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A prefab second skin can make old apartments net zero

Energy-Efficient Design

A prefab second skin can make old apartments net zero

Built-in insulation helps dramatically cut energy use.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | April 19, 2022
Energy Efficiency
Courtesy Pixabay

A German startup is offering a new way for old buildings to potentially reach net-zero status: adding a prefabricated second skin.
 
Ecoworks begins the process with a 3D scan of an old building, both inside and out, creating a digital twin. The model is then sent to suppliers and a factory, where most of the second skin is prefabricated, including windows, ventilation, and channels for pipes.
 
The resulting new envelope includes a modular roof with built-in solar panels. Construction workers can install a facade panel at the site in 20 minutes. A full building conversion, including replacing fossil-fuel-powered heat, can be done in a few weeks.
 
Ecoworks uses AI to identify buildings best suited to its approach. Simple, block-like apartment complexes are top choices, but the company plans to expand to schools and single-family homes. It also has plans to offer its services in other countries.

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