Baesweiler Secondary School: Renovation is exemplary for design and climate protection

Following an energy-efficiency upgrade, Gymnasium Baesweiler (Baesweiler Secondary School) is one of the first schools in Germany to be certified according to “Passivhaus” (passive house) standard for new buildings. The result is an innovative school building that fits in perfectly with the urban landscape, saves over 90 per cent of heating energy and 350 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Engine for progress:

  • 90% of heating energy and therefore 350 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved per year
  • renovation to “Passivhaus” standard
  • visually attractive curtain wall
  • automated LED lighting system

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Photo: Rongen Architekten

The renovated secondary school in Baesweiler: The picture gallery gives a few impressions of the modernised building.

Extensive energy-saving renovation measures

A completely new, ventilated curtain wall with thermal insulation was constructed and the windows were triple-glazed. In summer, the school can now be cooled using “passive cooling” techniques. To that end, an automated sunshade also prevents the rooms from overheating. A ventilation system cools the building itself using night air.

The incoming air can also be pre-cooled using a ground heat exchanger. In conjunction with a heat-pump system, the installation is also used for heating. In this way, up to 70 per cent of the building’s heating requirements are met using geothermal heat. A solar thermal installation ensures there is a supply of hot water for the sports hall. In addition, light sensors and motion detectors make sure that the school can be lit as needed. As a result, the school’s total energy consumption is now only as much as that of a large multi-family house.

An unforgettable project

The visually appealing curtained facade in the “Passivhaus” construction consists of recyclable HPL sheets (high pressure laminate) in different sizes and in various shades of grey. These sheets can also be replaced, simply and discreetly, in years to come. Thanks to the façade’s striking appearance, the topics of climate and environment always remain in view for the pupils and locals.

In addition, the effects of the energy-efficiency upgrade are being assessed through monitoring – financed by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). By systematically recording operating data and user behaviour, the city wants to achieve up to 30 per cent of additional energy savings – over and above the “Passivhaus” standard.

Photo: private

“Numerous steps were taken to allow us to tap into the potential that a building complex of this kind offers. We are thrilled with the appreciation that we have been shown through our inclusion in the KlimaExpo.NRW initiative and hope our project can thus set an example for others.”

Ralf Peters, project manager with Baesweiler’s municipal administration

Partners and sponsors

  • Gebäudemanagement der Stadt Baesweiler
  • Passivhaus Institut
  • DBU Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt
  • Landesregierung NRW
Counselling centers:
  • EnergieAgentur.NRW