Based on intense research, The Active Energy Building is developed on the inherent logic of sustainability. For the architects, designing a sustainable building was not just about innovative technologies but also about adaptability. Areas can be merged or divided up without changes the supporting structure. Renewable energy forms are used exclusively throughout the building. The aim is to create a visionary and energy-efficient residential complex, which is not only self-sufficient, but also produces surplus energy for the national electricity grid.
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Based on intense research the ‘Active Energy Building’ successfully implements a building integrated
energy production system, developed for this new type of building. PV-tracking systems and PCM- climate wings, part of a moving building envelope, harvest solar and interstellar radiation producing
solar power and controlling the building-climate. The building also provides a high capacity to adapt to changing spatial requirements, achieved by a most effective load bearing structure. The project aims at delivering a contribution to improve urban living conditions and energy demands and is a first built example for decentralized urban energy production, providing a more democratic model of energy production and distribution.
Research and Development
Applied trans-disciplinary research is foundation for the architectural work of falkeis2
architects and includes acoustical phenomena, building-integrated energy production and sustainable structures as well as ‘biological approaches’ to building, structural and urban design, and the social impact of technological innovations. In close cooperation with experts from various fields some of the research findings for the ‘Active Energy Building’ were developed further into innovative products such as the acoustically active 3D light fields, the high- performance concrete with an outstanding reproduction quality or the multi-component molding technique. Some of the technological inventions yielded a patent, like the movable building envelope, or were built as prototypes creating new knowledge in the field of digital fabrication, like the complex 3D Voronoi load bearing structure and the 3D freeform textile building envelope, working as a shading device.
Sustainability as a holistic concept
The whole project is developed on the inherent logic of sustainability. This applies to the massing of the building, as well as to the construction of the load bearing elements and the development of the energy technology. On the level of construction, sustainability is defined by the adaptability of the building itself. The design and distribution of the load bearing elements allows for spatial reprogramming over the entire lifespan of the building without impacting load bearing components. On the level of energy design, the building is sustainable by using renewable energy forms exclusively, and due to the local energy production and new techniques regulating the building climate. Solar and interstellar radiation are made productive for air conditioning the building by means of facade elements with latent heat storage devices specifically developed for the project. The building works as a networked structure managing a local cluster. It is a smart node interconnecting existing buildings, sharing information as well as energy surplus. The ‘Active Energy Building’ is a prototype for a decentralized urban energy production system.