Blog 10 - A new classroom for lessons in sustainability
Now our new Knauf Insulation Experience Center is officially open for business the hard work has begun. To share all the valuable lessons we have learned to pave the way for a new generation of sustainable building.
“Our ambition is to ensure this building becomes a regional showcase of best practice in sustainable construction bringing together everyone from installers, retail dealers and architects to investors, policy makers and associations from surrounding countries to share our knowledge,” says Barbara Hafner, our Marketing & PR Director in Slovenia.
From the first foundation stone to completion, the KIEXC has been contributing research to the ground-breaking European Commission Level(s) project to develop new Europe-wide sustainable building guidelines and aims to be Slovenia’s first building to be fully certified by the DGNB Green Building Rating System.
“We have learned so much. By transforming a theoretical idea of a sustainable building showcase into reality we have gone through many, many, positive as well as also some painful experiences. It has been an incredible educational journey. Now we are developing activities that will leverage these experiences and help contribute to making sustainable building mainstream,” says Barbara.
An entire programme of projects is planned including training for installers from around the region, knowledge sharing with policymakers and architects as well as educational visits from schools and colleges. Training schemes for colleagues across Knauf Insulation are also being drawn up.
For the public, there are now consultants at the center every day offering free public advice on how to improve building energy efficiency; partner companies that supported the center during its construction are using it as a customer showcase for their solutions and green building associations are highlighting the center as a blueprint for future sustainable building development.
“We are also developing educational programmes for schools offering experience days at our center and we’re hoping to develop summer schools for technical students to learn about sustainable construction and sustainability,” says Barbara.
Adding an innovative dimension to learning, the center also incorporates a range of digital innovations that bring sustainable building to life including virtual reality tools that reveal the systems and materials beyond walls as well as insight into the building’s contribution to the circular economy.
“As there are no facilities such as this in Slovenia, we wanted to take a pioneering approach to experience sharing and training to support external installers and our internal colleagues achieve the best standards possible,” says Barbara.
The center, which is based at our Škofja Loka site in Slovenia, was officially opened last month and formed an integral part of the plant’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
“I’m delighted to be part of this story, but everybody worked incredibly hard to create this center. Our colleagues had to tackle new challenges every day and they should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved. This center really puts Knauf Insulation on the sustainable building map.”