UBA wins EU environmental management award

EMAS Award 2014 for Federal Government’s first zero-energy office building

two smiling men, one is holding a certificate in his hands, in the background a poster with an EU flagClick to enlarge
UBA Environmental Officer Burkhard Huckestein (left) and EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik

EMAS Award 2014

Source: European Commission

The Federal Environment Agency in Dessau-Roßlau has won this year’s EMAS Award for outstanding innovative projects in the organisation’s environmental management. EU Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik presented the award to UBA in the "large organisation in the public sector" category at the Hanover Messe for the Agency’s Haus 2109 property. The building is the first office building in the federal administration which already meets the requirements of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, although the requirements will only become valid as of 2019. UBA’s Acting President Thomas Holzmann said, “The EMAS Award is an expression of recognition of our claim to be pioneers in environmental protection. Moreover, it helps us to persuade others that progressive building is not only ecological but also makes business sense.”

The Haus 2019 property is zero-energy and is designed to be completely self-sufficient for one year, thanks to photovoltaics and a heat pump. The accessible, timber panelled structure provides 31 office spaces and is made largely of environmentally friendly materials such as wood from sustainable forestry and cellulose fibres from recycled paper used for heat insulation. A photovoltaic system mounted on the roof supplies electricity. A heat pump converts heat or cold from groundwater to control building temperature. In future the building will achieve the “gold” standard in the Assessment System for Sustainable Building of federal properties.

The European Commission presents the EMAS Award every year to businesses and other organisations which have an ambitious environmental management system according to the EMAS Directive. EMAS stands for Eco-Management and Auditing Scheme and is verified and validated by independent registered environmental verifiers. Some 500 businesses and other organisations in Germany meet the requirements of the EMAS Directive. The UBA is now receiving its second EMAS award since 2009. Germany's largest environmental protection authority was the first federal authority to introduce EMAS back in 2001. Since then twelve of UBA's offices have become certified according to EMAS, including the air quality monitoring stations located throughout Germany.

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