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135 refurbished apartments reach for the sky on over 16 storeys.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Energy-oriented refurbishment will halve the energy demand
10.05.2011

Tenants move into the world’s first passive high-rise building

After 18 months of refurbishment work, former and new tenants began moving into the world’s first high-rise building built to a passive house standard, in the Weingarten quarter of Freiburg, at the end of April 2011. The primary energy required for heating, heating drinking water, ventilation, lighting and domestic electricity has been reduced by 40 percent. Research on the model project continues.

Researchers from Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE will analyse the real energy consumption in the occupied building for two years. Like the entire project, the results are pioneering and will be used in future comparable energy-oriented refurbishment projects. Together, Freiburger Stadtbau GmbH, badenova WÄRMEPLUS and the Fraunhofer Institute set themselves the goal of reducing the primary energy requirement of the entire quarter by 50 percent by 2020.

After refurbishment, the thermal heat requirement of the building dropped considerably below 20 kilowatt hours per square metre and year (kWh/m²a), and is therefore comparable with that of a new passive house. The thermal heat requirement after refurbishment is one fifth of the original figure, a reduction of 80 percent.

The Fraunhofer Institute has been measuring the energy consumption of the refurbished building since March 2011. Individual storeys were recorded in great detail (hot water requirement, domestic electricity, heating, window contacts). The measurements will take two years. All results are entered anonymously. The reduction of the domestic electricity consumption is also a key to reducing the primary energy requirement. The residents in the measured storeys are kept up to date on the development of consumption at all times. The Weingarten quarter is supplied with heat via cogeneration systems. The optimised building insulation reduces the requirement and distributes it more evenly throughout the year. This decreases the reliance on gas-fired boilers.

About the »Weingarten 2020« refurbishment project

The western section of the Weingarten quarter of Freiburg was built between 1965 and 1969, and a modernisation project has been underway there since 2007 (to continue until around 2020). BINE Informationsdienst last reported on this in January 2011.
This area, home to around 5,800 people, comprises about 30 ha. The refurbishment area contains four types of buildings with roughly 1,300 apartments: 16-storey high-rise buildings, eight and four-storey multi-family buildings and non-residential buildings. The first of four high-rise buildings to undergo energy-oriented refurbishment, which took roughly one and a half years, was Bugginger Strasse 50. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology funded the high-rise building project as part of the „Energy-Efficient City“ research initiative.

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