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Climate-neutral campus at Leuphana University Lüneburg

EnEff:Stadt - Forschung für die energieeffiziente Stadt

Computer rendering showing the new central building for Leuphana University at the site in Scharnhorststrasse

© Stiftung Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

Settlement summary

Project status Projektstatus: Phase 2Planning
Location of local community Hansestadt Lüneburg, 21335 Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Niedersachsen
Settlement in figures Area: 70.38 km²; inhabitants: 73,000
Developer, organizer Leuphana University of Lüneburg
Utilisation type Mixed area
Gross floor area, before (according to DIN 277) (UniCampus BGF) m² 70.110 (UniCampus BGF) m²
Gross floor area, after (according to DIN 277)(UniCampus BGF) m² 87.646 (UniCampus BGF) m²
Special usage area, before (MUA) m² 37.757 (HNF) m²
Special usage area, afterwards(MUA) m² 49.306 (HNF) m²
Commercially used area, before 7.000 m²
Residential area, before 30.670 m²
Number of accommodation units, before 504
Number of jobs, before 1.200
Number of jobs, afterwards 1.422
SOI (Site Occupancy Index) 0.40
FSI (Floor Space Index) 0.60
Age structure 16 buildings dating from 1915-1948, 9 buildings dating from 1998 (university), 30 buildings dating from 1998 (Bockelsberg)
State of construction and refurbishment Mixed
Heating system Local heating, natural gas-CHP
Ownership structure Own use, renting through municipal building society, private renting, the university local heating system is owned by the University Foundation, the Bockelsberg local heating system is owned by Eon-Avacon (current electricity supplier); a connection is man
Project themes

Project description

The Scharnhorststrasse/Bockelsberg settlement resulted from Leuphana University’s growth on a redevelopment site. In the 1990s, the site, which was previously used for army barracks, was refurbished and redesigned for new uses. Whereas the university, which is located in the northern part, continues to use the solid-built barrack buildings, the barracks in the southern part were demolished and replaced with residential buildings and some commercial areas. The site has good local transport connections via two bus routes, can be easily accessed via the A29 motorway and features a diverse range of infrastructure facilities (central shopping centre, row of shops, multi-generational centre, etc.).

Municipal climate protection strategy

The Hanseatic City of Lüneburg is currently conceiving a long-term climate protection and energy efficiency strategy. The climate protection unit responsible for the regional district and Lüneburg is coordinating the municipal activities in this area. Important players are the municipal housing association LüWoBau, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, the current municipal electricity supplier Eon-Avacon and an energy cooperative that is currently being founded. On behalf of the Hanseatic City of Lüneburg and the regional district, Leuphana University is currently developing a concept study that will provide the basis for implementing the principle of a 100% renewable energy sources region in Lüneburg.

The status quo of the district’s development

The entire district is currently supplied with energy via a local heating system, which is supplied with an additional boiler system from a central CHP plant (natural gas-CHP, approx 2 MW of electricity, 3.5 MW of heat). The local heating system for the Bockelsberg area is owned by the Eon-Avacon electricity supplier; a connection is mandatory. The local heating system for the university campus belongs to the Leuphana University of Lüneburg Foundation. The site is supplied with heat by Eon-Avacon, which is the legal successor to HASTRA and is the operator and owner of the heating centre and the Bockelsberg local heating system.

Most of the buildings on the university campus were built for the former barracks and have not undergone any energy-related refurbishment. The barracks on the southern part of the site were replaced with new buildings (apartment buildings) and commercial areas (in accordance with the 3rd German Thermal Insulation Ordinance (WSchV)). During the course of the campus development, the only structural and energy improvement measures to have been conducted since the redevelopment of the site are the conversions of the top floors of the buildings used by the university in accordance with the German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) 2007/2009. Two top floor conversions are still in the planning.

Project objectives

Leuphana University is very much committed to the guiding principle for sustainability: in 2002, it decided to achieve climate neutrality, firstly by buying certificates but in the long-term through its own efforts. The plans for constructing the new central building provided an opportunity to fundamentally reconsider the energy supplies for the campus. In addition to the energy-efficient design of the new-build scheme for the central building and its incorporation into the existing energy system on the campus, it was also decided to optimise this system exergetically and to convert it to using renewable energy sources. In addition, it is also planned to successively refurbish the existing buildings.

The concept intends to use the existing local heating network. However, the energy supplies will be put out to tender again at the beginning of 2014 when the current supply contract runs out and the new central building is completed. Because the Bockelsberg area is physically connected to the existing CHP and heating network, it is intended to integrate this area into the planning. The plan foresees the utilisation of exergetically optimised, cascaded heat by means of the various supply temperatures required in the network. Seasonal heat storage shall also make a contribution, for example in the aquifer. The exergy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction criteria will be assessed in the tendering process using a point system. It is intended to optimise the energy system in conjunction with an external service provider.

The planning for the central building is mostly completed and it has already received planning permission. The laying of the foundation stone will take place in May 2011 and the building will be built by the university on its own initiative.

Energy concept

The planned expansion of the campus buildings will increase the available usable space by around 25%. It is intended that the overall energy consumption of the Campus property will not increase but will instead be lowered through refurbishing the existing buildings. It is planned to reduce CO2 emissions and the primary energy requirements to zero net or less than zero by means of energy saving measures and by optimising the energy system. For example, refurbishment measures in the existing buildings include replacing windows, installing internal and external thermal insulation, installing insulation on the basement ceiling and upper storeys and in the roof space, as well as optimising the ventilation system (for example in the laboratory building) and the very inefficient cooling system, which is also in the laboratory building. Since it is intended to retain the existing facade with its characteristic brick elevation, this will require the deployment of innovative insulating materials.

