Shaping neighborhoods in a climate-neutral and socially responsible manner

Case: STADTQUARTIER 2050 – future-oriented living in Überlingen, Germany

  • Project is lighthouse model of the German Government
  • Covestro cooperates with project partner and insulation company puren
  • KfW 40 Plus standard thanks to energy-efficient PU insulation 
  • Resource-saving and recyclable insulation material
  • Gain in living space thanks to lower insulation thickness
  • Real laboratory allows rapid transfer of results

How can urban planners and municipalities create affordable housing and still make their contribution to climate neutrality? Pressure is growing, especially as climate protection targets continue to be tightened in various regions of the world, while cities face the challenge of creating housing for socially vulnerable groups as quickly as possible.

In the German cities of Überlingen and Stuttgart, climate-neutral residential quarters are being realized as part of the STADTQUARTIER 2050 project – with a special focus on socially responsible rent development –, which are already intended to serve as a lighthouse for the climate targets to be achieved by 2050 at the latest. The project includes both new buildings and the renovation of existing buildings. See the video.


Highly efficient insulation material

At the subproject in Überlingen, the focus is on very good thermal insulation of the around 170 residential units distributed over 14 new buildings. It is achieved by means of an efficient high-performance insulation material from project partner puren. "Our insulation panels make an important contribution to ensuring that the buildings in Überlingen meet the top energy standard KfW 40 Plus," explains Dr. Andreas Huther, Managing Director of puren. KfW Efficiency House 40 Plus means that a building requires only 40 percent of the primary energy of a reference building in accordance with the Energy Saving Ordinance. "But the insulation boards offer even more sustainability, as they are manufactured in a resource-friendly way and are also durable and recyclable."

"The insulation boards are based on polyurethane raw materials from Covestro and offer the best insulating effect of commercially available insulation materials," adds Fernando Resende, Marketing Manager Building and Construction in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region at Covestro. "Therefore, they can be designed thinner compared to other materials to achieve the same insulating effect. The result is a gain in usable space in the home, but also less resource consumption in the manufacture of the panels."

Affordable housing

The socially responsible rental concept of the investor, Baugenossenschaft Überlingen (BGÜ), also ensures a plus in sustainability. Low energy costs due to thermal insulation, a gain in living space due to slim facade insulation, and an innovative and efficient local heating supply all contribute to this. In addition, there is a new type of neighborhood app tailored to the residents with a bonus system for conscious energy consumption of the Project Group Business Informatics of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT). The socially compatible and rent-neutral renovation of the neighborhood on the outskirts of Überlingen also contributes to this.

STADTQUARTIER 2050 is supported by the Federal Ministries of Education and Research (BMBF) and Economics and Energy (BMWi) as a flagship project at the neighborhood level (funding code: 03SBE116). It is part of the interdepartmental funding initiative “Solar Building/Energy Efficient City” within the framework of the 6th energy research program of the Federal Government.

Individual city quarters such as the one in Überlingen serve as real-world laboratories in which, with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, innovative concepts for the heating and energy revolution can be researched and implemented simultaneously, but also quickly transferred to other municipalities.


About Covestro:

With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro is among the world’s leading polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative, sustainable solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. In doing so, Covestro is fully committed to the circular economy. The main industries served are the automotive and transportation industries, construction, furniture and wood processing, as well as electrical, electronics, and household appliances industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. At the end of 2020, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Forward-looking statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.