Construction and renovation
New buildingsImportant new buildings at the university are the greenhouse of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, which is currently under construction, and the computer centre in Burckhardtweg. The greenhouse will be a modern, energy-saving building that will replace the faculty's old greenhouses, which have some of the highest energy consumption per square meter at the entire university. The new greenhouse will be heated with waste heat from the data centre, which is located across the street. The data centre itself will also be heated with waste heat from the computers located there. In addition, it is being investigated whether the remaining heat can be fed into the university's district heating network to heat other buildings. The electricity for the data centre is certified with the "Green Electricity Label".
Special attention is surely being paid to the new construction of the university hospital. UMG has founded a construction company solely for this purpose as the scope of the building project is very large. For the preparation of the construction project, a study was carried out to examine the use of regenerative energy sources for the building and to be able to implement as many energy-saving measures as possible. After all, the UMG campus will be the determining factor for the next few decades whether the university as a whole can achieve its savings goals and climate neutrality.
A special challenge is the new construction simultaneously to the ongoing operation of the existing buildings as hospital care must continue to be maintained at the level of supramaximal care. But as more new buildings are completed, the UMG complex becomes more energy efficient. The new Heart & Brain Centre is already completed https://www.umg.eu/ueber-uns/infos-medien/heart-and-brain-center-goettingen/.
RenovationsThe most important component in all energy-saving measures is the energetic restoration of buildings. Pure conversions to renewable energy sources and individual savings measures such as the installation of new thermostats are not effective enough if heat escapes through thin walls and leaky windows and the heating system temperatures are at a level that is too high for environmental heat utilization. In total, a complete energy renovation of all buildings will require about 500-1,000 million € for the university alone, without the university medicine. In addition, qualified planners, project managers, craftsmen and other service providers are needed who can implement these renovations. However, they are not available on the market in sufficient quantities.
The University of Göttingen owns about 270 buildings, the UMG about 70. Many of the universities’ buildings are over 100 years old and are listed buildings, such as the Assembly Hall on the Wilhelmsplatz or the Historical Observatory, but also the old hospital area. Such buildings are problematic in terms of energy use as they cannot be renovated to zero-carbon readiness even with the use of the most modern methods. The situation is different with the renovations of the post-war buildings in the North Area. The buildings of the Faculty of Chemistry have been successively renovated for several years, so that the energy balance is significantly improved. Similarly, facades of buildings of the Faculties of Forestry and Agricultural Sciences are being renovated for energy efficiency.
In order to create a suitable schedule for the renovations, the university has advertised the position of a planner for energy-saving construction, who will examine the buildings typologically, draw up a renovation roadmap and obtain financing. In addition, a catalogue of criteria for sustainable construction will be developed. It can therefore be assumed that the university's CO2 footprint will improve significantly, but zero emissions will require compensation measures, which in turn will also cost money.