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GdW Bundesverband deutscher Wohnungs- and Immobilienunternehmen e.V.
Dr. phil. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Hunger, as of 6 January, 2010

Wernigerode goes for gold: complex re-structuring of the residential area of Stadtfeld

The Gebäude- und Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Wernigerode mbH has been awarded a gold medal in the competition “Energetic restoration of housing estates based on integrated urban development concepts” for their concept of combining energetic restoration of residential buildings with a re-structuring of the center of the area and a school site in the biggest industrially constructed residential area of Wernigerode.
 

The Gebäude- und Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Wernigerode mbH (GWW) is the biggest apartment landlord of Wernigerode, owning 3,171 apartments. A significant part of the portfolio is to be found in the residential area of “Stadtfeld”, which was built between 1980 and 1985. It is the biggest of a total of three residential areas built in the times of GDR complex housing and includes 2,150 apartments. “Stadtfeld” is the home of 3,100 people. Almost one in ten inhabitants of Wernigerode live here.

The area is of central importance for social housing in Wernigerode. The number of people depending on transfer payment and support is above average here. Therefore, the city of Wernigerode has applied for including “Stadtfeld“ into the Federal & Länder Government program “Social City”. The GWW explicitly supports this issue, seeing itself as a main driving force in the creation of socially stable neighborhoods.

 

The “Stadtfeld” is not only an important residential area with special challenges in terms of integration but also has a relevant for the whole city:

  • as a place for learning – it has a secondary school, a primary school and a special school as well as two day care centers,
  • as a center of sports – it has the sports complex Kohlgartenstraße, the big competitive gym of Stadtfeld, the skater park and playground, and
  • as a start into the city – it is situated at the most important main road coming from the Harz foreland.
 
Urban concept 
The strategy presented in the urban development concept of Wernigerode as of 2004 aims at supporting the residential area of “Stadtfeld” to become a residential area of Wernigerode that is accepted on a permanent basis, providing “cost-effective living in good quality”. The GWW competition entry thus proposes an urban development of the following:
 
  • “Urban start into Wernigerode”
  • “Green Stadtfeld”
  • “District with quality of living and housing”
 
Five focuses in terms of area development can be deduced from the images as fig. 2 shows schematically:

  1. More of the city center! The owner wishes to replace the present consumer market with a new construction. This poses possibilities to create an attractive town square. The renewal is complemented by the new construction of a sociocultural center offering facilities to qualified community work.
  2. Promote education! A connecting building between the secondary school and the primary school is scheduled for construction. The new building will bring about an extension of classrooms, accessibility for both schools, and a multipurpose hall usable for district events as well. It also includes the complex energetic restoration of the two school buildings, and the schoolyards’ renovation.
  3. Designing the entrance! A distinctive creative enhancement of the district’s edge is intended (see fig. 3-5).
  4. Enhance districts! For the next years the gradual energetic restoration and enhancement of the living environment is planned for all five living units.
  5. Use freedom! It is intended to improve and extend the “playscape”. The GWW will thus take on the maintenance of the skating facilities loved by young people, as a training track is to be built in its vicinity. Together with the residents, they will create further concepts as, for example, a garden land project and an adventure playground.
 
Housing concepts
An analysis of the GWW’s present tenant structure has shown the following: the majority of people living in “Stadtfeld” make the group of mid-thirties to mid-fifties in single households, partnership households and family households. About half of the residents moved in during the 1980s as first occupants and their children have started their own households by now, or soon will do. About one in five inhabitants is older than 65 years. However, also many young families with children, and single persons depending on cheap housing live in the area. Most of the residents who have moved into “Stadtfeld” over the last few years are households with a low income. Today, 30 % of the GWW’S tenants depend on basic income.

Based on the present tenant structure and the development of demand in Wernigerode, the GWW will focus on the following target groups in terms of offer development:

  • Senior citizens: “housing in old age” is an important topic for one in five residents in the district after all. The proportion of very old people will increase over the next few years.
  • People starting their own households, young families, single persons: “Stadtfeld” has lots to offer thei group, besides cheap housing and a very good equipment including child care services and educational offers for children.
  • Single persons and middle-aged families: a major part of the tenants belong to this clientele. Over the next years this group will increase as a consumer on the housing market (large cohorts from the 1980s). They could be interested in housing supply in “Stadtfeld” that has a higher level of equipment and is limited in scope.

 

The GWW intends to carry out the following three packages of measure within the next years, referring to 854 apartments in total:

  • Particular enhancement of roadside structures along the entries of Wernigerode – “the wave”
  • Energetic restoration, combined with limited modernization that increases the residential value, and improvement in the living environment.
  • Technical optimization and improved energy management for objects that have yet been enhanced by a comprehensive renovation program

Energetic concept

30 % of the apartments in Stadtfeld have been enhanced in terms of energy efficiency by comprehensive renovation programs since 1990 and the remainder of 1,500 apartments has been partly refurbished so far (insulation of top parts, windows, front doors). Empty properties are moderate at 3%.

Two variants of energy-saving construction measures were analyzed in order to achieve the standard of a new building or undercut it by 30%.

Construction measures – variant 1: KfW energy-efficient building 100

Building:

  • renew old windows Uw=1,3 W/m2K
  • External wall insulation by 10 cm, WLG 035
  • Basement ceiling insulation by a 40 mm mineral wool, WLG 045

Building services:

  • lowering of the design temperature, heating at 70/55 due to lower heat requirement
  • replacement of single-pipe heating system by two pipe heating system

Once the measures proposed in this variant have been taken, the final energy demand of the building is reduced by 36 %.

 

Construction measures – variant 2: KfW energy-efficient building 70 (standard of a new building -30 %):

Building:

  • renew all windows, Uw=1,1 W/m2K
  • external wall insulation WDVS 200 mm, WLG 035
  • basement ceiling insulation by a 60 mm mineral wool, WLG 035

Building services: same measures as in variant 1

The final energy demand could be reduced by 46 % after implementation of this variant. 
 
Costs range between 226 and 308 €/square meter of residential space, depending on the variant. With regard to the partly modernized buildings, the level of investment ranges between 10,150 and 13,850 billion Euros for the energy-saving measures only. The decision on which variant will matter over the next years and to what extent depends on the financing conditions and is still being considered.

Optimization of heat supply
Possible measures regarding the optimization of heat supply have been discussed with public utility companies. “Stadtfeld” is being supplied with district heat from a waste-to-energy plant. Over the last ten years, DDC-controlled compact substations connected to a central building control system have replaced the GWW’s house connections. The heat of the waste-to-energy plant has a share in the CHP system of 77 % and an established primary energy factor for generation and network of 0,306. Block-type thermal power modules will be renewed in 2012, which is intended to increase electricity generation by 15 % and further improve the primary energy factor, which is already remarkable.
 
From that angle, an efficient and ecological manner of energy supply has actually already been achieved in the residential areas. Further improvement of the already excellent primary energy factor within the next three years, and a reduction in consumption by modernizations in the property portfolio cast doubt on the additional use of biomass or thermal solar systems as a source of heating, which does not seem ecologically or economically reasonable.

Summary

The approach of the Wernigerode housing association described above has shown possibilities that probably apply for further enhancement of industrially constructed residential areas in general, namely: energetic restoration, increase of residential amenity and energy management can be treated as a unit and handled according to the respective site conditions in a district.

However, companies will reach the limits of economic risks very quickly. As society is interested in measures that contribute to social stabilization and climate protection within the big industrially constructed residential areas, and support the city as a whole by being an indirect benefit for all market players, public funding of said measures is both legitimate and absolutely necessary.

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