New headquarters of Schnepf Planungsgruppe -
The "centre of excellence" for energy

Neubau der Meisterklasse

A master class in design
For over 30 years, Schnepf Planungsgruppe Energietechnik has been going from strength to strength in the field of technical building services. With the recent merging of two company locations into one in Nagold, 40 km south of Stuttgart, the company has constructed more than just a new headquarters: They have designed a building with a remarkable energy concept.
The company selected 3,400 square metres in the southern part of the Wolfsberg industrial estate for the site of their new head offices, not far from their previous location. The three-storey building (with no basement) offers more than 2,500 square metres of space, enough for a staff of 50 and two rental units on the upper floor of the building.

Prize-winning intelligent building services (recipient of Germany's TGA Award 2014)
Part of the ground floor is recessed into the sloping terrain. This is where building services, supplies and the company's archives are housed. The upper floors extend out and over the slope, providing sheltered parking for company employees. A lift and an open staircase located in the centre of the building connect the three floors. The building was constructed using a steel reinforced concrete frame, thereby reducing the number of support columns required and allowing more freedom in the design of the floor plan: One advantage is that the office spaces can be easily adapted to meet different needs. Floor to ceiling glass windows encompassing the entire building allow natural light and heat to enter, while a sunscreen provides the necessary protection against excessive heat build-up. Openings in the sunscreen provide the perfect amount of glare-free, natural light for the building's interior. All workstations are equipped with energy-efficient LEDs. By constantly measuring the relative humidity, air temperature and CO2 levels, a KNX climate sensor from JUNG in the classic LS 990 design in aluminium maintains a healthy indoor environment. When preset values are exceeded, the KNX system operates a connected variable air volume unit and actuators. Blinds, ventilation, heating, cooling and lighting can be controlled independently by staff via compact KNX room controllers. A Smart Pilot from JUNG is installed in the foyer to the offices. The 19” touch panel set in a black glass frame allows users to operate lighting, blinds, heating and ventilation throughout the entire building.

Innovative energy concept
With red window shutters reflecting the corporate identity of Schnepf Planungsgruppe, the new headquarters presents a modern face to the outside world. A look inside at the building services reveals the fact that Schnepf Planungsgruppe's new building is ready for the future, thanks to its forward-looking design. The cooling and heating of the building relies entirely on renewable energy sources. By intelligently combining energy from the sun, air and earth, the building maintains a pleasant environment year-round. Electricity is generated by a photovoltaic system. The reinforced concrete construction of the new building can also store and release thermal energy. Cool or warm water is passed through a system of pipes embedded in the ceilings of the concrete structure to cool or heat the concrete. The key to this system is an underground solar ice storage unit filled with water. Together, these measures ensure the building remains self-sufficient when it comes to energy. The ice storage system itself consists of an ice storage unit with a heat pump and solar/air absorbers. The solar/air absorbers are located on the roof of the building and gather heat from the ambient air and solar radiation. Together with the heat pump, the ice storage system stores the heat. Any excess heat collected in summer is used to heat the building during winter. Conversely, the ice created by removing the heat from the water during the heating season can be used for cooling in the warmer months.
Founded by Klaus Schnepf, the company’s main area of expertise for over 30 years has been in technical building services. With its new headquarters, this expertise has been put to good use – thanks to pioneering KNX building automation and an innovative energy concept – within the very walls of Schnepf Planungsgruppe Energietechnik’s “centre of excellence” for energy.