ENVIRONMENT + TECHNOLOGY

Given that the discussions taking place inside the embassy are geared towards a more sustainable way of trading and living, it seems a natural progression that the building itself becomes an example of the possibilities in sustainable urban design.

Germany is well know for its sustainable technologies and management of carbon emissions, an Embassy concerned for the welfare of the environment would benefit greatly from Germany's expertise on low carbon construction.

In order for these countries to be able to sustain their diplomatic missions in Berlin the construction, and more importantly, the maintenance costs have to be kept as low as possible. Reducing the embassy's energy consumption is a design priority. This includes the integration of sustainable technologies as well as the use, as far as possible, of natural and locally sourced materials.

One of the main priorities was to insure that staff working in the embassies has the most comfortable environment possible. This meant providing natural light and ventilation to all working spaces (mainly offices). The layout of the embassies and public building has been dictated by these requirements.

 

 

 

 

STRUCTURE

Along with the environmental strategy geared towards cutting costs and fuel consumption, materials sourced in Germany would be used as far as possible in the construction of the embassy.

For the embassies a composite structure made of concrete, steel and timber would be used. The structure of the public building would be made mostly of timber with some steel and concrete elements. The pedestrian bridge would have a main frame of weathering steel with timber decks and concrete foundations.

Timber construction within cities has not been explored to its full potential, but with great examples all over Europe along with new technologies which keep improving the performance in terms of thermal mass and structure, this material has many things to offer.Germany has the biggest timber reserves in Europe but only about half is used. If managed responsibly it is a great resource in terms of sustainable construction.

 

 

HEATING – The site is connected to the Berlin district heating network which is one of the most efficient ways of providing heating and electricity in urban areas. With a careful regulation of the temperature of the water for heating and general use a lot of energy can be spared, reducing the maintenance costs.Under floor heating would be installed.

SUPPER INSULATED WALLS – wall construction U = 0.15W/m2K, air tight connections and joints.

LIGHT – All workspaces would be naturally lit with the louvers allowing users to manage the amount of light penetration. Low emissitivity toughened double glazing would be used.

ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTING – intelligent lighting management system, zone controlled, daylight dimming, presence detection.

ACOUSTICS – All floors would have impact sound insulation and private meetings rooms would also have acoustic insulation. As far as possible soft floor and wall finishes would be specified for the interiors (carpet, wood).

WATER COLLECTION AND STORAGE – Collected on roofs and used in for washing and WC. Filtered and cleaned naturally. Grey water recycling.

LOW WATER USE – Low flow fixtures and fittings, self closing taps, leak detection facilities.

SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT – Underground station near by, buses along adjacent streets, bicycle friendly area and bicycle parking. Shower facilities provided for all staff.

SERVICES - Each Embassy would have its own plant room at basement level containing all the equipment for the environmental control. A separate plant room would be installed for the shared public functions with the countries sharing the cost of the maintenance. All toilets are stacked along the cores making it easier to install the required services. Kitchens for the dining areas are placed along the wall next to the car park allowing goods to be delivered directly.