Engineering the world’s first public net plus energy building

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As the world’s first public net plus energy building – the City Hall in the south-western German city Freiburg stands tall as a model building for Zero Carbon Engineering. Around 800 solar panels adorn the façade and the roof of the building - producing energy that not only powers the electricity requirements of the building but also produces in surplus. This means that the public administration building can feed surplus energy into the city’s electricity grid.

The project was completed in November 2017. Over the first year, the performance was measured and verified by the independent and renowned Frauenhofer Institute: Opposite to the current design for compliance trend, this building was designed for real performance – because that is what we need to fight climate change.

In October 2019, the building received the Climate Positive rating by the German Sustainable Building Council. The award confirms that the building is operated according to its assessment standards for climate-neutral buildings. This means that during operation, the building eases the environmental burden and has a positive impact on the environment

The key to achieve a positive footprint lies in a truly holistic concept starting with the façade, a passive room-climate system and integration of renewables such as solar and geothermal energy. Our experts provided the engineering concepts and the façade and building services (MEP) design the General Technical Planning and for CO2 accounting following the completion.

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