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EnEff:Campus: Science park campus, Telegrafenberg Potsdam

EnEff:Stadt - Forschung für die energieeffiziente Stadt
PIK-Neubau: Fassadenansicht im Oktober 2013

PIK-New building: Façade view, October 2013

© PIK Lindenhan

Settlement summary

Block, ensemble
Project status Projektstatus: Phase 2Planning
Location of local community Potsdam, 14473 Potsdam, Potsdam, Brandenburg
Settlement in figures Area: 187,27 km², Inhabitants: 156.906
Developer, organizer Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung e.V. (PIK)
Settlement Science park (user community of research institutes)
Utilisation type Special area
Total area ca. 240.000 m²
Usable floor area before 43.634 m²
Usable floor area afterwards 46.975 m²
Size of the child day care centre 922 m²
Number of workplaces before ca. 1.520
Number of workplaces afterwards ca. 1.600
Usable floor area of the new PIK building 3.340 m²
Net floor area of the new PIK building 6.923 m²
Gross floor area of the new PIK building 27.341 m³
Age structure The campus comprises a mixture of buildings from various different periods ranging from the 1880s to 2007.
State of construction and refurbishment The campus mostly consists of previously refurbished buildings that are listed as historic monuments; several ancillary buildings no longer have up-to-date thermal insulation.
Heating system Existing buildings have a heterogeneous heat supply (gas heating, heating centre with CHCP, heating systems with air source heat pumps, etc.)
Ownership structure 80% owned by the German federal government, 20% owned by the federal state of Brandenburg
Project themes

Project description


The "Albert Einstein" science park, which is situated on the Telegrafenberg hill in Potsdam, was laid out during the middle of the 19th century to designs by the architect Paul Emanuel Spieker. The Telegrafenberg is named after a relay station used for the optical telegraph line between Berlin and Coblenz, which was constructed on the hill in 1832. The following institutes have been located on the site since 1992:

  • The German Geo Research Centre (GFZ)
  • Astrophysical Institute Potsdam (AIP)
  • Potsdam Research Centre belonging to the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Ocean Research
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
  • Meteorological Observatorium Potsdam, which belongs to the German Weather Service (DWD).

The City of Potsdam has been a member of the International Climate Alliance of towns, municipalities and rural districts since 1995, and has been regularly publishing climate protection reports since the year 2000. In addition, the Climate Protection Coordination Centre was set up in 2008 to control the process of climate protection. A lignite-fired power station was already replaced with a gas-powered Combine-Cycle power plant (CCPP), which provides combined heat and power generation, in the mid-1990s.

Funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) as part of its Climate Protection Initiative, the consortium led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) developed a climate protection strategy for Potsdam in 2010. By 2020, it is planned to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions relative to 2005 by 20%, and by 2050 it is planned that only 2.5 tonnes of CO2 shall be emitted per resident. In a pilot project entitled "Protect the climate – Learn to live", energy consumption advisors have been deployed to improve consumer behaviour.

As part of the Energy Neighbourhoods project, Potsdam is competing along with districts in Berlin and the town of Elmshorn against cities from 16 European countries. Friends, work colleagues, organisation members and neighbours are encouraged to joint together to form "energy neighbourhoods" and save at least 9% of their energy in comparison with the previous year. The project is being funded as part of the European Commission’s "Intelligent Energy Europe" programme and is being coordinated by the Beratungs- und Service-Gesellschaft Umwelt mbH.

In 2012, the Potsdam Climate Award will be conferred for the first time in the two categories "Citizens" and "Schools". The award aims to promote exemplary and sustainable projects in accordance with the Potsdam Climate Concept 2020.

Existing buildings

Many of the 54 buildings were built before 1915 and are listed as historic monuments. Today the buildings are used for different purposes, including for offices, workshops, technical rooms, lecture theatres and apartments. The site also includes a child day care centre and canteen. Buildings built after 1995 are constructed in accordance with the corresponding thermal insulation regulations. The technical systems are adapted to the respective uses (laboratories, offices) and are closely monitored and maintained. A few ancillary buildings do not have any up-to-date thermal insulation. The historic buildings have been comprehensively refurbished and numerous new buildings have been built since the beginning of the 1990s.

