Good practice

Low-impact eco-architecture in Luxembourg

Low-impact eco-architecture in Luxembourg
© by-studio, #224197783, 2019, source:
High cost
Resource savings: Energy:
The building's primary energy need is only 35 kWhpe/m2 per year compared to an equivalent 'standard' building's 166 kWhpe/m2 per year
Associated cost savings: Energy:
50 - 80%
Premises and operation areas:
Product and design

When low impact is a very good thing

  • Biodiversium visitor centre in Luxembourg houses permanent exhibitions on environmental topics
  • The wooden building was designed as a part of the redevelopment of an old brownfield site and built to fit into the landscape
  • A good example of eco-architecture which produces its energy locally

Biodiversium visitor centre in Remerschen, Luxembourg is a mixture of a museum and educational institute housing permanent exhibitions on topics related to environmental awareness. It is situated in Haff Réimech Nature Reserve, which is a former gravel pit. The area is one of the world’s most important resting areas for migratory birds. This and the aim to make the old brownfield site greener were important reasons behind the concept and design of Biodiversium - birds became an important theme of the exhibitions.

Biodiversium is a wooden building designed to have a low impact on the landscape. It is located next to a lake and designed to look like an upside-down boat. Part of the ground floor is subterranean, and the roof of the building gradually lowers to the ground level.

Both the construction materials and energy sources were chosen to be eco-friendly; the building is entirely made of wood and heated using renewable energy. Wood as a construction material provides efficient thermal insulation. Carbon emissions and energy use of the building are significantly lower than those of typical construction materials.

The building is heated using geothermal heat pumps that channel energy from the nearby lake. The heat exchangers were designed specifically for this project and positioned strategically in the lake to benefit from its natural currents. The building is rated A for energy and its U value is 0.28 W/m2K; it uses 25 % less primary energy than equivalent buildings with minimum requirements.

Key benefits

  • Sustainable materials and energy sources are in keeping with a visitor centre focused on environmental awareness
  • Significantly lower carbon emissions and energy use than other typical construction materials
  • Heated by efficient heat pumps utilising energy from the nearby lake

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