Winners 2012

A total of fourteen products and concepts were granted the 2012 German Federal Ecodesign Award. The ceremony took place in November at the Federal Environment Ministry in Berlin. Alongside President of the Federal Environment Agency, Jochen Flasbarth, Federal Minister Peter Altmaier gave an opening speech and presented the awards to the winners.

Altmaier emphasised that "we launched this competition to highlight the creative potential out there for the creation of more environmental sound products, and to show how sophisticated design, aesthetics and environmental protection can be reconciled. My congratulations go to all of the winners, who have presented us with outstanding examples of this idea.”

Product category

Material goods as well as non-material services that either serve as a substitute for a product or which provide a product service system can be submitted in the Product category. The following eight projects were granted the 2012 Ecodesign Award for products:

Dry vacuum cleaner T 12/1 eco!efficiency Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG
Design: Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG, Denis Dammköhler

The dry vacuum cleaner T 12/1 eco!efficiency achieves almost the same performance with 750 watts as a 1300 watt unit, and consumes 40 % less power. Approximately 95 % of the used materials are recyclable. What is more, the noise level has been reduced by around 70 %. Kärcher guarantees a long life and
period of use, and resources are saved through excellent repairability and long-standing spare parts supply.

Jury statement:
“Can a vacuum cleaner ever be ecological? Sweeping and carpet beating would certainly be better, but nobody does that any more. It therefore makes particular sense for devices to be developed that consume LESS. This unit requires 40 % less power for the same performance. Moreover, it makes 70 % less noise and is 95 % recyclable. Outstanding!”
(Nicola Stattmann)

Till It’s In Tatters Revamp and Repair Studio

The “Till It’s in Tatters” revamp and repair studio redesigns and repairs clothes. Design and consulting as well as first drafts and professional tailoring all take place in the small establishment in Berlin. Only existing garments and materials manufactured according to Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) are used. This is a concept that challenges the throwaway society. Examples are presented with their history in the store workshop and on the website.

Jury statement:
“Who would not want to be kissed awake?
For wardrobes, the change studio brings the sound asleep back to life. Here, whether it’s worn, inherited or a gift, the piece will be given a proper jazzing up. If you’re not familiar with the concept, you’ll learn as you go along: Wearing things for a long time is truly ecological. And lest I forget, I’ve had it printed onto a t-shirt!” (Dr. Kirsten Brodde)

firetube oven system Firetube GmbH

Firetube is a modular oven system that features user-friendly and timeless design. The oven is durable and is easy to upgrade and repair. The firetube sales and utilisation system guarantees the disposal of the oven and a 100 percent reuse of all components. Every oven can be disassembled by type and 100 % recycled. Firetube does not use chemical surface coatings, and surfaces are fixed with natural oils as well as treated with water-soluble lacquers. What is more, the oven complies with the 2nd BlmSchV ordinance for fine
particulate emissions.

Jury statement:
“The minimalist design convinces with its modularity and clarity. The concept takes all stages of the product life cycle into consideration, all the way up to the return system. The use of a water-soluble finish is an important environmental advantage. Firetube combines a well thought-out environmental stra-tegy with aesthetics, quality and innovation.” (Prof. Günter Horntrich)

Nachbarschaftsauto – Internet platform Nachbarschaftsauto PCS GmbH
Design: Jenny Kapteyn Design

Following the principle of “using instead of owning”, the Nachbarschaftsauto Internet platform makes the private borrowing and lending of cars easy and secure. At no cost, hirers can create profiles for their cars on the platform, and booking is easy for borrowers. The Nachbarschaftsauto full insurance coverage is included automatically.

Jury statement:
“A good project for the concept of ‘share instead of own’, which comes with an impressive website. The principle of car sharing is not new, but the implementation of Nachbarschaftsauto certainly is. It broadens the concept of car sharing and brings neighbours together. This approach makes it easy to do without your own car, meaning lower resource consumption, less overall use, and fewer car kilometres. Indeed, nothing tempts you to drive more than your own car. Hello neighbours – join us!” (Prof. Dr. Rainer Grießhammer)

RX 70 Hybrid with Blue-Q STILL GmbH
Design: TEAMS Design GmbH

The RX 70 Hybrid is the first mass-production diesel forklift that works on the principle of energy recovery and electric power transmission. A combination of two energy storage systems makes the drive of the RX 70 Hybrid both powerful and economical. Energy potential is released through the recovery of braking energy and the efficient use of the combustion motor, saving an additional 20 % of fuel. Low motor rotation speeds keep noise emissions to a minimum, while user-friendly design enables safe and efficient handling.

