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  • GreenBricks_

🟩 GreenBricks Building of the Week 🟩 Freiburg Town Hall

Positive green

Nestled behind sweeping sycamore trees, a natural oval form that cannot help but inspire curiosity. Product of holistic planning and consultancy: the world’s first energy positive public building.


🏢Building Details

  • 281,100 sq. ft., across 6-storeys – with administration centre and day nursery

  • Completed 2017, uniting 840 employees previously spread across 16 sites


✍️Architects & Engineers


  • Generates more energy than it consumes + reacts to network requirements feeding surplus back into grid = a decentralised power plant

  • In line with PassivHaus standard, primary energy demand is as low as 45 kWh per sq. m. per year – 40% of comparable buildings

  • Energy for heating + cooling is obtained from a geothermal installation, while thermal mass activation is used for heating, individually controlled in each office

  • Façade features locally sourced larch wood, high-quality thermal insulation, triple glazed windows + PV cells – exploiting Freiburg’s climate as Germany’s sunniest

🥦 Wellbeing

  • Embodies openness, transparency + flat hierarchy: open-plan desk arrangements with variable glazed partition wall system for flexible layout

  • Storey-high glazed façade optimises daylight intake

  • Workplace advisory points are subdivided into 4 spacious rotundas – each centre formed by a circular retreat room

  • Incorporates a ‘green campus’ – linking Eschholz Park + the University Hospital with increased public space and verdant city square

🎈Bonus feature

This building is only the beginning. The green light has been given for the 2nd development stage – scheduled for 2024 completion – which will see additional oval buildings connected for further administrative functions, with equally enviable energy performance. Freiburg’s green belt in formation.

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