In 2016, the municipal council of the German city of Rottenburg decided to demolish an old elementary school pavilion in order to build a new school for up to 340 students in its place, which would also allow all-day care. The main goal was a school building that was economically optimized in terms of construction and operation, functional, sustainable and with innovative building technology.
The first floor of the new building houses the administration as well as two common rooms and the music hall, which can also be expanded into a ballroom if required. At the ends of the staggered building sit two so-called “study houses”, each with a staircase and elevator. Each grade level has its own floor. The central entrance area is not built over but is given a roof garden that can also be used as an open-air classroom.
The climate concept developed in partnership with Transsolar uses many passive strategies. A high standard of insulation minimizes heat loss. The location and proportion of glass surfaces are optimized for natural lighting and optimized views. The external, movable sun protection ensures summer thermal protection. The room acoustic concept considers the thermal function of the solid ceiling: about 50% of the ceiling is occupied by acoustic absorbers. The remaining exposed core area serves as a thermal buffer: During the day, the ceiling absorbs the heat of the rooms and thus avoids overheating. Nighttime air flushing cools this thermal reservoir again. The classrooms are ventilated naturally. The windows, which can be opened extensively during the summer, also have a parallel opening fitting, which allows comfortable basic ventilation in winter even at low outside temperatures. The CO2 concentration of the room air is displayed, allowing users to ventilate naturally as needed.
The gymnasium, kitchen and cafeteria cannot function without central mechanical ventilation. However, a highly efficient heat recovery system operates here.
The heat required for the building comes from the existing local heating supply from the combined heat and power plant of the nearby municipal indoor swimming pool.
All in all, the concept offers a healthy and inspiring school environment and cost-effective operation with the least possible technical effort.