This morning we received an awesome email from C. F. Møller showcasing their latest project - an office building for the Municipality of Aarhus, Denmark and it's covered in solar panels! We are thrilled to see building integrated solar panels at work on a real building. Not only is the office a striking example of energy architecture, but it's also designed to German Passive House standards, meaning it needs practically no energy for heating or cooling.
The new office building houses the Technical Administration of the Municipality of Aarhus, and from the start the goal for the building’s design was to create an example of progressive office building construction. The city and C. F. Møller also wanted the energy consumption to be at a ‘passive house’ standard and supply the employees with good indoor quality air. The building has a total heat consumption of a maximum of 15 kWh/m2/year, and an overall energy consumption of at most 50 kWh/m2/year.
Located in a development zone of the Port of Aarhus, the six-story building will now serve as a landmark for the city and become known for its use of solar power. The wide South-facing facade is clad in natural stone and incorporates a 170 m2 solar wall and a 200 m2 slatted wall of solar panels that also provide shade. The 170 m2 solar wall acts as a vertical sculptural element in the corner of the building and the energy from this system is used to pre-heat the ventilation air intake in winter and to cool the offices in summer. Windows for the offices are recessed and protected from the sun with shade panels that are covered in photovoltaics, which provide electricity for the offices.
The municipality’s new office building is twice as airtight as required by the Danish building regulations and features, and features energy-friendly materials and elements with ultra-low thermal conductivity, like vacuum-insulated windows. “Normally you would try to hide the energy-efficient elements of the building, but we have decided to make a virtue of necessity and use them as sculptural elements in the facade, so that the building stands out as a distinctive image of energy architecture,” states architect and partner Mads Møller, C. F. Møller Architects.
Images ©C. F. Møller