Lucerne, Switzerland. Topics discussed were the certification of public buildings in Switzerland, the role of user behaviour in public buildings, labelling of areas and neighbourhoods and the chances and risks of implementing CESBA in Switzerland.

Workshop details

Full title of workshop

Gedankenaustausch Bauämter/Energiefachstellen mit dem Projekt CABEE

Date, duration and location of workshop

Date: 24th of September, 2013

Duration: 10am-1pm

Location: Hochschule Luzern - Technik & ARchitektur, Technikumstrasse 21, 6048 Horw

Target audience and participants

Target audience: Public authorities

Number of participants: 10

Workshop topics

Workshop picture(s)

Workshop Howr 2.jpg

Workshop outputs

This workshop with members of public authorities (public works departments, cantonal and communal energy offices from the canton of Lucerne) was separated in four topics. Each of the discussed topics provided consolidated findings:

Certification of public buildings (incl. public tendering)

  • In most municipalities standards the Swiss energy city programmis widespread and the corresponding processes are successfully implemented.
  • Very few municipalities did pass laws to implement a certain standard. Most new buildings are built striving for the MINERGIE Standard (requested in the public tenders), rarely also Minergie-P. But most of the buildings are rarely certified in order to save the additional certification costs or they lack controlled ventilation (needed for certification).
  • The case is more complicated when it comes to renovations. Most municipalities refrain from a certification and often also from striving towards a Minergie Standard.
  • In general, the pressure by the citizens to build buildings with high energy standard is relatively low.

The role of user behaviour in public buildings It is difficult to make a statement about user behaviour in public buildings due to missing measuring possibilities. An important starting point is the education of caretakers. The problem here is, that caretakers often resist to attend (even free) educational programs.

Labelling of areas and neighbourhoods

  • There exist two labels for areas and neighbourhoods in Switzerland “Sustainable areas by SMÉO” (includes also social sustainability) and “2000-Watt-areas” (2000-Watt-Areale, only focused on )
  • The implementation of sustainability on the level of areas and neighbourhoods is still in its infancy in Switzerland.

Chances and Risks for implementation of a CESBA in Switzerland

  • There is a certain interest in a standardisation, mainly in order to ensure an international comparability of buildings
  • Implementing a common standard in Switzerland will definitely not work without the integration of well-known local standards such as Minergie standard, Swiss energy city. Furthermore, existing processes and contact persons need to be considered in public authorities.
  • Another question raised in the discussion was: Who covers the running costs of such a standard? Even if it is open-source stable and continual funds are needed to run the standard and to ensure a certain quality!


Christian Frank, Willy Küchler, Sonja Geier, Eveline Thaler InnovationsTransfer Zentralschweiz

Further information and sources