The nine-story residential high-rise from the 1970s was in need for refurbishment and is now a modern almost-zero-carbon-emission building. Located next to the main train station the building acts as a “light-house” in terms of sustainability and urban design quality. It was one of fifteen buildings funded by the German dena initiative "zukunft haus" (future house) with the aim "towards the Efficiency House Plus - carbon neutral construction and renovation". Only housing projects that go beyond the usual standards and use innovative solutions are considered for the funding.
The refurbishment was carried out while the tenants were still living in their flats. Rental fees were increased minimally after the refurbishment was completed, but due to lower energy costs, the tenants are ultimately saving money. Central components of the design concept are a new highly insulated, ventilated building envelope and generous covered outdoor private spaces. The new building envelope fulfils the German “Passive House” standard and contributes to a significant increase in user comfort for residents related to sound, sun and heat protection. The old electric night storage heaters and hot water boilers in the apartments were replaced by a completely new, combustion free HVAC system. Heating and domestic hot water are generated by facade-integrated capillary solar absorbers in combination with a heat pump. An ice storage system serves as seasonal heating and cooling source. Photovoltaic panels and a vertical wind turbine on the roof produce renewable energy for building electricity use. Surplus electricity is fed into the public grid. Decentralized mechanical ventilation units with heat recovery supply the flats with fresh air.
The energy consumption of the building was monitored after completion and it meets the predicted energy goals. Due to all these measures, comfort and well-being of the users have increased dramatically; furthermore, the carbon emissions are 95% less than the unmodified building.
2016 Europäischer Architekturpreis "Energie + Architektur"
2015 DGNB Preis „Nachhaltiges Bauen“
2015 Pforzheim-Enzkreis Sonderpreis Solar- und Energiepreis