World innovation: Conservatories from Brehna gleam with unique thermal insulation
Passive energy houses are buildings with a minimal heat energy consumption, in which a high level of comfort can be achieved in the winter and in the summer without a conventional heating system or air conditioning. They must not exceed a maximum annual heating requirement of three kilowatt hours per square metre. However, conservatories stop many builders of passive energy houses from accessing possible subsidies because conventional buildings of this type require up to five times as much energy as the rest of the house. Axel Frömert has succeeded in revolutionising the insulation in supports, roof girders and drains. The results of the developmental work by the creative, trained master bodywork, vehicle and metalworking craftsman have been integrated into the “Eleganza Plus” conservatory series. “The insulating values are sensational,” says the Wipro boss. He manages the company together with his partner Manuela Lüers. Frömert deals with the technical side of things, manages the development team and is responsible for patents and inventions. The woman by his side, a trained business economist, is responsible for the commercial side.
Wipro has not just succeeded in achieving the standards demanded by the state energy regulations. It has also managed to undercut these considerably. It is the first company in the world to succeed in proving the thermal coefficients in the eaves of a conservatory. “In Germany, there are perhaps four or five comparable system suppliers of conservatories. But aside from us, no-one can prove the thermal coefficient in the eaves,” explains the inventor. For builders of passive energy houses, this proof pays off in hard cash. It smoothens the way to state subsidies. This luxury also has its price. It is about ten percent more than conventional glass extensions. The business partners proudly point to a European patent which the company has held since 2002. “We are the inventors of integrated shading,” reports Frömert. In many hundreds of hours at the computer, he ensured that the “shading” elements are integrated into the eaves and any vertical or venetian blinds disappear completely into the construction in the fully raised position. They are invisible, weather-proof and virtually maintenance free. “This gives us a unique selling point,” highlights Frömert. These innovative solutions are requested from many countries.
If Wipro today can refer to technical and commercial successes, especially in conservatory construction, Frömert began his business career as a carpet salesman before he moved to window construction. He came to conservatory construction through a coincidence, when a window construction customer asked him. For a long time, the company with five to seven employees has built about 30 conservatories a year in Dessau from bought-in profile systems. However, this had a number of weaknesses from Frömert’s point of view. For this reason, he began to construct his own system of conservatory profiles. The technician reminisces how a fully-fledged system was ready in 1999. With the 250 in-house tools today, this has proven to be the key to their success. In the same year, the company moved to Brehna, because Dessau offered no further scope for development for them. Production began in a one-thousand square metre hall, directly off the A9 motorway. Gradually, three further halls have been added, in each of which three different terrace and conservatory roofing systems are manufactured, including the top-of-the-line product “Eleganza Plus”. Last year, 500 conservatories and 1200 terrace canopies left the manufactory, as Frömert calls the production site. They are predominantly erected in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Holland and Luxembourg. The company is celebrating a topping out ceremony on 7th February as it continues to grow. Another 3,000 square metre production hall with a two-storey 1,000 square metre office building have been built.
Between 2005 and 2012, the Wipro turnover tripled to nine million Euro. The number of employees has climbed from 25 to 75. Until 2014, the turnover should continue to grow annually by one million Euro. “Then, we will employ 100 people,” say Lüers and Frömert looking ahead. In total, the family-run company has invested eight million Euro in Brehna-Sandersdorf to date. “Without the generous subsidies from the state, we would not have been able to manage this,” agree the two of them.
wipro system GmbH & Co. KG
Münchener Straße 12
District of Brehna
ph: +49 34954 53520