Visualizing energy savings

The driving forces behind the following client story are trust, curiosity and courage. The client entrusted the EBP Communications Team with a special project. The focus of the project elicited the curiosity of the EBP team. Both parties had the courage to take a different approach.

Von der Excel-Tabelle zur Stadt

Minergie standards have already saved more than 53 million kilowatt hours. The EBP Communications Team used this figure to create an entire anniversary campaign – the emergence of an entire city from an Excel spreadsheet.

Our assignment started with a number on an Excel spreadsheet, followed by a casually expressed invitation to play a key role in a project. “Your colleagues have already done us the favor of quantifying the impact that Minergie standards have had over the last 20 years. The result is actually astonishing, but it’s also just a number. Do you think you could come up with an effective way of conveying the reality behind the number? An image, maybe, or a video?” To put it in a nutshell: We created more than just an image.

The groundwork

Six months earlier, the Switzerland-based Minergie Association had commissioned a group of EBP energy experts to quantify the total volume of fossil fuel that had been saved in Switzerland during the last 20 years thanks to decisions made by real-estate developers to build according to Minergie standards instead of the less robust statutory provisions. The scope of the assessment included the following parameters: number and class of certified Minergie buildings and renovations during the reference period, energy savings per unit, share of renewable energies, specifications outlined in existing national standards and number of units built accordingly. The figures were then compiled in an Excel spreadsheet with more than 2,000 cells. And the bottom line came in at a whopping 53,997,452,473 kilowatt hours.

Curiosity: recognizing the story

Yes, more than 50 billion kilowatt hours of fossil-fuel energy had been saved in Switzerland thanks to Minergie!

“One of our strengths is our predisposition to find projects fascinating – a pure source of inspiration and creativity.”

The EBP Communications Team and Minergie already had a close working relationship. For instance, EBP had assisted in Minergie’s recent brand relaunch and had completed numerous conceptual, graphic, digital and editing assignments. The task at hand now was to develop an effective means of communicating the Minergie success story.
“After agreeing to take on the assignment, we arranged a meeting with our energy specialists, and asked them to explain the volume of energy involved,” recalls Miriam Werder who was leading the project. “It wasn’t long before we realized how much potential was locked up in the number!

  1. It offers testimony to Minergie’s tremendous success – a good message for the upcoming anniversary year.
  2. It shows how the vision of energy-efficient buildings has captured the hearts and minds of ever more real-estate developers. This vision has even given rise to new legal standards.
  3. The amount of energy saved is so large that compelling comparisons are needed that can enable the relevant target group to grasp its significance.
  4. Many people have played a part in Minergie’s success. Indeed, there’s a personal story behind every Minergie building. These individuals have all been inspired by the original pioneering spirit. It would be appropriate to honor their commitment on the occasion of Minergie’s anniversary year.”

Dedication, Trust and courage give rise to a city

Fascinated by their assignment, the members of the EBP Team soon presented initial ideas at a further meeting with Minergie – in a state of uncertainty because of the expansiveness of the ideas. “In the end, and thanks especially to the client’s openness and trust, we were given free rein to develop our ideas. Taking an analytic-conceptual approach, we hit upon the notion of a Minergie City,” says Werder by way of describing the process.

All of a sudden, the team members had a picture to work with. This enabled them to illustrate the course of Minergie’s development, starting with the first single-family home and advancing from there to commercial buildings, public buildings, sports complexes, schools and industrial facilities. “We had essentially created a framework that would enable the many Minergie stakeholders to express themselves, including homeowners, investors, tenants, architects and planners. We wanted to showcase these stakeholders, their experiences and their relationships to their buildings – a matter of connecting facts and figures to emotions.”

360° website design

The EBP Communications Team continued to develop the idea of a Minergie City at various meetings with the client. This led to an entire anniversary-year concept centering on a 360° website design. “We proposed a structure that departs from classic websites in favor of a more playful, exploratory approach. That proved to be just the right solution, as evidenced by our client’s praise and that of our external partners,” says Werder. “The aim was to create a website that was fascinating, authentic and rich in detail. Which is the most prominent Minergie building? The one at the highest elevation? What about a Minergie-certified indoor swimming pool? We were able to develop the website and present all of these engaging facts thanks to a close working relationship with our client.”

The EBP Communications Team was able to deliver a total package by the approach of the anniversary year, initially providing extensive support in matters of implementation until Minergie was in a position to take the reins.

Expanding the scope

In the end, we delivered more than an image. Our work included a complete concept for the Minergie anniversary, a 360° website, four company videos, anniversary stationery, the design for an exhibition stand, flyers and many ideas for giveaways, events and social-media activities. “Strictly speaking, we didn’t deliver the small package that was originally ordered,” Werder admits. “But sometimes it pays to view the world from an expanded perspective.”