First of all – We need more of these lighthouse projects! Pioneers who demonstrate that it is possible today and not only wishful thinking or dry theory.
On 16 November 2015, the official groundbreaking ceremony for the first carbon-neutral factory site for trains in Germany took place. The €220 million project is 23 football pitches large and the first of its kind in Germany. The client of the project, the Deutsche Bahn AG, is a German passenger and logistic company operating more than 40,000 train runs daily on its more than 33,400 kilometer-long rail network. The sustainable building will be operated without fossil energy sources and is located in Cologne, a city with over one million inhabitants. The anticipated date of completion is 2017.
The following environmental technologies will be in use:
A geothermal system will cover the total heating and cooling demand of the new building. Its functional principle is based on the heat exchange via the groundwater. The system consists of five groundwater wells with a total flow rate of 600 m³ per hour, three heat pumps and a 900 m³ rainwater storage tank. It enables heating in the winter and cooling in the summer without using fossil fuels like oil, gas or coal.
The photovoltaic system on the roof with a total module area of 2,100 m² has a power output of about 300 kW solar electricity. It provides the power for the heat pumps of the geothermal system and other consumers on the factory site. Peak loads will be covered by purchased green electricity.
A solar thermal energy system provides hot water for kitchens, showers, washbasins and others. The collector surface area with a size of 180 m² provides 100 kW thermal energy.
An intelligent lighting concept in the building together with LED technology will reduce the electrical energy demand. Where possible, purified waste water will be used instead of drinking water. The occupied area for the factory site is compensated by a purchased natural area of 12,5 ha. This natural habitat is repopulated with, for example, sand lizards or natterjack toads.