Jury statement:
“The RX 70 is the world‘s first serially produced hybrid forklift. The truck uses energy that is recovered during braking, and applies it again when accelerating. This significantly reduces fuel consumption. Lower energy consumption also means lower CO2 emissions. But it’s not only the efficiency and environmental responsibility that make this product worth the money – we were also impressed
by its user-friendly design. My overall rating: Totally innovative.” (Jochen Flasbarth)

ON Wilkhahn Wilkening + Hahne GmbH & Co.KG
Design: wiege Michael Englisch, Anne-Katrin Sieferer

The ON office chair with its armchair-like conception is an appealing office chair that enables three-dimensional dynamic seating. The patented Trimension® seat mechanism activates a natural and relaxed freedom of movement in the entire organism, and prevents back pain. A wide choice of models and fittings offers a high level of design individualisation. ON is easy to disassemble and separate parts are straightforward to replace and repair. These are extensively mono-materials and can be fed back into material flows. ON is 97 % recyclable after use.

Jury statement:
“Lightweight construction, component reduction, a choice of materials, workmanship, recycling, energy consumption, modularity and longevity – all of these issues are of major significance for the development of eco-friendly products. If they are consistently thought through and developed and give rise to improved functionality such as comfort, then it’s possible to talk about an extremely good product. Wilkhahn Wilkening+Hahne GmbH+Co.KG have succeeded here with the ON office chair.” (Nicola Stattmann)

Wilo Geniax – The decentralised pumping system WILO SE WILO SE
Design: mehnert corporate design gmbh & co. kg
Prof. Kurt Mehnert, Jan Eickhoff, Martin Bergner, Julian Witte

Wilo Geniax is a decentralised heating pumping system that that brings high savings in heating and electricity. The pump system is unobtrusively integrated into the living environment thanks to a purist design. The modular system of design cladding, operator- and control devices enables easy, tool-free installation and easy repair for the user.

Jury statement:
“Wilo Geniax is a decentralised heating pumping system that consumes an average of 20% less heating energy and 50% less power compared with a conventional system. Normally, a central circulation pump provides adequate heating water pressure, whereas Wilo Geniax uses miniature pumps to supply each individual heat exchanger with heat.” (Ursula Heinen-Esser)

weber.therm A 200 with weber.pas AquaBalance
Saint-Gobain Weber GmbH

The composite thermal insulation system weber.therm A 200 provides both climateand water protection through the combination of mineral insulating boards and mortar with a paste-like textured render. To date, structured plasters have often contained biocides that are washed into the groundwater by rain. By contrast, the weber.therm A 200 system is biocides-free. Furthermore, in contrast to leachable biocides, the physical principle of the technology has a permanent protective effect.

Jury statement:
“The render used by the thermal insulation system from Saint-Gobain Weber does
not require the use of biocides. Its innovative ʻtechnicalʼ design impressed the jury. The render does not drain the water; instead, using purely physical effects, it gathers it up and increases the size of dew or raindrops sticking to the surface area. In this way, surfaces dry faster. The ecological effect is significant for climate-, resource- and water conservation.” (Ursula Heinen-Esser)

Concept category

Concept studies, pilot projects and prototypes can be submitted in the Concept category. The two winning projects that convinced the jury and were awarded the Ecodesign Award 2012 for concepts were:

COBOC – Muscle Synchronized eCycles COBOC eCycles

COBOC eCycles is a concept for a pedelec (a bicycle with an electric motor). At 13.7 kg, the COBOC eCycle is significantly lighter than standard commercially available varieties. The low weight means that it consumes less power and remains agile and sporty to ride even if the battery is empty. Not least because of its minimalist design, it also appeals to young people looking to switch from a car to a pedelec. The operating concept is intuitive and the sensor adapts automatically to the rider. The eBike feels like an ordinary, mechanical bicycle – only faster.

