The most important factor in a modern energy strategy: people.
“Energy is too valuable to waste. We have developed a new tool that enables every single person to control their energy usage responsibly.” (Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. M. Norbert Fisch, IGS Institute of Building Services and Energy Design, Technical University Braunschweig)
Although architecture is an important factor, it is the everyday behavior of people that can contribute the most to a good ecological balance. The architects worked closely with energy designer in evaluating the local conditions and the future use of the building. We wanted to cut energy consumption and CO² emissions to around one quarter of the values of a conventional office building.
This has been achieved in terms of construction physics by an excellent building envelop and by focusing building services engineering on energy efficiency. Many individual elements contributed to our success: Water pipes were integrated into the concrete fabric of the building to achieve energy-saving temperature regulation in a process known as concrete core temperature control. The triple-glazed windows provide highly effective thermal insulation with external shade elements and sun protection glass affording optimal protection from the sun. Importance was attached to natural ventilation via windows. A 210 kWp building-integrated photovoltaic system helps to further improve the headquarters' energy balance.
The green inner courtyards not only provide natural lighting but also prevent an excessive build-up of heat in the building during the summer. This, in turn, means less energy is used for cooling.
The computer aided facility management system is equipped with an innovative control system – very few conventional light switches are still in use. The employees are able to adjust ventilation, heating and lighting on their own using computerized touchpanels, thus meeting their needs in an efficient and responsible way.