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Kindergarten „die Sprösslinge“ in Monheim

The first climate-neutral day-care centre of Europe is located on the grounds of Bayer AG in Monheim. The company kindergarten of Bayer Crop Science has the lovely name of „die Sprösslinge / the scions“.

At the beginning, there was a high level objective. The new building of the day-care centre should not only offer ideal boundary conditions to the children but at same time have a balanced energy and CO2 footprint throughout the year.

This ambitious objective was achieved with the help of a strictly energy-optimised building that generates all its energy requirements itself from renewable energy sources while offering maximum comfort levels. Every individual component was put on the test bench, from the insulation to the building envelope and building form, and the size and arrangement of the windows, up to the selection of the machines and plants used and was optimised in an energetic regard.

Every kilowatt hour of energy that is used up for heating, hot water and ventilation, for lighting, kitchen utensils and computers, comes from geothermal energy and solar energy. A 49 kW photovoltaic system is integrated into the roof, with a surface area of 345 square metres, while a geothermal plant with four earth probes of 98 metres each and 28 kW heating pump rounds off the power supply. The German Energy Saving Ordinance EnEV was undershot by 80%.

The concept pays off: Already in the first year, the building generated an electricity surplus of 13 600 kWh – enough in order to provide three four-person households with electricity for one year. The achieved savings of 50 tonnes of CO2 even exceeded the expectations of the planners by nine tonnes.

The Institute for Energy and Renewable Energy of the European Commission has distinguished the climate-neutral Kindergarten with the Annual GreenBuilding Award, the Bund Deutscher Architekten awarded to it the "Good Building Award" and the Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology awarded to it the „BMWi-Prize 2009 for architecture with energy“. With construction costs of less than 500,000 euros per group, the Kindergarten in Monheim made for an extremely successful milestones for the EcoCommercial Building (ECB) Program of Bayer MaterialScience, which aims to develop energy-efficient buildings.


Performances

(Architects: tr architekten Köln/Bielefeld, Contractor: Bayer RealEstate Leverkusen)