UBA moves into the Federal Government's first zero-energy building

Model green building is to supply its own energy

quadratischer zweigeschossiger Bau mit Holzfassade und Solarzellen auf dem DachClick to enlarge
Das UBA in Berlin-Marienfelde: Das neu erbaute Nullenergiehaus "Haus 2019"
Source: Umweltbundesamt

The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is moving into a new, especially environmentally sound office building called 'Haus 2019' in Berlin-Marienfelde today. The goal for the model green building, which will provide a workplace for 31 people, is particularly ambitious: it is a zero-energy house which will cover its entire energy needs by itself.

Energy consumption will be closely monitored. "In one year's time we will know if we have achieved our ambitious aim of showing a balanced energy budget as a result of the use of renewable energy sources and high standards in building and technology," said UBA President Jochen Flasbarth at the opening ceremony. UBA’s President is confident of success after the one-year period of monitoring. "Renewable energies and energy efficiency in the building sector are key elements of the transformation of the energy system. Greater efforts must be made to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of new buildings and in the existing stock. The new UBA building in Berlin-Marienfelde is meant to send a clear signal of this effort," said Flasbarth. At the least the office meets the requirements of compliance with the new EU standard for nearly zero-energy buildings, which will take effect in 2019 for public buildings.

Researchers at UBA will be moving into their new offices in 'Haus 2019' in early September, after 20 months of construction. It is the Federal Government's first zero-energy building. Although the wood-panelled construction of the building took only a few weeks, the interior fittings and technical building equipment posed a special challenge. Quality of construction was a key prerequisite to the success of the project: testing of the building shell’s airtightness surpasses even the highest of standards as does testing for indoor air quality.


The record of the building’s energy production after one year should cover the building’s operational needs. Energy is supplied exclusively from renewable sources of energy: photovoltaics and a heat pump that harnesses the energy of the groundwater pumped and needed for operation. On the consumption side all technical and work equipment was selected according to the highest standards of efficiency. These high standards of energy efficiency are not, however, to be borne at the expense of user convenience. The settings of the building automation system will therefore be checked against real conditions and actual user behaviour in the first service phase. This will allow for optimisation of the facility’s operation and tailoring it to meet user needs as well as achieving a balanced energy budget. The building will be operated in close collaboration with its owner, the Institute for Federal Real Estate (BImA).


The name 'Haus 2019' refers to the EU Directive on the energy performance of buildings. The Directive lays down the requirements for ‘nearly zero-energy buildings’. This standard will already apply for public institutions as of 2019; as of 2021 for all other buildings. The Federal Environment Agency is setting a good example and is already applying this standard for its new construction

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