Joint press release with the Federal Environment Agency and the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Green building: part of energy system transformation

Topping out ceremony for Federal Environment Agency‘s net-zero energy building

Take one solar power system, add heat pump and make sure to insulate well. Voilá, you’ve got the ideal conditions for future-oriented, green building. The Vice-President of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Dr. Thomas Holzmann, believes construction at this standard is part of the necessary transformation of the energy system. “In terms of construction quality and technical standard, we are showcasing building of the future“. Transforming the energy system is about more than just phasing out nuclear energy, increasing energy production from renewable energy and expanding the grid.

The energy turnaround also means decreasing the demand for and consumption of energy, decentralised generation of energy and using the resources we have at our disposal. Today’s topping out ceremony of the ”Haus 2019“ office building in Berlin-Marienfelde is an important step in this direction. ”The building’s entry into service marks our present compliance with the guidelines of the EU Directive on the energy performance of buildings. They stipulate that public buildings must demonstrate a nearly zero energy balance as of 2019,“ said Vice-President Holzmann.

Rüdiger Schmeling, Head of Division at the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, praised the interdisciplinary project team of architects, town and country planners, building physicists, in-house technicians, architectural historians and structural engineers. He said, “This team has produced an ecologically optimal, zero-energy building made of wood which incorporates energy concepts and uses renewable energy in its design. In the truest sense of the word, it brings both construction and energy requirements together under one roof.”

The shell of the new office building is complete; further construction can now begin. Energy saving was taken into account as early as the planning stage in that decisions took into account life cycle costs. In the course of a year’s operation, the building will prove to have a positive energy balance. The rooftop solar power system will generate electricity, and a heat pump will extract heat from the groundwater that can be used to heat the building.

Since management and operation of a building account for 80% of its total costs, particular attention was paid to these aspects in the building phase. In addition to high energy standards, ecological factors are also highly valued and thus zero-emission building materials are used. The structural work and facade are built with the renewable raw material wood. Insulation materials are made of recycled cellulose fibres.

The Federal Environment Agency seeks to prove through the construction and operation of the office building that this energy-saving and resource-efficient method of construction can be combined to provide a high degree of comfort for its future tenants. The development will be analysed through close monitoring. Scientific research at the Berlin-Marienfelde site focuses on water issues. The new office building will provide ideal working conditions to 30 staff. In addition to being able to regulate ventilation, heat, lighting and the shades individually, the highly insulated shell of the building creates a pleasant indoor climate.

Dessau-Roßlau, 5 June 2012

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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