Winners 2016

A total of eight products and concepts were granted the 2016 German Federal Ecodesign Award. The ceremony took place in November at the Federal Environment Ministry in Berlin. Alongside President of the Federal Environment Agency, Maria Krautzberger, Federal Minister Barbara Hendricks gave an opening speech and presented the awards to the winners.

Product category

The Product competition category invites submissions of products that are available on the German market including products from all sectors and all areas of design. The following four products ultimately went on to win the award:

The rainproof jacket ALL WEATHER COAT is made using pure organic cotton. The manufacturing process involves the spinning, twisting and weaving of so-called extra-long staple fibres into the highest possible density. This results in a breathable as well as water-repellent structure, without the use of chemical substances. Wear parts can be easily replaced.

Jury statement:
“For outdoor clothing in particular, the use of chemicals has always played an important role. The All Weather Coat takes an alternative approach: It is manufactured using organic cotton, and thanks to a special weaving technique, nevertheless has all the properties of a functional jacket. Care has been taken in the design to enable wearing parts to be easily replaced. This gives that jacket a longer lifetime, which helps conserve resources. The jacket also boasts aesthetic appeal. Ultimately, that’s the prerequisite for a garment to be worn for a long time!”
Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter

Climatex Collection

Climatex AG

The materials used in Climatex Collection are temperature and moisture regulating: They provide warmth in cold weather and stay cool in hot weather. They are flame-retardant, durable and tearproof. The new fabric technology intelligently combines natural and synthetic fibres, and can be separated homogeneously. The textiles are certified both Cradle-to-Cradle-Gold and OEKO-TEX Standard. Among other applications, the textiles are used in the fields of health, interiors, fashion and transportation.

Jury statement:
“Intelligent innovation that combines fabric technology and a mixture of materials to achieve a functionality that offers true value and comfort in use. In addition, it’s safe for the environment, and recyclable and transparent across the entire the supply chain thanks to the clear identification of all components. Absolutely exemplary in every respect.”
Prof. Friederike von Wedel-Parlow, Magdalena Schaffrin

Cool Coatings

BASF Coatings Division

The automotive coating Cool Coatings reflects warming infrared radiation from the sun. This enables a lowering of the temperature of the vehicle body by up to 20 °C, and the interior by up to 4 °C. Thanks to passive thermal management, it is possible to save energy for climate control. The functionality of the coating is underlined by new colours and effects.

Jury statement:
"Nobody likes getting inside a hot car in the height of summer. Of course, the air conditioning system is instantly turned up to maximum. The BASF-developed lacquers ensure a temperature reduction of 20 °C on the vehicle chassis and 4 °C in the interior, which saves on fuel and cuts CO2 emissions. They are available in a wide range of colours, with warm and cool shades.”
Werner Aisslinger

PuroWIN wood chip gasifier

Windhager Zentralheizung GmbH

PuroWIN enables virtually emission-free heating. The combustion of the wood chips produces significantly less particulate matter, with a reduction in the value to below 1 mg/MJ. A flexible suction system transports the wood chips to the boiler, meaning that the storage room does not need to be adjacent to the boiler room. This does away with the need for cost-intensive conversions.

Jury statement:
“The PuroWIN wood chip gasifier from Windhager tackles two of the usual deficiencies of wood chip systems. Firstly, the newly developed incineration technology comes with greatly reduced particulate matter emissions, and secondly, the design means that the wood chips do not need to be stored adjacently to the boiler, allowing the system to be installed in a greater variety of building types.”
Andreas Detzel

Concept category

The Concept competition category invites submissions from pioneering concepts, studies and pilot projects. The following project was ultimately granted the 2016 German Federal Ecodesign Award:

Bionic partition wall
Airbus Operations GmbH

The bionic partition from Airbus is 45 % lighter than conventional partition walls for use on aircraft. The lower weight can bring annual reductions in CO2 emissions of 10 tonnes per aircraft. The product is based on a generative design and manufacturing process, as well as the own development of a lightweight alloy material. Thanks to the additive production and modular structure, the partitions can be installed in existing aircraft cabins. If required, individual components can be easily replaced. The used material is completely recyclable.

Jury statement:
“With the ‘Bionic Partition Wall’, Airbus is demonstrating in exemplary fashion the different possibilities offered by additive manufacturing. In air transport, the subsequent weight reduction of 45 % brings enormous fuel savings. The branch-like structures give an insight into the formal-aesthetic potential of topological optimisation.”
Prof. Matthias Held

Young Talent category

The Young Talent category is to be understood as a cross-section category for projects from all areas of design. A total of two projects in the Young Talent category went on to win the 2016 Federal Ecodesign Award. The awards in this category also include a cash prize of 1000 euros.

Breathing Skins

Tobias Becker
University of Stuttgart

Breathing Skins is an experimental facade technology. It consists of flexible elements, so-called ‘pneumatic muscles’, which are controlled by changes in air pressure. The facade reacts to external factors and controls the passage of air, light, sound and heat. This helps to reduce the energy consumption of buildings. The project provides climatically healthy spaces and a new spatial experience.

Jury statement:
“Breathing Skins is a proposal for a facade that can breathe, move and respond to its surroundings. It is highly innovative, for example in the way that the heat protection is not conceived as static insulation. Rather, it is a programmable interplay of air, light, sound and heat, with the aim of reducing the energy demand of buildings, and at the same time of creating a new architectural language.”
Dr. Claudia Perren

Pacific Garbage Screening

Marcella Hansch
RWTH Aachen

"Pacific Garbage Screening" filters plastic particles from the oceans. The slowdown of the ocean current in the inside of the platform lends buoyancy to the plastic particles. This passive form of filtering does not endanger marine life. Moreover, the gathered plastic particles can be used as a source of energy and raw materials: Once converted into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, they propel the platform forward and assist in the process of breeding algal cultures. In turn, these can be further processed into bioplastics. All processes are fully independent and CO2 neutral.

Jury statement:
“The technical development of the ‘Pacific Garbage Screening’ project calls attention to the pollution of the oceans caused by plastic waste. Fully CO2 neutral, the 400 x 400 metre large platform calms the flow and provides buoyancy to plastic objects in the water, without endangering fish and other aquatic creatures. This visionary and solution-oriented student project sets a high standard, and this is precisely what the Federal Ecodesign Awards is aimed at achieving. It is a real accomplishment.”
Dr. Thomas Holzmann

Sustainability and other stories

Mayya Saliba
ESMOD International University of Art for Fashion Berlin

Can a circular economy reconcile the contradiction of fast fashion and sustainability? "Sustainability and other stories" is a both a case study and fashion collection. The pieces in the collection are made of monomaterials and can be returned to the material cycle. The project aims to reinforce the political role of design and challenge fickle consumer behaviour in a globalised world.

Jury statement:
“Most people take pleasure in fashion and enjoy dressing well, and notable events are often celebrated with new clothes. The presented collection is indeed intended for a short lifespan, but is entirely recyclable. This student work is of a very high standard, and takes a comprehensive approach to the complex issues of sustainability.”
Prof. Anna Berkenbusch

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