Foundation of 8.2 Engineering Office in Süderdeich

October 2nd, 1995 – that is when the story began with the foundation of the 8. 2 Engineering Office in Süderdeich by Manfred Lührs. The company’s name was copied from hexagonal bolts with the data of the respective material imprinted on top. As for wind turbines the most common bolts are  8.8, 10.9 and 12.9.

„Actually, 8.2 does not exist but 8 and 2 are my favourite numbers“, Manfred Lührs reveals the secret of finding the name „At that time, I did not want to found just another office for wind energy technology.“

Therefore, for the very first expert office he chose deliberately a logo which should be kept in mind. Since then, 8.2 characterizes a group of engineering offices the first of which was founded [by Manfred Lührs] in 1995.

(Author: Detlef Koenemann)

Manfred Lührs first publicly appointed and authorized consultant for wind turbines

In January 1997, Manfred Lührs was verified, publicly appointed and authorized by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Flensburg as first consultant for wind turbines. One year later, Jürgen Holzmüller founded his 8.2 Engineering Office in Aurich which resulted in a direct practical benefit. „I did not have to travel anymore from Dithmarschen to East Frisia in order to inspect individual turbines “, Manfred Lührs remembers. However, that is of course just understatement as the foundation of the engineering office in Aurich was far more important –the formation of this “knot” reflected the structure of the future 8.2 experts’ network.

(Author: Detlef Koenemann)

Development of 8.2 Network

Thus, growth is not the result of an ever increasing structure restricted to one place but by dividing and spreading of new cells throughout a region or ideally throughout Germany and even internationally. This is logical because a decentralized energy supply is accompanied by a decentralized service structure respectively.

Actually, the foundation of the 8.2 network was not a specific date but a process which started in 1995 and still continues up till today. Manfred Lührs and Jürgen Holzmüller, who up till now are representing and developing the original idea, have become role models for other wind energy experts who wanted to work as independent consultants and relied on the safety of the 8.2 trademark. Thus, it is a good possibility to start independent working as the Group is able to provide orders to the „newcomers“.

During the following years, further 8.2 engineering offices were founded all over Germany. In the first decade a network developed with 14 engineering and consultancy offices as well as two publicly appointed and authorized consultants.

(Author: Detlef Koenemann)

Foundation of 8.2 Consulting AG

However, it soon became evident that the structure of this network had to become strengthened in order to keep up with all demands.

According to the idea of Manfred Lührs (developed during 1.5 years of parental leave), 14 consultants founded the 8.2 Consulting AG in November 2006. As umbrella organization of the group, it provided the contractual relations between single engineering offices which in the past were related only by contracts to Manfred Lührs and Jürgen Holzmüller.

Moreover, the 8.2 Consulting AG should do business with key accounts, develop of the area of Offshore wind energy and strengthen international activities.

Since then, the 8.2 Consulting AG located in Hamburg developed into a stronghold with currently 50 employees. This joint-stock company is not collecting money at the stock exchange but is selling shares to employees of 8.2 consulting offices. Thus, the share capital is increased step by step and, what’s more, the employees are bound to the 8.2 Group for the long term – a perfect concept for staff loyalty.

(Author: Detlef Koenemann)

Foundation of 8.2 Group e.V.

However, it soon became evident that the 8.2 AG was not suitable as umbrella organization because the obligation of the 8.2 AG to generate yield often contradicted the activities of the 8.2 Group as the “administration” of the separate engineering offices took more and more time.

Therefore, in November 2014 the 8.2 group decided to found the 8.2 Group as registered association with the 8.2 Consulting AG as one of its members. The association in its function as new umbrella organization consists of the individual 8.2 business units and currently has 32 members ranging in size from one-person offices up to the 8.2 Consulting AG.

According to the opinion of the 8.2 group, the contradiction of having enough leeway for the independent minds of the experts on the one side and the necessity for a comprehensive structure which unavoidably restricts the liberties on the other side can only be solved by the structure of an association.  

Jürgen Holzmüller is President of the 8.2 Group e.V. His main task is to recognize in time any unavoidable contradictions within the network of independent companies and to moderate any resulting conflicts in order to create a balance of interests.

The Association’s General Meeting represents the supreme body and, in the end, also the decision-making body. Thus, the network as such is visible for the industry and interested public as well. 

The Association itself is not economically active. It owns the trademark rights, represents the 8.2 members in several expert committees, offers workshops within the framework of the 8.2 Academy and organizes the New Year’s Reception with its accompanying conference.  

(Author: Detlef Koenemann) 

8.2 Group e.V. and its principles

The 8.2 Group has decided to proceed on an organic growth development. In an ingenious way, growth develops in each individual part of the Group and also by new members joining and enlarging the network.

One big advantage of the 8.2 Group is the fact that it can resist any take-over or purchase offers. The know-how is implemented in each of its parts and it is not possible to purchase all of them.

Moreover, the division of work within the network prevents a single part from being forced into rapid growth and thus, becoming victim of its own success.

In case of a sudden increase in the order situation, there is always the possibility of passing on orders to other members of the network. This applies in any case to all services individual engineering firms have specialized in.

As for example, within the network all vibration analyses are carried out by 8.2 Monitoring GmbH founded by Bernd Höring in May 2010. And Manfred Lührs and Jürgen Holzmüller specialized on the important topic “Operating life and continued operation”. With the help of this structure, the network can react flexibly as well as dynamically and can grow organically. 

Independence is the Principle

This principle once stated by Manfred Lührs and Jürgen Holzmüller still applies: „We want to be a group of experts who are independent and know-how carriers. “ Thus, it is necessary to have a flat hierarchy reflected in the structure of the association.

Independence is the most important principle and must not be touched as it ensures a long life for the individual experts as well as for the expert offices.

(Author: Detlef Koenemann)