The electrical power is supplied as a medium voltage system from the regional network (conventional energy) via a dedicated transformer. The heat supply is very heterogeneous. There are gas heating systems (natural gas) that heat one or several buildings, a heating plant with combined power, heating and cooling for houses B-H and A43 that also generates electricity, heating systems that recover the waste heat from computers, as well as a heating system with air source heat pumps, etc. Because the computer centre produces considerable waste heat, some of it will be used in the new PIK building. In the medium term it is also planned to supply further buildings via a local heating network. Until the installation of the computer centre has been completed, the new building will be supplied with heat via an existing gas heater in the neighbouring building.


It is planned to construct a new office building in the immediate vicinity of the Einstein Tower and the Large Refractor, which, given the architectural and historical importance of these buildings, shall remain as indiscernible as possible. The triple-cylinder building with timber-clad facades made of dark larch wood and glass surfaces is designed to disappear within the dense woodland. Different external wall solutions shall be realised and compared in the three cylinders that make up the building shell. Three versions of the hanging facade elements are planned (vacuum, indoor environment and reference solution), whereby the first two versions will be compared with the reference version during the building monitoring. A modified standard solution shall be used as the reference that meets the requirements of EnEV2009-50%. The use of prefabricated vacuum insulation panels is aimed at supporting the market introduction of systems developed in the ViBau research area. There are limitations, however, as a result of the fire protection requirements. The indoor environment version, by buffering moisture and absorbing pollutants and odorous substances, focuses on improving the quality of the indoor environment.

In addition to the offices for the 191 members of staff across three floors, the new research building will also house a new mainframe computer. The amount of waste heat produced by the computer centre will far exceed that required to heat the building. A concept for incorporating the building and thus the surplus heat into a superordinate energy and supply concept for the entire campus site is therefore being developed as a component of the initial subproject. A particular aspect being examined in this regard is how the waste heat produced outside of the heating period can be temporarily stored with as little heat loss as possible.

Measurement technology needs to be installed to provide comprehensive monitoring in order to verify the energy and resource efficiency as well as the energy-based optimisation and quality of the indoor environment. The design and installation of the monitoring equipment therefore also forms part of this project.


A new building with a gross floor area of approximately 6,600 m² will be constructed during the course of the project. In partnership with the Technical University of Dresden, the PIK is developing an innovative building and system solution that, by taking account of the existing conditions on Telegrafenberg hill, will enable the energy use to be optimised with the aim of achieving EnEV2009-50%. To achieve this goal, the following measures are planned in the new research building:

  • Facades: Vacuum insulation and glazing, climate-regulating internal insulation system
  • Innovative heating system: Surface heating in the form of ceiling heating with individual room control and heat exchangers
  • Innovative ventilation system: Air intake and extraction system via a hollow floor structure with needs-oriented ventilation using presence detectors, CO2 sensors and volume flow controllers
  • Lighting: Energy efficient luminaires and needs-oriented control and regulation in accordance with the daylight
  • Optimised utilisation of the waste heat from the high-performance computer via a heat pump
  • Energy optimisation via building automation systems.

In addition, a concept is being developed to incorporate the building and thus the surplus heat into an superordinate energy and supply concept for the entire campus site. A particular aspect being examined is how the waste heat produced outside of the heating period can be temporarily stored with as little heat loss as possible.


The construction project will be largely funded by the federal state of Brandenburg through its Ministry for Research and Culture. The energy-based optimisation of the new building and the version analysis for the campus energy concept is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as part of its EnEff:Stadt research initiative.


The necessary urban and regional development framework conditions have been established. Construction is earmarked to begin in March 2012. The client is the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. As the first milestone, a building and system model for the energy-based simulation was produced at the end of 2011. Until the building is completed in the middle of 2015, load analyses will be carried out for the various development stages along with equipment concepts and an investigation of the different possible alternatives for transferring and storing waste heat.

  • Website of the energy efficient new building for Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research