Ravensburg celebrates inauguration of Passive House museum

Energy-efficient building with optimal air quality for paintings and visitors
March 11, 2013

Darmstadt/Ravensburg. The new Museum of Arts in Ravensburg, Germany, not only showcases important works of art – the building itself is a masterpiece worth seeing: the first museum in the world built to the Passive House Standard. The inauguration ceremony, held on the second weekend in March 2013, celebrated not just a new meeting point for art lovers in the historical city centre, but also marked a highlight in energy-efficient construction.

"The greatest chal­lenge was the small num­ber of win­dows", says Flori­an Lang of Herz & Lang, the ar­chi­tects re­spons­ible for the Pass­ive House design. Works of art can­not tol­er­ate nat­ur­al light and are best dis­played us­ing ar­ti­fi­cial light­ing, thus re­du­cing sol­ar en­ergy gains. However, this lost po­ten­tial is com­pensated by in­tern­al heat gains in the form of mu­seum vis­it­ors. "After all, the Pass­ive House prin­ciple of keep­ing the heat in­side the build­ing turned out to work ex­tremely well in this con­text," ex­plains Lang.

A spe­cial solu­tion was also needed for the brick­work facade de­signed by Le­der­er, Rag­narsdót­tir & Oei Ar­chi­tects from Stut­tgart. For these Pass­ive House ex­perts, it was de­sir­able to avoid the neg­at­ive ef­fects of thermal bridges on the en­ergy bal­ance. 24 cm thick min­er­al wool cav­ity in­su­la­tion was in­ser­ted between the con­crete en­vel­ope and the ex­ter­i­or wall. To at­tach the facade, Lang and his col­leagues chose an­chors and steel brack­ets with a min­im­um pro­por­tion of steel.

High in­door air qual­ity stand­ar­ds had already been set on ac­count of the build­ing’s use as a mu­seum. An air­tight­ness test res­ul­ted in an ex­cel­lent n50 value of 0.3 l/h, well be­low the Pass­ive House re­quire­ment. A vent­il­a­tion sys­tem with heat and mois­ture re­cov­ery not only of­fers op­tim­al con­di­tions for sens­it­ive works of art, but also provides a pleas­ant in­door cli­mate for the mu­seum’s vis­it­ors.

"In the end, it turned out that Pass­ive House was the per­fect solu­tion for the high in­door en­vir­on­ment­al qual­ity ne­ces­sary for these valu­able pieces of art", says Lang. The over­all concept had been very well though-out, ex­plains Dr. Wolfgang Feist of the Pass­ive House In­sti­tu­te in Darm­stadt. "I very much hope that the Mu­seum in Ravens­burg be­comes a mod­el for many oth­er pro­jects of this kind.”

Con­tact Herz & Lang | Ritter­alm 6, 86956 Schongau, Ger­many| +49 (0) 8861-256101 | info@herz-lang.de | www.herz-lang.de

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