Good practice

Award-winning office building among the most sustainable in the world

Award-winning office building among the most sustainable in the world
© OpturaDesign, #194890389, 2019, source:
High cost
Resource savings: Energy:
Primary energy demand is 85 % lower compared to a reference building
Premises and operation areas:
Office building
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Pioneering building raises the standard

  • Office complex recognised as most sustainable new office building
  • In addition to outstanding energy efficiency, the complex is functional and has a great visual appearance

The NuOffice complex in Munich made up of three buildings constructed according to the highest sustainable building standards, which include using environmentally friendly materials, targeting high indoor air quality, flexible occupancy, as well as energy efficiency for heating, cooling, ventilation and lightning. In 2013, NuOffice was ranked as the most sustainable newly-built office in the world with a green design certification LEED Platinum score of 94/110 points.

Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) was involved in the project by implementing innovative solutions, such as an absorption heat pump and adaptable glazing for thermal protection. Due to its improved exterior insulation and improved roof construction, NuOffice's primary energy use is less than 30 % of the German building regulation reference standar; the U-value in the envelope is 0.38 W/m2K. In addition to energy efficiency, the building complex is designed to be functional and visually appealing. Due to the low operating costs, NuOffice offers its tenants flat-rate utility costs, which is unique in the private rental market in Munich.

The building facade has a reduced proportion of glass compared to standard office buildings, which offers optimal solar gains in the winter but also minimises overheating in the summer (centrally controlled shading systems are also employed).

The building produces energy through a geothermal system combined with an absorption heat pump, a pioneering move at the time. The water from the heat pump is either cooling in the summer or warming in the winter. Groundwater is used for passive cooling. The building also has a photovoltaic system on the roof producing nearly 80 MWh/y.

Key results

  • The first building to be awarded a LEED platinum score of 94/100
  • Primary energy use less than 30 % of the German standard
  • Due to low operating costs, the office offers tenants flat-rate utility costs

“At the end of the year we expect a primary energy consumption of about 30 kilowatt-hours per square metre and year. Conventional new office buildings which don’t have any ambitions concerning energy savings range between 100 and 150 kilowatt-hours per square metre and year.” -- Michael Krause, group manager Systems Engineering at the department for Energy Systems at IBP

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