In accordance with the ambitious goals set by the Grenelle Environment Round Table, the Learning Center in Mulhouse is a mixed-use library / office space that offers a high level of user comfort while minimizing the impact of the building on its environment. The compact, light-flooded building is shaped like a pebble and consists of three main spaces - a reading room, an office area and a multipurpose space. Generous openings in the façade visually connect the building to the surrounding landscape.
The climate concept is based on a detailed analysis of natural resources and the climatic context of the site. Supply air is introduced into the space via displacement ventilation after travelling through an earth duct which enables optimal cross ventilation of the building as well as passive preconditioning of the outside air. Moreover, radiative solutions such as floor heating are favored, and the implementation of a high-performance and breathable envelope allows for significant energy savings while guaranteeing high user comfort. In summertime, solar control glazing and external shades prevent overheating of the interior space.
Transsolar performed various studies to inform and optimize the building design:
- Solar exposure study to optimize solar gains in winter and to identify highly exposed areas that create a risk of overheating in summer
- Dynamic thermal simulations to optimize the building's energy performance, check interior comfort conditions, and dimension the earth duct located underneath the building.