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Interior view of the foyer: The new building was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind together with students. From now on, the building will be used for teaching and cultural events.
© Leuphana
Climate-neutral Campus

The new main building of Leuphana University in Lüneburg is both an architectural highlight and an energy-efficient research subject. The futuristic-looking façade is characterised by sharp edges and acute-angled window surfaces.
© Leuphana

Sustainable, attractive university building

On 11 March 2017, the new building by architect Daniel Libeskind was officially inaugurated in Lüneburg, Germany. The new main building of Leuphana University is open to students and culture fans now. The building is a flagship project for the transition towards a climate-neutral campus.

The new main building now concentrates rooms and uses that were previously spread around the Scharnhorststrasse campus in one building, making communication between students and employees of the university simpler.
Ten years ago, when it made the shift to become a humanist, action-focused and sustainable university, Leuphana decided to build a new main building. Together with student seminars and a summer school, architect Daniel Libeskind designed the new building as a special showcase for energy-optimised construction. As a low-exergy heat consumer, the building is an important part of the energy system for a university campus that is to be climate-neutral in future. However, as building work progressed, it was overshadowed by a controversial discussion: The building costs far exceeded the figures originally calculated.

Sustainable university building in a climate-neutral campus complex

The concept commits to the aim of ecological and social sustainability in the absence of active cooling and minimal electricity consumption for ventilation and lighting. The free ventilation via windows that open combined with the self-shading façade and switchable glazing is remarkable. The building was fitted with a hollow concrete ceiling construction which reduces the amount of material used. It features a green roof, terraces and light shafts. The city of Lüneburg and private organisers can also use the rooms – that helps avoid vacant spaces. Added to this is a building design with many open areas for students to study in.

Energy-efficient refurbishment and innovative heat supply

The new building is part of the Climate-neutral Campus project, which is developing and implementing an innovative energy concept for the university site and surrounding urban area. The aim is to supply all electricity and heat from renewable energy sources, making it climate-neutral.

The campus on the former barracks site in the Scharnhorststrasse and Bockelsberg area is being redeveloped in terms of urban planning and energy use. As the barrack buildings, which date back to the 1930s, are refurbished, the heating system is to be switched to renewable energy sources and optimised for exergy. The new main building is being incorporated in this and various technologies are networked to form a functioning holistic system: a combination of seasonal heat storage with direct discharging (without a heat pump), solar thermal energy and a low-exergy system. The special innovative feature of the concept is the seasonal storage of heat in an underground groundwater conduit, called an aquifer. The Climate-neutral Campus project was nominated for the German Sustainability Award in September 2016, and finished in the top three.



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Leuphana University
Website of Leuphana University with further information

Sustainable university building in a climate-neutral campus complex
For more information on the construction and energy concept of the main building, see the EnOB project summary

Climate-neutral campus Leuphana University of Lüneburg
Information on the EnEff:Stadt project

EnOB research initiative
Projects, reports, news and analysis from the energy-optimised construction research field

Website of the research initiative „Energieeffiziente Stadt”