The ecological rehabilitation of an entire district – this unique project is currently being implemented in the former mining center of Bottrop. The InnovationCity Ruhr initiative hopes to serve as a prototype for the renewal of not just the entire Ruhr region, but other industrial metropolitan areas throughout the world. One of the lighthouse projects: a commercial building downtown that after extensive rehabilitation now generates more energy than it consumes. With the help of Covestro and its partners.
It occupies a prime location in the middle of the Bottrop pedestrian zone, but until recently it was not particularly attractive. With a wave-like, light gray facade, bright, attractive interior spaces and an ice cream parlor in the foyer to draw in visitors, the commercial building dating back to the 1960s now barely resembles its former self.
Much more important, however, is something not evident at first glance: the old-timer has been converted into a plus-energy building. A worldwide first, as it turns out. It is the first pre-existing commercial property anywhere in the world to obtain this ecological status as the result of having undergone a complete modernization, and now generates an energy surplus over the course of the year.
This was made possible by the EcoCommercial Building Program (ECB), a worldwide network of experts for sustainable building under the leadership of Covestro. The essence of the program is a holistic approach combining the various disciplines and coordinating products and solutions to find the best solution with respect to ecology and costs for a specific building.
This is precisely what was done with the old commercial building in the heart of the Ruhr region as part of InnovationCity. The primary measure in the case of the Covestro Building of the Future, as it is now known, was to insulate it on all sides using polyurethane, a high-performance insulating material whose components are produced and continuously further developed by Covestro. Heat no longer escapes, and the cold stays outside. Other rehabilitation measures include energy-efficient windows and innovative lighting and building services technologies.
The resultant, drastically reduced energy requirement is covered ecologically by means of a photovoltaic system on the roof in combination with geothermal energy and district heating. The Covestro Building of the Future can therefore serve as a prototype for the rehabilitation with respect to energy efficiency of many similar commercial properties in Germany and throughout the world. More information about the various components is available here.