As regional energy suppliers, it was vital for Emscher Lippe Energie GmbH (ELE) that in renovating their 40-year-old dilapidated headquarters, the building’s environmental impact and energy efficiency should be top priorities. At the same time, architects were tasked with creating an optical and technical highlight within the Ruhrgebiet area of Gelsenkirchen – ‘simple elegance’ was to be part of the blueprint. Other requirements included soundproofing, as the building’s north side lies adjacent to a main street, a design to blend in with the busy environment and self-cleaning properties to accommodate the building’s once-a-year cleaning programme.
After a year of construction, the city has a new, modern ‘eye-catcher’, complete with 297 self-cleaning insulating glass units, produced to the highest technical level providing low-energy and acoustic insulating properties.
The advantages of this design and materials used:
• The large modern 3,800 square-metre glass façade allows the interior to flood with daylight, reducing the need for artificial light and therefore energy and affords passers-by a clear view of the aesthetically-designed corridors.
• The use of low-e glass Pilkington Optitherm™ S3 has extensively reduced the outward heat loss, while at the same time transmitting thermal heat from the sunlight – resulting in less energy demand and therefore reduced CO2 emissions.
• As well as containing low-e glass, the north façade has been equipped with 1,000 square metres Pilkington Activ Optiphon™. The noise-control insulated glass units reduce sound by approximately 50 dB.
• All insulated glass units and spandrels are equipped with Pilkington Activ™ Clear self-cleaning glass.
• As well as accommodating the building’s cleaning programme, Pilkington Activ™ is environmentally-friendly. Its self-cleaning coating contains no harmful substances; self-cleaning means reduced water waste and a reduction in the need for potentially environmentally-harmful detergents. In addition to reducing the need for water for cleaning Pilkington Activ™ reduces the need to provide access for cleaning and the associated risks of high level working.
The combination of the glass used has allowed ELE to minimise the building’s impact on the environment, ensuring low energy as well as low running costs.