Covestro Building of the Future opened in Bottrop

• Showpiece within the scope of InnovationCity Ruhr • Federal Minister of Construction Hendricks gathers information about nation-wide model project • KlimaExpo.NRW includes project in the Land’s exhibition

Bottrop, 16 October 2015 – Federal Minister of Construction, Dr. Barbara Hendricks, today inaugurated the Covestro Building of the Future in Bottrop. The commercial building in the city centre, following comprehensive refurbishing and modernisation, generates more energy than it consumes and is thus a showpiece of InnovationCity Ruhr. At the same time it can serve as a nation-wide model for ecological modernisation of many other commercial properties. Within the framework of the inauguration the building was officially included by KlimaExpo.NRW among the ranks of the trailblazers for climate protection in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The ceremony was also attended by Bottrop’s Lord Mayor Bernd Tischler, client Oliver Helmke as well as Dr. Joachim Wolff from the material producer Covestro, who played a great part in the modernisation and refurbishing. Also present were Burkhard Drescher, CEO of Innovation City Management GmbH, as well as Dr. Heinrich Dornbusch, CEO of KlimaExpo.NRW.

Commercial building from the 1960s completely modernised

The extensive modernisation and refurbishment of the building dating from the 1960s can be traced back to a competition launched by InnovationCity Ruhr | Model city Bottrop in 2012. In that call for bids three properties typical of the Ruhr that had seen better days from the categories one-family house, multi-family house and commercial building were sought which, after their transformation to a plus-energy building, will reflect the current state of technological and product development in the construction sector. The conclusion this year was the completion of the commercial building.

As the leading partner in the project, Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, made a significant contribution to energy saving by means of the high-performance insulating material polyurethane. At the same time, the company supported the modernisation also with the integral know-how of its industrial partners from the EcoCommercial Building Programme (ECB). These and other companies contributed additional products and solutions for the project.

Burkhard Drescher explained, “With the completion of the Covestro Building of the Future we have now, in close cooperation with our committed partners from the business field, created three beacons for the current state of the art in the area of the energy-related modernisation of existing buildings. By means of these examples from actual practice we emphasise the technical feasibility of such projects and show effective approaches for the reduction of CO2 emissions.”

Interplay of measures decisive

Dr. Joachim Wolff, who is the head of the business area of polyurethanes at Covestro, emphasised, “What is decisive is that buildings are optimised in an energy-related way in the best possible interplay of individual measures. This has been successfully done in the case of the Covestro Building of the Future. We hope that from it a signal effect goes out for many other modernisation projects.”

The client and project developer Oliver Helmke underlined the importance of the project, “As it is worldwide the only commercial building known to us that has been transformed into a plus-energy building by means of complete modernisation, we attribute a global example function to the building as regards sustainability.“

KlimaExpo.NRW CEO Dr. Heinrich Dornbusch handed over the document for the inclusion of the project in the exhibition of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia to Dr. Wolff from Covestro. “User comfort and the climate protection effect must go hand in glove in urban development, it is only in that way that we can achieve our climate protection objectives and at the same time carry all of the players with us”, stressed Dornbusch. “With the Covestro Building of the Future the project partners show how it is possible. We want to put it in the shop window and hence encourage imitation.”

Technical components
During the modernisation of the building a mixture of innovative and tried and tested components were used which permit CO2-neutral operation including all of the devices in the building. In that way, besides optimised PU building insulation also windows with triple glazing with lamellae in the cavities between the panes were fitted that enable maximum use of outdoor light. By means of fibre optics, sunlight is additionally guided directly into rooms that due to structural situations do not have any windows. This lighting is supplemented by LED lighting equipment with presence detectors.

The power generation is secured by means of a photovoltaic unit with a forecast annual yield of 26,000 kilowatt hours and a connected energy storage device; a further capacity of 300 kWh is contributed by a vertical wind turbine. For the heat supply a geothermal heat pump and district heat to cover peak loads are used.

The tenants also profit from the technologies: a decentralised ventilation unit with over 90 percent energy recovery and integrated CO2 sensors ensure an optimum working atmosphere. Also the topic of energy costs no longer plays a part for the users of the building, as the commercial premises are let on a gross warm basis.