A facade that generates renewable energy

Judges select winning design for extension building of Federal Environment Agency in Dessau

What will the annex to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in Dessau-Roßlau that provides a workplace for 100 staff look like? The answer lies in the decision taken on 7 August 2012 following a cross-sectoral competition for architects and engineers. A distinguished jury of architects, engineers and other experts headed by the Dortmund-based architect Prof. Eckhard Gerber voted unanimously for the design by a bidding consortium of the Anderhalten Architekten architects of Berlin. The jury explained their decision, saying, “The creators of the winning design have found a most extraordinary way to meet the requirements of a zero-energy building. He continued, “On the one hand the design of this detached, four-storey, solitary structure represents a natural component of the entire property that fits into the urban surrounding, while making a strong contrastive statement with its unique architectural character on the other.“ The annex building will achieve zero-energy status at the least and meet the requirements of the gold standard in the federal assessment system for sustainable building. The energy needs will be sourced 100% from renewable energy. UBA is showing the winning design and all other submissions in an exhibition held from 15-26 August at its headquarters in Dessau-Roßlau. Admission is free.

A total of 21 submissions were received. The bidding consortia comprised of architects and engineers faced the task of designing a new building that must meet high standards of urban building, design and energy requirements - a pilot project in sustainable planning, building and operation. The goal was to produce a zero-energy building, which means that the outside and inside of the building should produce, on annual average, at least as much energy (heat, cooling, electricity) as it consumes when in operation. Electricity in the new building will be generated 100% by a state-of-the-art photovoltaic system. Photovoltaic units integrated into the facades facing south, west, and east and also mounted on the roof will produce the electricity needed. Solar thermal modules will be integrated into the photovoltaic system, providing heat that will be channelled to a seasonal water storage tank for the winter.  All the systems are operated at a high degree of efficiency and include a means of highly efficient heat recovery.

The jury described the winning design as particularly outstanding, for architecture and the technical-energetic concept come together to form a logical and intelligent whole. The self-sufficiency of the future annex is ensured through its amorphous shape and the design of its facade in particular.

The next steps in building the structure in Dessau-Roßlau will be initiated by the Institute for Federal Real Estate together with the Federal Environment Agency and the Landesbetrieb Bau- und Liegenschaftsmanagement. The annex building will provide space for about 100 workplaces and additional space for conferences.

German Environment Agency

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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 facade  nearly zero-energy building  sustainable building  photovoltaic