Sustainable construction: ecology – economy – functionality
The new building meets what is known as the KW70 standard, which means that it uses only 70 kilowatt hours of primary energy per square metre each year. As a comparison – buildings that are not insulated need up to 300 KW. Primary energy requirements are particularly indicative when determining the energy efficiency of a building. This is because, in addition to the energy needed for heating and hot water, they also take into account the energy losses made by the energy supplier at the source, as well as processing at the power plant or refinery, and transportation to the building.
Many factors contribute to ensuring the achievement of such a high standard: the building is equipped with a sophisticated ventilation and extraction system that includes heat recovery. All rooms have thermo-active ceilings for integrated heating and cooling. Office lighting can be controlled individually or works automatically using presence detectors. Sunshading is integrated in the outer facade. Half of the 1,600 or so piles that have been sunk into the soft earth underneath the Elbe river island capture heat from geothermal energy.
All these aspects earned the building a Gold certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council even before it was constructed.
A symbol of openness and transparency
The design by the Berlin-based architects Sauerbruch Hutton and the Rosbach-based engineering company INNIUS RR, which won the Europe-wide architectural competition in 2009, not only stands for climate-friendly construction, but also reflects openness and transparency. All the different parts of the building are linked from within by an “access route”, which is aimed at facilitating communication among staff. Each of the other seven buildings apart from the main tower have an open atrium. These atria let in plenty of natural light and enable staff and visitors to find their way around the 60,000 square metre ministry building.
In addition to being well connected within the building, the Ministry also wanted to open up to the district itself: with this in mind, the central foyer at the foot of the tower block has been designed as a large forum that is open to the public. The model of Hamburg exhibited here shows the city centre. The staff canteen is also open to the public.
Part of the International Building Exhibition 2013
The building realised by Hamburg Sprinkenhof AG was part of the International Building Exhibition (IBA). The exhibition on the Elbe river islands involved over 60 projects illustrating the future of housing. In the process, a new urban district called Wilhelmsburg Central was created from a former brownfield site, housing several IBA buildings as well as the International Garden Show 2013.