House of Energy, Kaufbeuren

An outstanding new building

When the House of Energy was built, it made Kaufbeuren, a town on the north-eastern edge of the Bavarian Allgäu, home to one of Germany’s most energy efficient new buildings. The multifunctional office block, which meets the Passivhaus Plus standard, already exceeds the EU directive that will apply to all new buildings from 2021.

Energy efficiency
The directive, which concerns the energy performance of buildings, states that all new buildings built in the EU from 2021 will have to be built to a nearly zero-energy standard. And while the Passivhaus standard states that a building cannot consume more than 15 kWh of energy per square metre and year, the House of Energy undercuts that considerably, using just 4.9 kWh/m2a. It can do this because its photovoltaic system produces two to three times more energy each year than the building consumes for heating, cooling, lighting and electricity. A ground source heat pump makes sure the building gets the residual heating and hot water that it needs. Built as a solid construction, the House of Energy has been fitted with an exterior insulation and finish system. The design gives the façade the appearance of a barcode.

Intelligent building automation
Inside the building, functions such as lighting, heating and ventilation are controlled via KNX Technology from JUNG. With the water heat pump, a KNX Smart Panel from JUNG makes it possible to centrally monitor consumption data, incoming and outgoing brine temperatures, and flow and return temperatures for heating and cooling. Eight residential ventilation systems supply the building’s various usage zones with fresh, filtered outdoor air. The ventilation systems – which include heat recovery and also control the underfloor heating – have been incorporated into the KNX building automation system. Seven JUNG Colour Touch Panel IPs control the heating, lighting, cooling and ventilation in the individual office units and the operations manager’s apartment. KNX climate sensors regulate temperature and CO2 content. The technology can also be operated via mobile devices if required. The compact, switch-style KNX Smart Control devices bring the user-friendliness of a smartphone to viewing and controlling KNX room functions. In addition, JUNG BCU push-buttons in the style of the classic LS 990 switch in white allow users to control room functions at the touch of a button.

The JUNG Facility Pilot Server has also been integrated into the system. It makes visualisation easy and can be operated either centrally or from a mobile device. KNX gateways create interfaces with other systems, such as the brine-water heat pump, the residential ventilation systems, the pump systems and the lighting controls. Remote monitoring and operation are also possible via the Facility Pilot Server.

The JUNG audio intercom, which is fitted in a post that stands 170 cm tall, ensures a high level of security at the door. For ease of use, the intercom is integrated into the office telephone systems.

Around 80% of the offices, apartments and usage zones are illuminated by LED lights. The lighting is controlled by centrally mounted KNX Touch Panels.

The high-tech, intelligent building technology makes it easy to link up and operate numerous systems and room functions. Access from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets also ensures a high degree of user friendliness. And, just as all the components of the building automation system interact via KNX, so the House of Energy also functions as a network. Alongside its owners – the company AIROPTIMA – the building is also home to architecture firms, building technology companies and photovoltaic businesses. Visitors can tour the permanent BauSchau exhibition to find out more about concepts and solutions connected to topics such as energy efficient construction.