University – Timber constructed Extension, Witten, Germany

University – Timber constructed Extension

The aim of the extension is to become one of the most sustainable university buildings in Germany. In awareness of the CO2 problem, the structure is saving energy and is sustainable during construction as well as operation.

The skeleton construction made of glulam will accommodate a number of things:
Nine seminar rooms will be created, some of which can be flexibly interconnected for 25-200 people; a multi-story library, café with lounge area, and a room of silence. A large, flexibly usable event room will offer space for up to 355 people. More than 50 offices are planned to be used in various ways. For student learning groups, 26 learning rooms will be created, plus about 100 open learning spaces in communication zones. The outside area will also be redesigned, and a café, learning meadows and recreational facilities will be created.

The energy concept developed by Transsolar aims to reconcile maximum user comfort with the optimum in terms of ecology and economy over the entire life cycle of the building. It ensures comfort in all seasons and limits the internal loads of artificial light and appliances. It minimizes transmission and ventilation losses and, with the lowest possible level of technical building equipment, it makes intuitive building use by the user possible.

This is achieved with the compact design of the building with a sufficiently insulated shell and robust and intuitive systems adapted to the respective room use. In areas with a high demand for fresh air, such as seminar rooms, meeting rooms and the library, mechanical ventilation is useful, but with highly efficient heat recovery, which minimizes heat loss via ventilation in winter. For particularly hot days there is the possibility of actively cooling the supply air. In the seminar rooms, the supply air is introduced via the ceiling in a CO2-controlled manner according to demand and thus limited to the necessary quantity.

In the offices there is window ventilation, radiators with thermostatic valve, switchable sun and glare protection, and ceiling fans to increase the air speed in summer.

The façade with cladding made of domestic larch has wood-aluminium windows, the structure of which corresponds to the principle of maximum flexibility and user comfort. The windows can be opened, not only for cleaning from the interior: Deep in the ground and 2.60 m / 8.5 feet high, they allow light to enter and offer a great view. External sun protection controls solar loads.

The need for fossil fuels is reduced in the best possible way by using a CHP unit. Transsolar has pointed out the possibility of further primary energy optimization by integrating photovoltaic on the roof as well as the benefits of using rainwater and green roofs.

The building will be certified according to BNB standard (minimum silver).