Building refurbishment

dena’s refurbishment heroes honoured

Dena's "Refurbishment Heroes" competition searched for the best modernisation stories from private homeowners. The winners have been chosen – although after all, all participants were winners.

From the surprising find under the floorboards, to an adventurous life during the conversions, all on the way to an appreciably higher standard of living, around 100 owners of detached and semi-detached houses entered their exciting stories in the “Refurbishment Heroes” competition. The applicants related their experiences of carrying out energy-saving refurbishments on their own homes, or explained why the conversions were particularly worthwhile for them.

“The winners and their stories reveal the human side of the energy transition,” said Kuhlmann. “It’s people who move the energy transition forward through their actions – for example, by carrying out energy-saving refurbishments on their homes. We want to use the ' Refurbishment Heroes ' competition to shine the spotlight on these people’s stories and encourage more participation.”

The panel of prominent judges, among them cabaret artist and storyteller, Horst Evers, and film director, Dennis Gansel, found it difficult to choose the winners from the many entertaining accounts in the various categories.

Sonderpreis in der Kategorie „Mein(e) Energieberater(in) und ich“ v. l. n. r.: Energieberater Thomas Langer, Andreas Kuhlmann, Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung, dena; Kai-Thorsten Buchele Picture: dena

In the category " Complete Refurbishment to Create an Efficient House ", Christine and Oliver Schikora from Münnerstadt in Bavaria emerged as winners. They transformed a 17th century heritage-listed, half-timbered house into a modern efficient house. During the refurbishment work they came across some astonishing historical finds, including a message in a bottle, containing the foundation document of a “gang” of young grammar school pupils from 1873, hidden beneath the floorboards.

Kai Dehler from Odenthal in North Rhine-Westphalia transformed a plain 1970s building into an attractive home in typical Swedish style – including a red facade and white window frames. The refurbishment saved him and his family two-thirds on their power bills, and placed them first in the " Heating and Renewable Energy " category.

In the " Insulation and Windows " category, the winning story came from Jana and Thomas Deickert from Bochum. The couple found unexpected help in looking after the children, and so had their hands free to carry out the energy-efficient modernisation of their home.

The special prize in the "My Energy Consultant and I" category went to Kai-Thorsten Buchele and his energy consultant, Thomas Langer, from Leipzig. Working together, the team succeeded in the energy-saving modernisation of a house with a history. The building consisted of three parts that were constructed at different stages. The oldest part originated in the 1940s. Equally great was the challenge of bringing the entire house up to modern energy-saving standards.

Prize presentations in cooperation with the KfW Awards

1. Platz in der Kategorie „Heizung und erneuerbare Energien“ v. l. n. r.: Klaus, Sigrid und Kai Dehler, Andreas Lücke, Hauptgeschäftsführer des Bundesverbandes der Deutschen Heizungsindustrie (BDH) und Jurymitglied des Wettbewerbs; Andreas Kuhlmann, dena; Carola Ferstl, n-tv Picture: © dena

The winners in the main categories received 3,000 euros in prize money. The special prize was 1,000 euros. dena and the Allianz für Gebäude-Energie-Effizienz (geea), Alliance for Building Energy Efficiency, chose the winners at an awards ceremony on 23rd June in conjunction with the KfW Awards. Back at the beginning of June, dena introduced some of the competition’s stories to those attending Environment Week at Bellevue Palace in Berlin.

The finalists’ placings, along with detailed multimedia reports on the award-winning stories, can be found at .