Deimel Oelschläger Architekten recently unveiled their zero-emission Boyenstrasse apartment building in Berlin, which relies on passive house principles to achieve a high degree energy efficiency. Inconspicuously nestled into one of Berlin’s central quarters, the building boasts some unexpected features: heat recovery ventilation, a high level of insulation and up-to-date technologies such as photovoltaic panels (which feed excess energy into the city’s power grid). The project was shortlisted as one of the finalists in this year’s Passive House Award competition.
The 7-story building features triple-glazed windows, a high level of insulation, and it’s practically airtight. The photovoltaics mounted on the roof produce energy primarily for the building, although excess electricity is fed into the public power grid. Energy produced by solar panels power the ventilation system, which is a key ingredient to the building’s energy efficiency. The mechanical ventilation system provides fresh air and climate control while reducing heating (and cooling) requirements.
A metal structure supports wooden shades on the building’s south façade and controls the amount of natural lighting that penetrates the interior. The 21 apartments within the building are designed with a high degree of flexibility and can be reorganized, merged and divided depending on specific user requirements. The open-plan layout of the apartments creates airy and spacious rooms separated by slight denivelation and discrete partitioning.
The Boyenstrasse apartment building was chosen as a finalist for the 2014 Passive House Award, which aims to recognize EU-based projects which deploy and promote the use of passive design principles. Submitted projects are classified into five categories according to their typology and use.