The Concept of the 2000-Watt Society for Urban Development

                                                              

The Concept of the 2000-Watt Society for Urban Development

Isocarp
Solution proposed by: 
2000-Watt Society, Nicole Wirz Schneider, expert 2000-Watt Society
In a Nutshell: 
The concept of the 2000-Watt Society aims to lower energy consumption to the current world average of 2000 watts. The certificate for 2000-Watt Sites is a distinction awarded to settlement areas able to demonstrate a sustainable treatment of resources for the construction of buildings and their operation and renewal, as well as the mobility generated by operation.
Where and When: 
In the year 2000 the the City of Basel was chosen to become a pilot region of the “2000 Watt- society”, being a research project of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). The City chose 4 pilot test sites, Basel Erlenmatt being one of them. The aim of the urban development is to focus on new building technology and mobility issues in order to lower energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Challenges: 
Global energy consumption is about a 17’000 kwh a year. This corresponds to a continuous power consumption of about 2000 watts per person for all activities. In Switzerland we consume about 5500 watts per person; other countries consume less. The concept of the 2000-Watt Society, which was developed in 1998 by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, reflects the target of lowering energy consumption in Switzerland from its present level of 5500 watts per capita in order to reach the current world average of 2000 watts. In order to achieve this goal for urban developments, a certification for 2000-Watt Sites had been setting up.
Innovation: 
Standardization and sustainability assessments are tools for decision-making in projects having a relevant impact on sustainable development. The concept of the 2000-Watt Society focuses on the central theme of sustainability as an innovative factor providing a holistic view in the planning process. The standard "2000-Watt Site" requires a minimal size of the area or gross floor area and focuses on the site development as a whole. The quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the "2000-Watt Sites" is elaborated and supervised by a professional expert. The binding framework for the certification of a site guarantees the adherence to the objectives.
Concept: 
The certificate for 2000-Watt Sites is a distinction awarded to settlement areas able to demonstrate a sustainable treatment of resources for the construction of buildings and their operation and renewal, as well as the mobility generated by operation. Proof is established by means of the measured operating values. The certificate of the 2000-Watt Sites is awarded on two levels: «site being developed» and «operational site». The «site being developed» certificate is valid until more than 50% of the building area can be used for the new designated purpose. The site is then considered «operational». The two levels differ in the proof required and the tolerance range established for progress towards objectives. The management of the "2000-Watt Sites" is binding for the site developer. The certificate "2000-Watt Sites", especially to the point of «operational site», must be periodically renewed with an assessment of the current performance. Therefore, it guarantees the achievement of the targets for a "2000-Watt Site" in the long run. The certificate "2000-Watt Site" requires a binding framework over the whole area and includes the implementation process with realization of the buildings. This provides a clear position of the development into an investment portfolio for a sustainable real estate development.
Description: 
The formerly logistic area of Basel Erlenmatt (19 hectares) has been chosen in the year 2000 as one of the four pilot sites of the pilot region of the 2000-Watt society. Now, fifteen years later the planning is being implemented and first buildings achieved. In the Erlenmatt West site of Basel, 574 dwellings in total are to be built by 2016 on four parts. This figure will include family homes, small private and rental flats and terraced housing. Recently a centre for senior citizens with apartments, care places and a public restaurant had been built up. In parallel, the Basel-City canton is building educational facilities to complement the new neighbourhood. Over the next two years, the canton will be
completing the 40 000 m2 Erlenmatt Park, for 
improving the quality of life in the site. In the case of Erlenmatt the goals of the energy efficient buildings - based on the principles of the “2000-watt- society” - are a binding part of the development plan. Buildings must in generally adhere to specific standards of energy efficient heating systems and energy efficient building interiors. 10% of the buildings have to qualify for pilot projects based on the terms of the 2000-Watt society. The whole of the Erlenmatt site is scheduled to be provided with site heating. Photovoltaic installations are also planned. The site has good connections with the public transport system and will be equipped with mobility facilities, as well as charging stations for electric cars and E-bikes. As soon as the project has been implemented to an extent of more than 50% of the building areas, the site can apply for a new «2000- Watt Site» certificate. In March 2013, the «Energiestadt Label Commission» awarded the Erlenmatt project its «2000-Watt Site» certificate, a mark of recognition for the demonstrable and exemplary steps taken in the development of the site.
Impacts: 
Cities like Basel and Zurich have been promoting the vision of a 2000-Watt Society with the goal of reducing the population’s constant overall primary energy needs. The certificate 2000-Watt site was conceived within the framework of the federal programme of SwissEnergy. Proof is established by means of the measured operating values.
In this way, the Federal Office for Energy promotes the implementation of national energy policy in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy and systematically supports projects at the site level. The owner of the certificate is the sponsoring «association Energiestadt». With this “business model” sustainable urban development is supported very effectively.

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