By integrating a seasonal thermal storage system, it is intended to maximise the degree of utilisation of the renewable CHP heat or comparably generated heat (e.g. solar thermal). The exergetically sensible, cascaded utilisation of energy is designed to make optimum use of the existing temperature levels.

The planning and construction of the new central building enables a diverse range of innovative measures to be implemented for reducing the energy requirements. These include its flexible and exergetically optimised incorporation into the campus energy system. The following measures are planned:

The use of medium- and low-temperature heating systems with 55°C and 30°C supply temperatures, whereby the thermal load of the individual temperature levels shall be controlled in accordance with the network status.

  • Vacuum insulation (glazing and panels)
  • Use of phase change materials (PCM)
  • Optimised ventilation through using frequency-commutated motors, large cross-sections and the use of raised floors for distributing the air at the storey and room levels.

The use of LED lighting is also planned. Users shall be involved by means of an ambient intelligence system. Such systems are generally aimed at improving the day-to-day lives of users and residents by using networked communications technology such as sensors, wireless modules and computer processors. A typical application field is in “intelligent homes”.


As a public construction project, the overall project is being predominantly paid for with federal state funding and EU funds as part of the major “Innovations-Incubator-Lüneburg” project. The town of Lüneburg, which will also be using the new central building as an event centre, is also contributing to the costs. Smaller financial contributions have been paid by the Protestant and Catholic Churches for constructing a “Room of Tranquillity”. In addition, innovative aspects relating to the integral planning and energy efficiency are also being subsidised as part of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology’s EnEff:Stadt and EnOB research initiatives.

The refurbishment of the local heating system and part of the roof conversions were financed in 2010 through the German government’s Economic Stimulus Package II.

As part of a project within the climate protection initiative, the existing buildings were surveyed and four refurbishment variations were roughly calculated. The refurbishment of the existing buildings will be put out to tender and implemented using energy savings contracting.

A PPP process was examined for the new-build scheme for the central building.

However, the negotiations with bidders did not result in any economic advantages compared with conventional self-procurement, which will now be conducted based on a 3-year planning and PPP process with good cost security.

The conversion of the energy system is being tendered in a technically neutral way during the negotiating process by means of energy supplier contracting in accordance with VOL (German Regulations on Contract Awards for Public Supplies and Services). The preliminary investigations for integrating an aquifer heat storage system (technical and economic feasibility) will be made available to all those interested. The offered concepts will be assessed using a point system that, in addition to the costs of heating and cooling, will also assess the exergy efficiency and the CO2 savings.

Together with the partners found through this tendering process, the implementation of the project part “Conversion/optimisation of the energy supply and refurbishment of existing buildings” will be commissioned as part of EnEff:Stadt. A challenge will be to incorporate the Bockelsberg area into the new energy supply.


The planning phase has been concluded for the new-build scheme for the central building, which has now received planning permission. Tenders are currently being issued for architectural services for the detailed and urban land use planning as well as for the construction management. The laying of the foundation stone will take place on 8 May 2011.

For the refurbishment of the existing buildings and the conversion and optimisation of the energy system, the tendering concept and its incorporation within the research context are largely complete; the tenders are now being prepared. Parallel to this, models for an “energy system with storage” are being developed to enable them to be already used when negotiating the configuration. Parts of the project that have already been concluded include the refurbishment of the local heating network on the campus, the preliminary work for the climate protection concept for the existing buildings and, with the exception of 3 roof stories, the roof conversions.


The aim of the energy concept is to achieve a zero primary energy or energy-plus campus. This will require a precise evaluation of the energy sources deployed, which may have to go beyond standard assumptions. When using biomethane, for example, the electricity generated in the CHP plant – even with 100% CHP utilisation – cannot be offset against other emissions such as those resulting from generating peak load heat, generating electricity from non-renewable energy sources or from mobility uses. This is because for the cogeneration production from biomass, a primary energy factor of zero is assumed in order to avoid negative primary energy factors. However, this does not adequately reflect the reality, which means that individual studies are required.

In addition to the primary energy factors, the CO2-equivalent emissions for achieving the climate neutral goals will also be analysed. This enables an assessment that is much closer to reality. An exergetic evaluation and an exergetically optimised design are ultimately essential for the overall project.


The monitoring is based on a data management concept developed by the E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University. It is capable of combining modelling and monitoring with user involvement and user communication. The measurement data will be partly recorded using the building control technology, whereby the heat volume, electricity consumption, etc, will be determined in accordance with EnOB standards.

In addition, a measurement system from Karlsruhe University will be installed to record comfort data and to evaluate the performance of the vacuum insulation panels. Together with the information obtained from the ambient intelligence system (AmI), this data will be administered in a joint database, where it will be made available for evaluation purposes.

Energy characteristics

before potential after unit
Total area with energy requirement (heated main usable area/NFA university) 37.757,00   52.724,00
Final energy requirement (electricity) 74,00   33,00 kWh/m²
Final energy requirement (heat) 146,00   37,00 kWh/m²
Final energy requirement (cooling)     27,00 kWh/m²
Primary energy requirement (electricity) 222,00     kWh/m²
Primary energy requirement (heat) 102,00     kWh/m²
Primary energy requirement (cooling)       kWh/m²
Connected load (electricity), existing university 750,00 750,00   kWel
Connected load (electricity), new university building   900,00   kWel
Connected load (heating), entire university 4,50 4,50   MWth
Connected load (cooling), entire university   0,50   MWth

Cost-effectiveness characteristics

before after unit
Investments (cost group 300)   31.000,00 T€
Investments (cost group 400)   11.000,00 T€
Planning costs (total)   22,00 %

Sustainability characteristics

before after unit
CO2 emissions 1.700,00   t
CO2 heating (2008) 413,00   g/kWh
CO2 electricity (2008) 116,00   g/kWh