The German LEG-Immobilien Group, based in Dusseldorf, and the Austrian Rhomberg Bau Group have founded a new company: RENOWATE. The aim of the partnership is to develop serial solutions for decarbonising existing residential buildings and help achieve the European Union’s ambitious climate targets. At a star-studded launch event, Dr Rolf Bösinger, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Construction, the Mayor of Mönchengladbach Felix Heinrichs, and representatives from LEG and Rhomberg launched the new joint venture in one of the first model neighbourhoods “Am Vossenbäumchen” in Mönchengladbach-Hardt.
“We are in urgent need of serial, digital solutions for energy efficiency upgrades in existing buildings, otherwise we will not achieve the goal of carbon neutrality in the building sector by 2045. This is the only way to maintain the focus on affordable housing for tenants while at the same time tackling the ongoing skills shortage. As the second-largest German housing company, we are happy to be a pioneer for the entire sector,” said Lars von Lackum, CEO of LEG Immobilien SE.
“Based on a digital building twin, we will upgrade energy efficiency for buildings like LEG’s residential complex in Mönchengladbach on a serial basis and thus do so quickly, cost effectively, making efficient use of resources and to a high standard,” said Hubert Rhomberg, owner representative of the Rhomberg Bau Group, looking to the future. To this end, the partners intend to develop modules and construction methods that help decarbonise entire rows of houses in record time using a new, largely machine-made building shell and the necessary building and heating technology, which will also be modular.
“Renowate is our way of contributing to make the world a better place. I am really happy that we have found Rhomberg-Bau, a highly innovative partner who shares our values and so is a perfect match for us: a firm belief in climate protection and the courage to disrupt through digitalisation and customer focus,” said Dr Volker Wiegel, COO of LEG Immobilien SE.
Overall, the two parent companies are investing tens of millions. The name of the joint venture says it all: Renowate stands for Efficiency. Energy. Renovation. Now!
Mönchengladbach’s Mayor Felix Heinrichs welcomed the start of the project: “Whether it be the Seestadt, the climate protection estate at the Wasserturm or the solar housing estate in Eicken – we and our partners design major housing projects in our city so that they meet the highest environmental and sustainability standards. At the same time, we have to ensure affordable housing for everyone. So I am very pleased with “Renowate”, because the experience gained from the project could help upgrade energy efficiency for existing buildings in Mönchengladbach and beyond on a large scale at a reasonable cost. The visit from the Federal Ministry of Construction shows that all levels are needed to create sustainable housing that is also affordable.”
No shovels or diggers are needed in the first stage of the Renowate solution. Instead, a drone records all relevant key data for the building complex. A simulation shows how what is known as a point cloud is used to generate the measurements required for the digital, serial production of façade components.
The event also featured a panel discussion on climate protection in the real estate industry with politicians in the field, academics and those who work in the property sector.
In the months ahead, the joint venture will initially focus on modernisation projects at LEG. As well as the two-storey building complexes with 47 apartments at “Vossenbäumchen” in Mönchengladbach, the partners want to upgrade energy efficiency at more than 10 LEG neighbourhoods in the next two years in record time. This is expected to take less time than traditional building methods and, with experience, should also save money in the future too, especially taking into account the properties’ lower energy requirements. All in all, therefore, this is good news for both owners and tenants.
In the medium term, the joint venture would like to offer its expertise to other companies in the DACH region so that it can improve climate protection in the building sector far beyond the LEG portfolio.
Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck, managing director and owner of the German Goldbeck Group, was also a guest in Mönchengladbach. LEG recently partnered with Goldbeck to work on serial new construction. This initiative also helps create affordable and environmentally friendly housing, which will be crucial as more and more people migrate to Germany to work in the years ahead.
With more than 166,000 rental properties and around 500,000 residents, LEG is one of Germany’s leading listed housing companies. The company has eight branch offices and is represented by local personal contacts at selected locations. LEG generated income of around EUR 960 million from its core rental and lease business in the 2021 financial year. As part of its new construction campaign, LEG wishes to make a social contribution towards creating both privately financed and publicly subsidised housing, and to build or acquire at least 500 new apartments per year from 2023 onwards; the number of new apartments is to rise to 1,000 in total from 2026.
Looking at the big picture: Rhomberg Bau
Rhomberg Bau is a full-service provider in the construction industry. The owner-operated family company, based in Bregenz, Vorarlberg, has locations in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and about 800 employees. The company generated about EUR 345 million in the 2020/21 financial year.
The long-established company, founded in 1886, provides solutions and services for all phases in the life cycle of public and private buildings – from resource extraction and project development to construction and operations, right through to rebuilding, renovation and new construction. Rhomberg Bau harnesses the opportunities presented by technological developments and digitalisation, the circular economy, the use of renewable resources and partnerships.
Further information can be found at www.rhomberg.com.
LEG Immobilien SE
Hans-Boeckler-Strasse 38, D-40476 Duesseldorf
Contact: Mischa Lenz
T. +49 211 4568-117, F. +49 211 4568-500
Mariahilfstrasse 29, A-6900 Bregenz
Contact: Torben Nakoinz
T: +43 5574 403-2146, F: +43 5574 403-2003