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Climate Protection Supermarket in Graz

Climate protection and sustainability are also becoming increasingly important factors in the construction of supermarkets. The realisation of economic and environmentally aware aspects during construction and later during operation, is intended to minimise the ecological footprint and lower the life-cycle costs. A supermarket recently opened in Graz has even more to offer: it has an unusual appearance and generates more energy than it consumes. This makes it Austria's very first energy self-sufficient supermarket.

General planner: LOVE architecture
Location: Floßlendstraße 11, A–8020 Graz, Austria

Climate Protection Supermarket in Graz

Northern entrance area: the generously sized opening means that lots of daylight can enter the sales area, plus offering an outdoor view for customers and staff; photograph by Jasmin Schuller

The market is located in the southern part of the plot of land. It is shaped much like a 90° bracket, with the open end in the north, where the building is broader and higher, and the angular end in the south, where the building is narrower and lower. This results in a visual suction effect in and through the market, and makes it look a little like an open, bright and friendly market place.

Climate Protection Supermarket in Graz

Site plan

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Climate Protection Supermarket in Graz

The distinctive folded building envelope is made of hot dipped galvanized steel sheets – a reminder of the industrial past of the plot; photograph by Jasmin Schuller

Climate Protection Supermarket in Graz

The material dominating the interior is wood, which creates a stark and impressive contrast to the outer envelope; photograph by Jasmin Schuller

Climate Protection Supermarket in Graz

Southern entrance area; photograph by Jasmin Schuller

Technical realisation
A whole host of measures were taken to create this "climate protection market". A highly insulating building envelope minimises energy losses and gains. Building systems technology includes room ventilation, heat recovery, a thermally activated floor plate for cooling and heating, as well as LED lighting and daylight control systems. Material selection criteria included utilisation of sustainable, separable and recyclable materials. All surfaces are, to the greatest extent possible, free of solvents and harmful additives.

During operation of the market, the waste heat emitted by the cooling devices is used for heating. This means that a conventional heating system is not required. Energy is also produced by means of a photovoltaic system in the parking area and a water power turbine in the adjacent Schleifbach river, resulting in the generation of more energy than required by the market. The excess energy is fed back to the grid.

As many green areas as possible were created to improve the micro-climate of the site. One of these is located on the roof. The plot offers a large area for surface water to drain away. Noise pollution is minimised by structural enclosure of the delivery area.

Climate Protection Supermarket in Graz

Convex circular green spaces are located on the roof - a fifth façade area; photograph by Jasmin Schuller

Sustainability aspects
A comprehensive disassembly concept was developed during the planning phase. Criteria for material selection included a minimum ecological footprint and simple disassembly. The whole roof structure was for example made of the renewable resource wood. The outer walls were constructed of a reinforced concrete framework covered with recyclable lightweight panels. The steel sheet façade is completely recyclable. To make the separation process easier, it was ensured that only mono-material components were used. All the layers of the flat roof were fitted mechanically to facilitate dismantling. The perimeter insulation was also loosely fitted to permit removal and reuse after deconstruction of the building.

27.04.2012

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