Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through low-investment measures


Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Duration  March 2021 – February 2024


In addition to structural and technical measures in and on buildings, user behavior has a significant influence on the energy savings targets. In addition to energy-efficient building technology, user behavior in the workplace therefore offers cost-effective savings potential. A refurbishment is a suitable time window to integrate the motivation of employees for resource-saving behavior on the basis of a participatory approach and thus to achieve a fit between behavior and energy concept of a building. The participation of building users is an essential contribution to the energy transition, but one that has not yet been sufficiently researched in detail. Despite increasing social awareness of environmental issues and problems, there are often discrepancies between environmental awareness and environmental behavior in everyday life. The reasons for this can be complex and include, for example, competing attitudes relevant to behavior as well as a lack of knowledge or competence regarding environmentally friendly behavior. A promising approach to break the habits related to the interaction of people and buildings and replace them with more energy-efficient ones is “gamification”. In general, this refers to the integration of playful elements into various (work) contexts. Knowledge in the field of energy-saving behavior in organizations is still rather limited. In particular, there is mostly a lack of comprehensive scientific monitoring and evaluation of different intervention approaches, such as the gamification approach, compared to low-investment technical measures. It is therefore worthwhile to further expand the data base and findings on the effectiveness of specific measures. User surveys also play an important role in user satisfaction management to identify optimization potential and ensure sustainable building operation. Furthermore, the integration of the user perspective is an expression of a participatory understanding of sustainable building planning and building use.


The aim of the planned research project is to evaluate various measures against the background of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the course of a refurbishment process. The research object is the administrative building of the district of Lippe, which will receive, among other things, an energetic facade refurbishment as well as building services improvements by fall 2022 as part of the project “Lippe Re-Klimatisiert (LiREK)” using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The district of Lippe has already gained experience in the implementation of a gamification platform for private households as a partner of the Horizon2020 research project “FEEdBACk”. Based on this positive experience, the district has planned a gamification measure as part of the LiREK project or the district redevelopment.
With a new software especially for employees in public administrations, the employees of the district and other administrations are to be motivated to behave more energy- and CO2-conscious at the workplace. An app will be used to promote environmentally conscious attitudes and energy-conscious behavior among building users through informative, playful elements.
Intelligent Room Heating Management (iRWM) is implemented as a passive measure. The room heating management serves the precise and energy-efficient operation of heating systems as well as the possibility to implement favorable heating control strategies for health and thermal comfort at the workplace.
Recommendations for investment and intervention decisions can be derived from the project findings.

Tasks of IREES

  • As part of the sociological evaluation, employee surveys will be conducted on the app, on the accompanying campaigns, and on indoor climate management

  • Subjective answers of the employees regarding the indoor climate are correlated with objective measurement data.

  • Recommendations for the research landscape as well as recommendations in particular for the district administration Lippe (transferability to other buildings) are derived from the findings.

  • Possible follow-up measures to consolidate employee motivation are also suggested.

Project partner

  • District of Lippe, Stadtwerke Lippe-Weser Service GmbH & Co. KG

  • TH OWL, Bauphysik und Technischer Ausbau


Dr. Karin Schakib-Ekbatan
Dr. Karin Schakib-Ekbatan