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Offenburg, Institutional Building, Birk Heilmeyer, Frenzel Architekten

A Beacon for the Energy Revolution: Institutional Building in Offenburg

New buildings devoted to research into the efficient use of resources and energy technology are often inherent symbols of the energy revolution. The Regional Innovation Centre for Energy Technology (RIZ) at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences is a good example: the new structure by Stuttgart’s Birk Heilmeyer Frenzel meets passive-energy standards and falls below the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEv) primary-energy requirements by 70 per cent. Furthermore, the exterior of the building presents itself as compact, which is typical for passive-energy structures. The façades offer a hint at the interior’s division into two parts: to the west, floor-to-ceiling windows allow light to fall into the research wing and open up the building onto the north campus of the university to be created here over the next few years. An oblique cut-in guides visitors and employees towards the entrance to the building.

The east-facing experiment hall, known as the Technikum, is significantly more reserved, but even here a surrounding band of glass on the ground floor allows a view from outside. Constructively, the building comprises two parts: in the Technikum, a supporting structure of laminated veneer beechwood holds up the roof of the hall, while the research wing is a skeleton construction of reinforced concrete with stiffening cores in the stairwells. Cladding of grey-glazed squared timbers of silver fir connects the two building parts in terms of design. By continuing this cladding to cover the roof of the hall, the architects have also concealed the different building heights − the hall has three storeys plus an outdoor laboratory; the research wing encompasses four storeys. The spatial high point is formed by a working area which extends over all three storeys and is connected by atria. This was possible because it measures less than 400 m2. The remaining researchers’ offices are conventionally single-storey, but feature an open design and are furnished to promote communication.

Weitere Informationen:
Bauüberwachung: Meyer Galfe Architekten
Landschaftsarchitekten: Mario Kappis
HLS-Planung: solares bauen
Elektroplanung: K+P Ingenieurbüro für Elektrotechnik
Bauphysik: Stahl + Weiss

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