17.11.2014Project Reports

mafi uses green energy - a media report

Since the end of August a brand new solar power unit of around 200m², with an output of 31 kWp, can be found on one of the production halls in Schneegattern, Austria. Reason enough for a journalist’s visit. We are thus able to publish the resulting report in our magazine.

"I calculate that the construction costs will be amortised in eight to ten years," Fillafer is convinced.

In the midst of the Kobern Forest is a family run business with clear ideas about environmentally responsible behaviour. Energy self-sufficiency is the latest thing.

mafi has stood for Ecology for a long time

The natural wooden floor manufacturer produces exclusively in Austria – gluing is done without formaldehyde, oiling without chemicals. The entire tree is used and nothing is wasted. Incidental sawdust is used to heat the company. The pellet production, which goes beyond their own consumption, flows into neighbouring households. Fitting the strategy, wood chips are dried with the exhaust air from the production halls. In 2011, the company was awarded the Environmental Award "Energy Globe Award" for its sustainable business concept and resource efficiency.

Even with all this environmental commitment, the quality of the product is never compromised. Each floor is unique and also durable. "At the Holznerwirt in Eugendorf there is a 25 year old Larch floor that still looks like new! Naturally, without lacquer", states Friedrich Fillafer, president and owner of mafi.

Conclusive Environmental Concept

Apart from the use of externally produced electricity, the company was already exemplary in the use of resources. The next logical step was now, matching the corporate philosophy, the construction of a photovoltaic system.
An area of 200m² with 31 kWp output has, since the end of August, adorned the roof of one of the production halls in Schneegattern. The sun's energy is obtained above and immediately consumed directly below. This tactic makes the storage problem obsolete. The operation of the plant’s drying equipment is also performed with this naturally-derived electricity.

Investments are worthwhile

The production of this green electricity is again done according to Austrian quality. It was important for the developers that the modules did not come from China, but were produced regionally. You can tell that Fillafer was closely involved in this topic. The Linz based company Krahofer acted as constructor of the grid connected system. "I calculate that the construction costs will be amortised in eight to ten years," Fillafer is convinced.

Concept requires continuation

After a one-month trial operation, the next system will soon be built. "As soon as I see that in practice, everything works as desired, I will equip our second factory with such a system" – the flooring manufacturer is raring to go. Even then, when the second factory in Steindorf, Salzburg is producing its own electricity, the end of these ambitions will not have been reached. The fork-lift trucks are already all electric, with just two exceptions. The next thing to be looked at is to what extent the electric mode can be extended into company vehicles.
All this costs money. Fillafer is convinced that this added value is noticeable across generations, and appeals thus to the future leadership of the company, i.e. his children. The daughters - Christiane Lindner and Heidrun Zerbs – as well as son Florian Fillafer fully support their father’s ideas. That’s why this is quite natural in the company – Natural Floors, Natural Electricity.

Published in Holzkurier 43/2014