MINERGIE ® is a Swiss label that we’re seeing on more and more buildings across the country these days. It’s awarded to eco-friendly constructions that offer a high standard of comfort and workmanship, and enjoys the support of businesses as well as local authorities and the national government. Let’s take a look at how it works and what it takes for a house to be MINERGIE® certified!
MINERGIE® is an optional construction standard that serves to identify, inspect and approve a group of components that help make a property highly energy efficient. If a component has earned MINERGIE® certification, that means it’s been shown to help preserve the building, keep energy costs low and of course reduce the property’s environmental impact.
The following key factors are taken into account: insulation (acoustic and thermal), air moisture content (to avoid breathing overly dry or humid air), ventilation (air comfort and “quality”), the direction the building faces (preferably south for maximum daylight) and of course the use of renewable energy for heating and hot and cold water.
Heating takes a back seat
The label can be awarded to new or older properties. It takes the entire building into account and therefore its energy consumption as a whole. Heating, ventilation and hot water are seen as a group of components that work together in a holistic way, rather than a series of additional extras. In other words, heating is only a secondary factor in MINERGIE® certified buildings. All such properties are as eco-friendly as they are comfortable, thanks to their low energy consumption.
The innovative MINERGIE-P® certification is awarded to buildings that save energy and offer the highest standards of comfort and energy efficiency. This label was launched in 2003 and has since been given to 4,000 buildings across the country.
A MINERGIE-P® building is virtually self-sufficient in power. Solar panels and a building envelope with excellent insulating properties play an important role here. A property’s energy efficiency is reflected in its MINERGIE index, which measures the volume of energy needed to run the building. To earn MINERGIE-P® status, a construction must have an extremely low MINERGIE index of 50 kWh/m2 per year. This special label really goes the extra mile: it’s 30% stricter than Swiss law requires. MINERGIE-P® homes must also supply their own electricity.
MINERGIE® A certification represents the pinnacle of eco-friendly building design in Switzerland. This is the ultimate dream for anyone in search of a truly green home. This label was introduced in 2011 and is awarded to buildings that are totally self-sufficient in terms of heating, hot water and ventilation. The building must also supply all the power for its own electrical devices and lighting using renewable energy sources.
In other words, a MINERGIE® A construction has to be a positive energy building - it must generate more power than it uses, in an eco-friendly way. Any construction technique may be used, but ideally the building envelope should meet the MINERGIE-P® standard.
MINERGIE® A is even more demanding than MINERGIE-P® when it comes to the MINERGIE index, which must be under 35 kWh/m2 per year. The property must also produce more electricity than it takes to build it.
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