Jury statement:
“COBOC has turned the pedelec into a sporty and popular city bike! It is significantly lighter than the common varieties found on the market. The technology is inconspicuous and the battery cleanly hidden away. In city traffic, it’s a good encouragement to leave your car behind!” (Werner Aisslinger)

Velux LichtAktiv Haus VELUX Deutschland GmbH
Design: Technische Universität Darmstadt - Design: Darmstadt University of Technology – Faculty of Architecture, Department of Design and Energy-efficient Construction, and Architektenbüro Ostermann

The LichtAktiv Haus is a suburban house from the 50‘s that has been modernised as a barrier-free zero-energy house, combining intelligent power design with a high quality of living. The daylight architecture supplies the building with plenty of light and fresh air. At the same time, the required energy is pro-vided entirely by renewable energies. The LichtAktiv Haus produces more energy than is actually required by the inhabitants and the building. This is the first time that CO2-neutral living has been made possible in a modernised suburban house.

Jury statement:
“The model project Velux LichtAktiv house shows that energy efficiency is also realisable in old buildings. A ‘climate shock’ turns into
a ‘climate hero’. The successful creative implementation also means that it’s a place to feel at home for its inhabitants. It’s an example that ought to become standard practice!” (Jochen Flasbarth)

Young Talent category

Students at German design schools and young designers who graduated no more than three years previously can submit their product or conceptual work to the Young Talent category. The .eco project won the Young Talent Award in 2012, while three other projects received special recognition.

Christian Ehni, Timo J. Schillings
Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University

The .eco domain, which provides an expiration date for data with a short shelf life, is a concept for saving energy on the Internet. The approach saves disk space on servers and reduces power consumption. Tested among others on Facebook, the new domain can be applied to other Internet sites; .eco is design- and concept-independent from the respective networks.

Jury statement:
“The proactive concept behind .eco is saving energy on the Internet by reducing data clutter. Short-term current data is provided with a so-called expiration date, thereby inhibiting the growth of useless data. .eco creates awareness and sensitises the users to the environmental impact of data storage.”
(Prof. Günter Horntrich)

best before ... Visualisation of minimum shelf life
Dane Smith-Horn, Viola Wengler, Vasiliki Corakas
College of Art and Design Offenbach

best before ... is a double-walled yoghurt pot made of a plastic film. A layer of compressed air between the two films gives the pot its rigidity. Yoghurt is often discarded after the expiration date, even before the packaging is opened. However, foods are frequently still edible after the predicted expiration date.
best before... visualises the “real” expiration date of the yoghurt, thereby counteracting food waste.

Jury statement:
“The handling of foodstuffs is an important environmental issue, and it is conceptually well addressed here. The packaging indicates whether the yoghurt is still edible, and the innovative and clever aspect is how it functions using a pneumatic body. It’s an alternative for the cooling shelf that is worthy of implementation!” (Werner Aisslinger)

Paul Ketz, ecosign/Academy for Design

The Pfandring is an additional mounting for bins in public spaces for returnable bottles and deposit cans. Passers-by can leave their empties in the Pfandring in good conscience, and deposit collectors are spared from groping around in the rubbish in an undignified manner. The concept helps to keep bottles and cans in the recycling loop. The design is functional and the colouring gives it a signal effect.

Jury statement:
“With the Pfandring, an otherwise discarded bottle becomes a gift – for those who really need it. A common problem is convincingly solved through straightforward additive design. The Pfandring is an ecological and societal wedding ring. In the first phase it can be retrofitted to the hundreds of thousands of collection containers already in use. In the medium term it can be integrated on to the same containers in production.” (Prof. Dr. Rainer Grießhammer)

Juri and Walentina pullover recyclist_workshop
Valentin Schmitt, Lars Nüthen, Weimar Bauhaus University

The recyclist_workshop is a label for sustainably and fairly-produced fashion. The Juri and Walentina pullovers are made predominantly of fabrics from recycled textile fibres, and are complemented by details such as bicycle chain parts. High quality and discriminating design are combined with the utilisation of recycled products. The pullover can be easily returned to the recycling loop without the need for special separation processes. The piece also implements important aspects of ecodesign, from waste as a raw material to environmentally friendly packaging and local value creation.

Jury statement:
“This lovely student concept for recycling convinces both the eye and the conscience. Urban design with small, fine details such as bicycle chain links on the hood. Produced just around the corner and available to buy in the green
concept store.” (Dr. Kirsten Brodde)

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