Tallest German residential building a monument to energy efficiency

Date: 11 June 2014

The designs for what will become Germany’s largest residential tower block have been unveiled and the complex is to reap maximum energy efficiency from solar photovoltaic and district heating technology.

The award-winning proposed Aktivhaus- style apartment tower at Skyline Plaza complex in Frankfurt has been designed by local firm Magnus Kaminiarz and at 50+ floors will eclipse the previous tallest German building in Berlin by 10 metres.

Frankfurter-Activhaus

The Active House concept means the building not only heats and powers itself. It also produces extra energy. While low-energy passive solar designs depend on energy conservation, insulation, and heat exchange, active houses typically capture more energy than their occupants need.

However as planetsave.com reports, they can also require much higher initial investment and more complex maintenance to achieve their celebrated energy efficiencies.

Each Aktivhaus living unit has triple-insulated glazing. This maximizes daylight and the visual connection to outside surroundings. It also uses free sun power for winter heating. Balconies shade the facades during summer and provide windscreens. Radiant surfaces maximize thermal comfort in each room, supplemented by low-energy district heating and an absorption chiller.

Every balcony on the Frankfurt Aktivhaus high-rise will carry solar PV modules to provide energy to operate the building. There are 340 apartments in all: approximately 30% small, 55% classic three-and four-bedrooms, and 15% deluxe.

Source: COSPP