Saving energy in a newly built primary school

Energy-saving supply of fresh air for school students

To use as little energy as possible while meeting the energy requirements with renewables – this was the client’s aim when constructing a primary school near Berlin. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Fresh air for new school buildings” (16/2014) describes the concept they used for the ventilation, lighting and energy generation. The use of natural processes for ventilating and cooling the building are important aspects in this regard.

The school in Hohen Neuendorf was designed as a solid structure made of reinforced concrete and therefore has sufficient thermal storage mass. In summer this can absorb heat during the day, which is then released at night using natural ventilation. This eliminates the need for air-conditioning. The static solar shading is supplemented with manually and automatically controlled blinds. Light-directing glazing on the ground floor and light-scattering Nanogel glazing on the first floor ensure glare-free daylight. The lighting is controlled according to the daylight and occupancy. The required heat is provided by a pellet boiler. The photovoltaic system generates electricity for the school’s own use.

In order to provide sufficient fresh air in the classrooms and to keep the electricity requirement as low as possible, the project participants have combined natural window ventilation with mechanised ventilation. Each wing has a separate ventilation system with heat recovery. Motor-driven, room-high ventilation windows provide automatically controlled ventilation during the breaks and in the morning before class. A window can also be opened manually in each classroom. The project showed that it is important to precisely coordinate the operation of the system with the times when the building is used.

The building is the first school in Germany to be awarded the Gold Medal for Sustainable Construction. It was certified in accordance with the Sustainable Construction Assessment System (BNB) developed by the German Federal Ministry of Building.


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Press release
(1 page, pdf, 68 kB)

(4 pages, pdf, 788 kB)

Downloadable pictures

Note: All downloadable pictures may only be used for coverage relating to this research project.

(300 dpi, tiff, 2.4 MB)

Figure 1:
At the Niederheide primary school in Hohen Neuendorf a photovoltaic system with a 55 kWp capacity supplies electricity for the school’s own use. Surplus electricity is fed into the grid. (© Ali Moshiri)