Sustainability and energy efficiency play a central role in building planning for BIOTOPIA. The Sustainable Building Assessment System (BNB) developed by the German government takes into account ecological, economic and sociocultural qualities as well as technical and process-related aspects throughout the entire life cycle of a building.
Significant energy savings can be achieved at BIOTOPIA through the use of a groundwater well and heat recovery systems. For example, it is envisaged that the building's cooling system will consist of an innovative combination of recooling by means of air-conditioning exhaust air and groundwater, as well as a sprinkler tank as a cold buffer. CO2 emissions can thus be reduced by up to 87 tons per year. According to current planning, the new BIOTOPIA building even exceeds the requirements of the newly enacted Building Energy Act (GEG 2020), which replaced the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) in November 2020, by about 40 percent. This even exceeds the already higher minimum requirements for the energy standard in state construction measures.
The economic aspects, which take into account life cycle costs and value stability, include the choice of durable materials for BIOTOPIA. The new building is planned as a solid construction with a column-free roof structure made of glulam beams. The interior is dominated by wood. The facade will have a plaster-like mineral surface with core insulation, and the roof will have tile roofing. In addition, the large, flexibly usable exhibition space on the upper floor offers the possibility of meeting a wide variety of museum requirements in the long term.
Through the floor-to-ceiling glazing of the courtyard façade and the continuous flooring, the museum courtyard and the foyer and exhibition space merge directly into one another. The boundary between inside and outside blurs, as does the boundary between the museum and the public space. The museum is conceived as an open place that already invites visitors to discover and linger in the courtyard. © Atelier Loidl Landschaftsarchitekten
Socio-cultural and functional qualities such as the barrier-free accessibility of the entire museum and the high-quality design of the exhibition rooms and work areas also contribute to the sustainability of the building. Site features such as the good public transport connections and the consideration of creating a dedicated bus stop at the Schlossrondel, as well as the immediate proximity to the Botanical Garden and Schlosspark as complementary places of learning, are further positive factors.
In order to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of the new BIOTOPIA building, all those involved are working with the support of experts to take into account the various dimensions and criteria of sustainability, such as resource consumption, economic efficiency, environmental and socio-cultural aspects throughout the planning process.