Music School and Concert Hall, Ventspils, Latvia

TRANSSOLAR was involved in the Ventspils project, a music school with concert hall, right from the beginning of the planning phase and remained at the client’s side to advise until the construction phase. Our focus was on energy efficiency through room-by-room system operation, hybrid ventilation and minimization of technical equipment with regard to load reduction. The goal was to maintain a unique and iconic building, both in terms of quality of stay and energy efficiency, optimized for the local climate, where heating dominates. For this purpose, each individual component of the building services engineering was designed for high efficiency. With thermal and daylight simulations, the architectural design was developed and optimized throughout the integral planning process.
Essential for the concept are airtight facades which are highly thermally insulated with triple glazing and combined with movable shading in box windows. Additionally, the high-efficient heat recovery saves on sensitive (1) as well as latent (2) energy in the large halls: The sorption wheels (3) have a heat recovery rate of up to 85% and additionally transfer air humidity from the exhaust air into the supply air. The building has hybrid ventilation, i.e. natural ventilation through manually operated facade openings combined with additional decentralized mechanical ventilation units, which are only activated room by room and when required. The technical shafts and installation areas are thus minimized. Users can influence ventilation directly, if required for acoustic reasons or due to air quality. According to the season and the internal air quality the main halls are naturally ventilated via earth ducts and roof openings. If the air quality becomes poor or the indoor temperature too high, the active fans switch on in order to maintain the necessary consistency and high quality of the indoor air conditions.
The foyer is heated via underfloor heating. The heat pump system makes efficient use of geothermal energy via water-carrying pipes integrated into the foundation piles. This system provides heating in winter and cooling in summer for room conditioning. The main hall and foyer receive daylight via the facades and skylights. Displays provide users with feedback on current energy consumption and conditions in the respective room.

(1) The term sensitive heat is also used for sensible heat.
(2) The latent heat ("latent" lat. for "hidden") is the enthalpy in the unit Joule absorbed or released during a first-order phase transition. In everyday life, this is the (considerable amount of) thermal energy that (liquid) water needs to change into the gaseous state. Example: If you hang up wet clothes in a hot room in summer, the room cools down while the clothes dry and the water "disappears". The energy of the heat is "hidden" in the water vapor, i.e. latently present.
(3) An enthalpy wheel with sorption technology, also known as a rotary heat exchanger, is a special heat recovery technology which, in addition to the sensible heat, also treats the air humidity, at the same time uses the energy of the latent heat bound in it and provides moisture for the supply air, which is important for the interior, in an energy-efficient and cost-effective way.