Futurium, Berlin/Germany

Richter Musikowski, Berlin/Germany

Planning time
2013 − 2015 (excl. initial architectural competitions)

Construction time
2015 − 2017

Services by Werner Sobek
Facade engineering (WP 1 − 3)
General sustainability consultancy and ecological construction consultancy
Thermal building physics, including services in accordance with EnEV/energy concept
Thermal and daylight simulation
Life-Cycle Assessment, life-cycle costs, recycling concept
BNB certification
Building and room acoustics (WP 1 − 5)

13,955 m²

Federal Institute for Real Estate, Berlin/Germany

Dacian Groza, Berlin/Germany
Schnepp Renou, Berlin/Germany

DGNB Award ‘Sustainable Building’  2018 – Nomination

The Futurium (formerly known as the ‘House of the Future’) is an exhibition and events centre in Berlin’s Mitte district that sits right next to Berlin Central Station and the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (another project planned by Werner Sobek). The Futurium’s goal is to make the general public aware of future-orientated developments of national and international importance. The building, which has a total gross floor area of nearly 14,000 m², is divided up into two underground storeys (which include the ‘Futurium Lab’), an above-ground floor with a large space for permanent exhibitions, and several intermediate levels.

Werner Sobek supported the project with comprehensive sustainability consultancy services. This involved comparing various strategies for optimizing the building’s comfort level and energy requirements, a life-cycle-orientated analysis that incorporated both passive measures (with a focus on the building’s facade) and life-cycle comparisons of structural component assemblies and methods of energy production. Thermal building simulations and daylight simulations were also carried out during the course of the optimization process.

A key emphasis of Werner Sobek’s consultancy work was to cooperate closely with technical building services planners and building contractors to collectively optimize the project’s energy concept. This resulted in an innovative energy concept that cleverly combines both active and passive measures in one building (e.g. via the integration of latent heat storage units). Thanks to the comprehensive consideration of all possible sustainability issues throughout the development’s planning and execution phases, the project culminated in a building with holistically optimized economic, socio-cultural, and ecological credentials that attained the BNB’s Gold Standard for sustainable architecture. As well as achieving the highest score ever awarded during a BNB certification, the Futurium managed to obtain the best possible quality grade for the demanding criterion ‘Risks for the Local Environment’.

Despite its ambitious architectural design, its function as an events space, and the optimal levels of comfort it provides, the Futurium is a Plus-Energy House in terms of its primary energy consumption. This is made possible by its compact construction, its coordinated use of passive energy measures (particularly with regards to the building envelope), a strict policy of needs-based energy and air provision, and some highly efficient building technology. As well as making extensive use of its solar thermal and photovoltaic installations, the building relies exclusively on its highly efficient trigeneration system (combined cooling, heat, and power) to fulfil its energy requirements. The Futurium’s latent cold and electricity storage units allow peaks of supply and demand to be balanced out. This means that no peak load boilers had to be installed in the structure whatsoever. Viewed over the space of a year, the building produces a primary energy surplus of 8 kWh/qma or 99,000 kWh/a (in respect of the requirement defined in the EnEV Energy Saving Directive).